Jr. Cyclones stunned by Jr. Vikings in Area 1 AAA tourney

Published 11:29 am Monday, January 24, 2022

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
KINGSPORT – One critical call with four minutes left in the game changed the whole trajectory of the game for the T.A. Dugger Jr. Cyclones in the Area 1  AAA basketball tournament being played at John Sevier in Kingsport.
That play gave #6-seeded Tennessee Middle the momentum they needed to go on to pull an upset of the #3-seeded T.A. Dugger, 33-31.
The first half of action saw the Jr. Cyclones take an 18-14 lead to the locker room at the half.
Colby Blevins led the charge for TAD as the guard hit for six points in the opening half. Justius Wallin played a contributing roll as he tossed in five points including a trey.
Kaden Gouge netted four points for the Jr. Cyclones while Jackson Buckles (2) and Jaiden Wallin (1) closed out the scoring for TAD.
Braden Howard had 10 points in the half to keep the Jr. Vikings in the contest.
Both teams struggled coming out of the break as the Jr. Cyclones extended their lead to 24-18 at the third stop of the contest.
With it still being anyone’s game, the play previously mentioned occurred when Jr. Cyclone guard Colby Blevins was bringing the ball down the floor and took it with authority to the rim.
A whistle blew and instead of going to the free-throw line for an and-one, Blevins was called for a charging foul against Howard who was moving step for step with Blevins.
From that point, the pendulum swung big tine to the other side as Howard inspired by getting the call took his team on his back scoring 11 in the fourth quarter.
The Jr. Cyclones had one final opportunity when Jaiden Wallin connected with under a minute left to tie the game at 31-31 before the Jr. Vikings got the go-ahead bucket and the win.
Howard led all scorers with a game-high 23 points for the Jr. Vikings. Teammate Rylan Lambert added six points.
Blevins led the Jr. Cyclone attack with eight points while Jaiden and Justius Wallin both finished with seven points each.
Jackson Buckles cleaned the boards for 10 rebounds for the Jr, Cyclones while Justius Wallin added five and Rhett Slagle four.
Blevins also added four steals and two assists to his performance.
Tennessee Middle, 33-31
TN Middle (33)
Braden Howard 23, Rylan Lambert 6, Reed Miller 2, Jack Richardson 2.
T.A. Dugger (31)
Colby Blevins 8, Jaiden Wallin 7, Justius Wallin 7, Kaden Gouge 6, Jackson Buckles 3.
TN Middle …..  6    8    4   15 – 33
T.A. Dugger….  8  10   6      7 – 31

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