CHATTANOOGA — As they did throughout their high school careers, one last chance for the “Twin Towers” to play together helped the Volunteer State squad claim a dominating victory at the Tennessee-Georgia All-Stars games Tuesday evening.
Playing at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, former Bradley Central all-staters Rebecca Reuter and Brooke Copeland combined for 22 points, 15 rebounds, a half dozen assists and three blocked shots in the 60-31 blowout.
Reuter was named the Tennessee Player of the Game, joining former Bearettes Brandy Scott (2003) and Kayla Beavers (2012) as winners of the award.
The Tennessee boys also proved superior, never trailing in a 72-58 runaway that included a dozen combined points by former Bradley standout Taylor Bentley and Cleveland High star Kendrick Thompson.
The “Twin Towers” announced their presence immediately in the opener, with Reuter feeding Copeland for the game’s first basket and then the favor being returned just a few seconds later for the second score.
The Georgia girls fought back by scoring nine of the next 11 points and held a four-point advantage down the stretch of the opening quarter before Reuter banked in a shot just before the buzzer to trim the difference to a single basket.
After Bledsoe County’s Destanie Smith drilled a 3-pointer to open the second frame and give the lead back to Tennessee, the Peach State squad retook the advantage with back-to-back baskets, but they would turn out to be their final points of the first half.
Team Tennessee blew the game open by scoring the final 16 points of the second period and Reuter netted the first two shots after the halftime break, the second of which Copeland handed out the assist on.
Georgia scored just one basket in a more than 12-minute span during the second and third periods, as the hosts led by as many as 16 points at one point before settling for a 35-21 edge going into the final frame.
Tennessee coach Wes Moore started the fourth quarter with five guards on the court and then midway through brought all four of his 6-foot-plus post players off the bench at the same time, leading the hosts on a 20-6 run to wrap up their fifth straight victory and eighth overall in the 12-game annual series.
Smith hit a pair of 3-pointers on her way to a team-high 14 points, while Reuter and Copeland also netted double figures with 12 and 10 points respectively.
Reuter, a 6-foot-3 Middle Tennessee State University signee, cleared seven rebounds, blocked a pair of shots and handed out two assists while playing a little more than half the game.
University of Florida bound Copeland, who recently collected her second straight Best of Preps Female Athlete of the Year award, pulled down eight caroms, dished four helps, blocked a shot and copped a steal while also being on the court for about the same amount of time.
Former Cleveland High standout Nora Berry also played for Team Tennessee, hitting a 3-pointer from the top fo the key during the second period run. Berry came in second during the halftime 3-point shooting contest behind Halle Ford. Copeland finished third in the long-range contest.
Sonoraville’s Carrie Cheeks, a 6-foot-2 Lee University signee, led her team with eight points and a half dozen rebounds, while Northwest Whitfield’s Ford netted six points, had four assists, four steals and a trio of caroms to earn the Georgia Player of the Game award.
In the boys’ game, Tennessee raced out to a 16-7 advantage by the first horn before Georgia trimmed four points off the difference by the intermission and pulled even after netting the first two baskets of the second half.
The Volunteer State boys broke open the tie with a 16-9 run, including an alley-oop dunk from Tyner’s Sadik Spence to Howard’s Jo Jo Young as the third-period horn blared.
Like the girls, the Tennessee boys wrapped up their eighth victory in the series 24-point final quarter.
Bentley, a Cleveland State signee, finished with seven points, including a 3-pointer, plus grabbed four rebounds, dished out two assists and copped a steal in the victory.
Despite being hobbled by a sore ankle, Thompson, who is headed to play for Daytona State (Fla.), added five points, three caroms, five helps and a steal to the winning total.
Spence, named the Tennessee Player of the Game, and McMinn Central’s Josh Scudder led the way for Tennessee with 14 points apiece, while former Baylor standout Matt Clendenon added 10 points, six caroms and three steals.
Meigs County’s Levi Scott, who is coming to play for Lee University, won the slam-dunk contest before netted eight points in the victory, while Hall Allen, of Boyd-Buchanan claimed the 3-point shooting contest.
Georgia All-Stars 11 4 6 10 — 31
Tennessee All-Stars 9 19 7 25 — 60
GEORGIA (31) — Carrie Cheeks 8, Macy Weeks 7, Halle Ford 6, Stephanie Kuhrt 5, Mallory Souther 3, Mallorie Collum 2, Wendy Perez.
TENNESSEE (60) — Destanie Smith 14, Rebecca Reuter 12, Brooke Copeland 10, Megan Storey 8, Anna Peters 4, Sloane Woodard 4, Nora Berry 3, Mikayla Crowder 3, Keely Fredrick 2.
3-POINTERS: Georgia 2 (Souther, Kuhrt); Tennessee 4 (Smith 2, Berry, Woodard).
FREE THROWS: Ga. 1-of-9; Tenn. 6-of 9.
Georgia All-Stars 7 18 15 18 — 58
Tennessee All-Stars 16 14 18 24 — 72
GEORGIA (58) — Daniel Oliver 11, Clynt Bell 7, Isaac Thomas 7, Ryan Armour 7, Isaac Bradley 6, Dakota Baer 6, Davy Fisher 4, Zach Dean 3, Alex Rattanaxay 3, Tyler Shopshire 2, Korley Grier 1, Garret McAllister 1,
TENNESSEE (72) — Josh Scudder 14, Sadik Spence 14, Matt Clendenon 10, Alex Watkins 8, Taylor Bentley 7, Levi Woods 6, Jo Jo Young 6, Kendrick Thompson 5, Q.D. Cox 2, Hall Allen.
3-POINTERS: Georgia 5 (Rattanaxay, Bell, Dean, Armour, Oliver); Tennessee 4 (Scudder 2, Bentley, Thompson).
FREE THROWS: Ga. 2-of-11; Tenn. 3-of 11.