The Shelby County Interscholastic Athletic Association hosted its annual all-day high school basketball championships to end the regular season. The games were played at White Station High School.
CLASS A Girls: BTW 70, Hillcrest 56
The Lady Warriors won the title for the second consecutive year. Warriors head Steven McKinney (23-5) said, “I appreciate the opportunity. Hillcrest is a really good team. We started to make some shots and put some pressure on them.”
The game was tied at 7-7 after the first period. That’s when Tramesha Rodgers led the way to victory with 27 points, including seven 3-pointers. Former Memphis Tigers basketball Kelvin Alley is in his first year as the head coach of the Lady Vikings.
CLASS A Boys: Manassas 70, Westwood 55
A day after getting the ruling that their season might be over after the championship game, the Westwood Longhorns took on Manassas and did not fare well, falling behind 27-10 in the first period en route to a 1
5-point loss (70-55).
Manassas (23-3) played with a chip on its shoulders. “We are overlooked by a lot of people,” said head coach Gerald Harris. “This staff has been together since 2001. We expect to win. We want to make sure our young men stay respectful in all that they do and whatever happens, happens.”
CLASS AA Girls: Mitchell 57, Craigmont 46
Former Melrose standout Ashley Shields, in her first year of coaching the Mitchell girls’ team, won the championship with a 57-46 victory over Craigmont. Shields took over for long time veteran coach Derek Hunter.
The game was a back-and-forth affair. The Chiefs of Craigmont only trailed Mitchell by two points (46-44) with four minutes left in the game. However, playing with only seven members on the roster took its toll on Craigmont down the stretch.
“It took them a minute to wake up. I am just happy we woke up as a team. I am happy with the win,” Shields said. “I think sometimes they like to see me step out of my box. I am proud of my girls.”
Last year the Tigers lost the championship in heartbreaking fashion.
“I am happy and blessed just to have this opportunity,” Shields said. “We have more to come.”
CLASS AA Boys: Wooddale 62, Raleigh Egypt 55
Assured by the TSSAA that they would not be barred from the state tournament, Wooddale’s Cardinals defeated Raleigh Egypt 62-55 in the SCIAA Championship game.
Initially disqualified from state tournament play because of conduct concerns, Wooddale learned a day before the game that the TSSAA ban had been lifted.
Raleigh Egypt beat Wooddale earlier this season and the rematch was one the best of games on the day of championships. Oregon-signee Chandler Lawson had 20 points and 16 rebounds to lead Wooddale to the title.
Keelon Lawson has played in three city championship, but has never won one as a coach. In the year he won the state championship, the SCIAA championship games were canceled due to snow.
“It feels good to get a little revenge on one of the teams that beat us this season,” Lawson said. “It is possible to meet them again in the district and regional championship.”
On have the restrictions lifted from the team, Lawson said, “Competing for a state championship was the main reason to return to coaching. Now it is on us going out and trying to perform. …”
CLASS AAA Girls: Whitehaven 45, Southwind 37
Whitehaven Tigers head coach Johnny Luckett has been to the SCIAA championship game so many times he can’t readily recall the total. And, has been the case before, Whitehaven claimed the title, this time beating Southwind 45-37.
Southwind had an 11-9 lead to end the first period. A 12-3 run in the second period put the Tigers up and they withstood every run that Southwind made.
“Tough place to play in,” Luckett said. “Southwind played really hard. We just found a way to win. We didn’t play well, but we played great defense.”
CLASS AAA Boys: East 79, Southwind 58
The East basketball team wanted to show their dominance in Memphis basketball. After losing their first game to a Shelby County team in three years, the East Mustangs wanted to send a message: the dominance will continue.
Putting that loss two weeks ago behind them, the Mustangs played one of their best halves of the season en route to beating Southwind 79-48. They led 43-23 at the halftime break..
Southwind applied double teams and triple teams against James Wiseman, the University of Memphis signee and the No. 1 rated player in the nation. East’s Malcolm Dandridge took advantage of the freedom, scoring 12 first half points. Dandridge was named the game’s MVP.
First year head coach Jevonte Holmes said, “We just came out working our man-to-man defense. We were a whole lot better defensively today. We did all of the little things right.
“We have been in the gym working. We had the guards in all week doing extra hours in the gym and it paid off. I have to keep going and working hard.”