Things seemed to be very well in hand for the Tigers of Marshall County as they held a 17 point lead over Tyner Academy of Chattanooga early in the third quarter of the opening game in Class AA.
Chipping away at the lead slowly the Rams got a twisting bucket from Jermel McKenzie (Tyner Academy) and suddenly the Tigers margin was 47-44 with 5 minutes remaining on the clock.
This is when the fun began, hold on are you ready?
Things remained close as junior guard Damien Suttles (Tyner Academy) scored on a driving lay-in to cut the lead to two at 50-48 with just under two minutes remaining in regulation.
Kedren Johnson (Marshall County) responded with a bucket and one of two from the foul line to push the lead to 53-49 before another Suttles bucket cut it back to two.
Johnson picked up his fifth foul with the Tigers clinging to a small margin at 54-52. A Tiger turnover gave the Rams the ball and a bucket from senior Reginald Gilmore (Tyner Academy) tied things up at 54 as the final buzzer sounded, yes sports fans....OVERTIME.
A few back and forth buckets gave the Rams a three point lead before freshman point guard Kevin Peterson (Marshall County) hit a deep three from somewhere near Smyrna to tie things up at 59 all.
Tyner Academy, who would finish 15 of 31 from the charity stripe, proceeded to miss four straight keeping the Tigers hopes alive with their star player relegated to assistant coach. Jordan Anderson (Marshall County), who would finish with 16 points and 14 rebounds, drained both of his foul shots extending the Tiger lead to 61-59 with mere seconds left on the clock.
Tyner managed to drive to the bucket and draw another foul, hitting the first but missing the second and Marshall County secured the rebound and a thrilling 61-60 win.
Johnson was magnificent scoring 20 points, including 15 in the first half before his foul difficulties. Jaime Perryman (Marshall County) added 12 points for the winners.
Gilmore led the Rams with 16 points and McKenzie added 13.
Bolivar Central 38
Tevin Coleman (Bolivar Central) hit two crucial foul shots with 4.6 ticks on the clock leading the Tigers of Bolivar Central past the two time defending Class AA state champions Fulton 38-35.
With the score knotted in this low scoring affair at 24 at the half, Fulton got a break with a nice steal and score from senior Lemar Gipson (Fulton) to tie things up after three at 30 each after Bolivar attempted to take the air out of the ball.
Coleman led the Tigers with 10 points. Galen Campbell (Fulton) led the Falcons with 14. Mr. Basketball finalist Jalen Steele (Fulton) concluded a stellar high school career with 7 points in the loss.