BLUFF CITY — In a return to the school whose arena is named in his honor, John Dyer’s West Ridge boys basketball team came out on the winning end Tuesday night inside the Dyer Dome.
The Wolves collected a 67-63 victory over Lakeway Christian Academy on the second day of the eighth Food City Thanksgiving Classic.
“This has been a very emotional day,” Dyer said. “I didn’t leave East High School. I left retirement to coach again and East High School is my home.
“These young men have bought into what I want them to do,” he said of his West Ridge squad, “and gritty is a great way to describe this win.”
Senior Wade Witcher was the hero for the Wolves after sinking the game-winning 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left when his team was down by one. Witcher finished with 26 points.
“Wade made big shots all night,” Dyer said. “That’s what he does and he’s worked hard enough to when the time comes that he’s able to come through for us.”
The Wolves tacked on a couple of points after Lakeway Christian’s coach was whistled for a technical foul.
“We just kept hanging around and we never let it get to double digits,” Dyer said. “We answered their runs every time.
Witcher had plenty of help in this win. Dawson Arnold got the Wolves back in the game by scoring 13 of his 21 in the final eight minutes. Arnold shot 5-for-5 from the field and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line in the period.
Avery Horne was also in double figures for West Ridge, recording 10 points.
“Early in the game, Dawson kind of short-armed a couple and I thought there were a couple of contacts where he just needs to go score anyways,” Dyer said. “Dawson can do that and I thought we did a great job of getting the ball where it needed to be.”
Shajai Jackson led the Lions with a game-high 29. Malachi Jim-Lawson was also in double digits for Lakeway with 14.
“(Jackson) can play with anybody,” Dyer said. “(Lakeway) is an athletic team and this is a good, quality win for us. We just kept fighting the whole night.”
Sullivan East 68 Mountain Mission 63
The homestanding Patriots controlled the game behind the steady scoring of Drake Fisher, who put up 18 points, and Tyler Cross, who scored 15.
East trailed at the end of the first quarter but rallied for 23 markers in the second to gain a one-point advantage at the break, 35-34.
Cliff Geshumba led the Challengers with 25 points and Imani Chacha netted 12. Abel Mesfin (11) and Alexanda Nyakemori (10) also finished in double digits for the team from Virginia.
Volunteer 57 Mountain Mission 43
Andrew Knittel and Cason Christian each had 16 points to lead the Falcons to a second win at the Thanksgiving Classic in as many days.
Volunteer stretched its halftime lead in the fourth quarter when it had a 19-point outburst.
Kaab Dewit led the Challengers with 12 points, and Chacha and Mesfin each had 11.
dland 48 Science Hill 41
The Lady Highlanders fell behind at the half after leading most of the way but made up for it in the second.
“This was a pretty big win for us, especially being this early in the season,” Cloudland coach Matt Birchfield said. “Science Hill is a well-coached team and they’re long and athletic. This was a good test for us.”
Cloudland shot 9-for-16 in the second half while holding Science Hill to a 6-of-23 showing. The Lady Highlanders’ offense also started working, Izabella Christman and Ella Benfield continually hurting the Lady Hilltoppers coming off a high-ball screen and rolling to the bucket.
“Our post players played really well for us and we ran some stuff that was to our advantage,” Birchfield said. “We talked about a couple of things that we had to change at halftime — and both Izabella and Ella made some big plays in the third quarter to put us ahead.”
Christman and Benfield each finished with 17, and Saharra McKinney contributed 11.
Aniya Pace led Science Hill with 16.
Bearden 45, Boone 34
The Lady Trailblazers held a 19-16 advantage at halftime and stood their ground in an early season rematch with the defending TSSAA Class 4A state champs.
The Lady Bulldogs went on an 18-1 run to close the third quarter and gain command of the game. Florida State commit Avery Treadwell scored 19 for Bearden.
Kyleigh Bacon and Lillie Walters each had eight points to lead Daniel Boone.
Mountain Mission 54 Unaka 41
The Lady Rangers got down 16-0 at the end of the first quarter and 31-7 at halftime before rallying to cut the deficit to as few as 10.
Lyndie Ramsey scored 21 to lead Unaka.
Anna Chacha scored a game-best 25 to lead Mountain Mission.
The Lady Challengers also had Gladness Peters scoring 19.