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New People's Bank Classic tips off

December 26th, 2013 11:46 pm by George Thwaites

New People's Bank Classic tips off

While New Year’s Eve isn’t until Tuesday night, Volunteer’s boys basketball team decided to ring in the new ahead of schedule.

The Falcons got 16 points and 10 rebounds from Ethan Crawford on their way to a 65-52 win over Cloudland in the New People’s Bank Classic opening round at Sullivan North Thursday night.

Volunteer (6-7) had its ups and downs before the Christmas break. Falcons coach Chris Brown hoped Thursday’s win sets the tone for the 2014 segment of the season.

Volunteer faces Elizabethton in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Friday.

Brad Halderman added 14 points for the Falcons. David McFarland, who hit a pair of free throws with 1:26 remaining in the game to stave off a Cloudland comeback effort, finished with 12.

Zac Benfield scored 20 points to lead Cloudland (4-8).

Elizabethton 66, Lee 51

Elizabethton  made a strong statement in its tournament opener, getting 33 points from Zeke Clark as the Cyclones blew to a  win over Lee High.

Hayden Townsend scored 22 points for Elizabethton (10-4).

Lee High (4-4) was  led by Kemp Yeary’s 12 points. Zach Eldridge scored 11 points and Brandon Dillman chipped in 10 for the Generals.

North 53, Cherokee 50

In Thursday’s nightcap, Grayson Ball scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Golden Raiders beat the Chiefs.

Ball fouled out with North leading 49-45 with 20 seconds remaining in the game. It was a nail-biter to the final buzzer.

Trevor Williams had six assists to go with his 11 points, including one of four free throws that kept the Golden Raiders (4-6) aloft in the stretch.

Tanner Trent scored 17 points for Cherokee (6-10), which faces Chuckey-Doak in Friday's 5:30 p.m. consolation game. Teagan Trent added 14 points.

His team trailed 52-50 with seven seconds remaining when Zane Parker was whistled for stepping inbounds with the ball as he simultaneously reached to signal a timeout. The over-and-back cost the Chiefs their final possession.

North will face Morristown West in Friday's 8:30 p.m. semifinal game. The Trojans beat the Knights 48-47 in other opening-round action Thursday.

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