Bradley Central’s Kayla Beavers not only blew away the competition in the 3-point contest, but poured in 15 points, copped four steals, pulled down three rebounds, dished off a pair of assists, plus blocked two shots to earn the MVP plaque as the Tennessee girls romped over the Georgia Peaches 102-52.
In the boys’ contest, Cleveland High’s Jarrod Rhodes scored five of his game-high 22 points in the final 32 seconds to lift Tennessee from a two-point deficit to a three-point victory in a 101-98 final. The former Blue Raider also cleaned the glass for seven rebounds to seal his MVP award.
The great news for local sports fans is that both Beavers and Rhodes are heading downtown to play for Lee University. In fact, a total of six future Lee players each scored in double figures in the two contests at Notre Dame High School.
Joining Beavers in the night’s opener were future Lady Flames Caroline Smith and Melanie Barker. Smith, who also played at Bradley, collected 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals, while Sequatchie County’s Barker netted a dozen points.
Along with Rhodes, future Flames Jervon Johnson, the two-time District 5-AAA Player of the Year from Ooltewah, pumped in 12 points and Grace Baptist Academy’s Corey Nelson added 11 after winning the slam dunk contest before the game.
Bradley’s Hunter Chastain, who is headed to play for Bryan College, drilled four 3-pointers on his way to 16 points and eight rebounds in the boys’ victory before outshooting Johnson with an 11-of-20 showing in the 3-point contest afterwards.
Former Bear Justin Houston, who is going to Tusculum on a football scholarship, played in his second All-Star game in four nights and scored four points, plus handed out three assists. Houston was also part of the Tennessee football victory Saturday evening.
The All-Star baseball game postponed by rain earlier this week has been rescheduled for Tuesday night in Ooltewah. Local players involved include Cleveland State signees Bobby Towne and Chris Caffrey from Walker Valley, plus former Bradley standouts Jordan Whitmire (Bryan College) and Chase Wiseman.
Tennessee 101, Georgia 98
After the teams traded baskets for the first couple of minutes, the boys from The Peach State went on an 11-0 run for an early double-digit lead.
Chastain then came off the bench and spurred a 9-2 rally with the first two of his 3-pointers of the night. Tennessee was able to retake the lead a few moments later when Rhodes pulled down a rebound and went coast-to-coast for a fast break basket.
The two teams traded the advantage a couple more times before Tennessee took the momentum with a 21-3 run that included back-to-back baskets by Rhodes, plus a pair of free throws and a trey from the top of the key by Chastain.
Down by 15 with just over three minutes left in the opening half, Georgia rallied its troops to cut the difference to just five points before a pair of free throws in the closing seconds gave the home team a 49-42 edge at the intermission.
Tennessee pushed its lead back to 15 with the first three baskets of the second half, including a pair of NBA-range 3s from Johnson. Houston helped maintain the advantage with back-to-back driving baskets.
Once again the Georgia squad refused to fold and used a 16-5 spurt to retake the lead. The boys from south of the state border eventually built their own double-digit advantage with less than four minutes to go.
A pair of offensive rebound putbacks by McMinn County’s Cedric Nevins and a 3 from Johnson got things turned in the right direction for the Tennessee squad before Chastain drained his final trey and Rhodes dropped in a shot from the lane to close the gap to a single point.
After Georgia went back up by four, the game’s final seven points belonged to the hosts. Southeast Missouri signee C.J. Reese, from McCallie, dropped in a pair of freebies with 36 ticks on the clock.
On the ensuing inbound, Rhodes copped a steal under the goal and was fouled putting the ball in the basket with 31.8 to go to tie the game.
Although he missed the free throw, the 6-foot-5 former Blue Raider hustled in the paint, stole the ball again and was fouled getting off another shot. This time he sank the first free throw but when he missed the second, Chastain came away with the carom and a few ticks later the ball was back in Rhodes’ hands under the basket and he scored for the final bucket of the contest with 7.4 ticks remaining.
Six players scored in double figures for the victors, with Nevins netting 18, Johnson 12, Nelson 11 and Reese 10 to go with Rhodes’ 22 and Chastain’s 16.
Dalton’s Tristin Harrell topped the Georgia scoring with 19, while Shaq Calhoun (Model) added 17 to lead five double-digit scorers on the other bench.
Tennessee 102, Georgia 52
After the “Peaches” netted the first seven points of the game, Beavers took a behind-the-back pass from Auburn signee Chadarryl Clay (GPS) on a fast break and put it the first “Volunteer” score of the night 3 1/2 minutes into the opening contest.
Although Georgia went on to build an 11-2 advantage, the Tennessee squad fought back with a pair of three-point plays from Smith and four big buckets from University of Evansville (Ind.) signee Simone Busby (GPS). Future Lee teammates Beavers and Barker teamed up to tied the score at 20-all with 7:47 left in the 16-minute first half.
Less than 30 seconds later Beavers gave the victors their first lead of the night with the first of her three treys and the home team never trailed again. The former Bearette sharpshooter drained another long-range bomb a moment later to spark 19-3 run and the rout was on.
With her team up comfortably 52-31 at the intermission, Beavers was the only participant to reach double figures in the 3-point contest, netting 11, including a pair of bonus balls for 13 points.
Team Tennessee opened the second half as it ended the first, scoring the first half dozen points and then used 25-2 run to leave no doubt. Busby put back in an offensive rebound with 1:18 to reach the century mark before Beavers capped her sterling performance with a pair of free throws for the final Tennessee markers.
A half dozen Tennessee players netted double figures with Baylor’s Megan Ausdran and Busby equalling Beavers’ 15, while Smith added a baker’s dozen while Kaitlyn Eldridge (Grace) and Barker netted 12 apiece.
Mariah Price (Chattooga) and Lilvia Bradbury (Gordon Lee) paced the Georgia squad with 11 points apiece.