By Mark Darnell
The Boys and Girls Basketball teams traveled to Gatlinburg for the 2011 Smokey Mountain Classic Basketball tournament. The event involved teams from four states and took place at three different sites in three different days.
The Tigers played first on December 21st against Lovett,Georgia. Macon appeared to come ready to play as they jumped out to an early lead of 21 to 7 at the end of the first behind eight points from Dallas Grace and six different Tigers scoring. Dalton Shrum contributed six in the second and the Tigers led at half 37 to 25.
Macon has had some problems scoring in the third period of games and the Tigers lost their lead. By only scoring eight points in the third quarter, the Macon lead was trimmed to three, 45-42. The final period saw MCHS send their opponents to the free throw line 21 times, converting 13, for what proved to be the difference in the game. Final score 63-65, Lovett.
The Tigerettes then faced Paintsville, KY. The front court of Reid and Coley combined for all 14 of the first period points and Macon led 14-7 after one. The team from Pike Co. trimmed the deficit to four and trailed the Tigerettes 21-25 at the half. Going back to what worked Reid and Coley scored 14 more in the third and seven different Macon players scored in the fourth. Final score MCHS 62 Paintsville, KY 37.
Next up for the girls on the 22nd was Heritage, TN. Macon jumped out early and never trailed. Balanced scoring from Brooks, Pryor, Reid, Bean, Coley, and Gregory gave the Tigerettes a 30-11 half time lead. Coach Beam was able to empty the bench and posted a 53-37 victory to put Macon in the tournament finals.
The Boys next faced Belfry, KY. The Tigers posted 22 points in the first period behind balanced scoring from six players. They cruised to final victory of 72-57 with Russell being the high scorer with 16 points.
In the final Boy’s game, the Tigers faced Perry Co. Central, KY. The Tigers had no answer for West Virginia commitment Jaysean Paige and his 22 points. Perry Central lead the whole way and handed the Tigers a loss by a final score of 77-46.
The Girls faced Perry Co. Central, KY in the championship game. The Tigerettes gave a good effort but were also no match for the much bigger Perry Co. Coley was the high scorer with 19 points but MCHS lost by a final of 52-69.
Competition this stiff should temper both teams as they head into the meat of their District schedules