Little Milligan teams take two in the Little Watauga Tourney

Published 3:11 pm Friday, January 20, 2023

By Ron Marvel
Star Correspondent
The Little Watauga Tournament Championship bracket was held Thursday night at Central Elementary. The tournament serves to feature smaller Elementary schools in the Carter County area. When all was said and done, Little Milligan walked away with bragging rights for the tourney; taking first place in both the Boys and Girls Division. These teams as well will be participating in the upcoming TSSAA Middle School 1A Tournament held at Happy Valley High School.
Boys Championship-Little Milligan 56 Unaka 40
A 36-30 game at the 2:00 minutes mark of the third period opened up as Little Milligan went on a 19-4 run to finish off the Rangers in the final game of the tournament. Tommy Needham started the rally by grabbing an offensive rebound and going up and over a crowd to finish. This putback opened the floodgates as Tourney MVP Chase Davenport hit back-to-back jumpers and Needham followed with a three-pointer to push the lead to 18 with just 1:22 left in the game. Zac Taylor would do his best to keep the Jr. Rangers in the game scoring nine in the final period, but it wasn’t enough as Little Milligan’s defense would clamp down and keep center John Hardin to just two points after scoring 15 in the first three periods.
Chase Davenport would lead all scorers with 23 points, while Tommy Needham would add 17 and Fagan would chip in 12. For the Jr. Rangers Ayden Walsh would score 19 and Hardin 17. After the game, Little Milligan’s Head Coach Scott Robinson would talk about his team’s ability to finish off the game, “we had to call the timeout and talk to the kids, calm them down and tell them they had to take care of the ball; at the time we were lacking the want to.” On tournament MVP Davenport Coach Robinson would add, “he’s such a good kid, loves the Lord and just works so hard at being one of the best on the court; he will be a player with expectations when he moves up next year.”
Girls Championship Little Milligan 36 Central 23
In a very physical game in which, at points, the girls looked more determined to run through each other than around, the Little Milligan Buffaloes would get hot at just the right time to create distance in a contested game. The Buffaloes would start out the game on a 12-1 run just to see the Comets scratch their way back into it. Alex Moore would hit a short jumper to make the score 12-8 going into the locker room and then cut the lead to just two and after a Bryanna Nickels 12-foot jumper. The game would go back and forth with the Buffaloes nursing a three-point lead for most of the third period before Olivia Mills would find her shooting touch to start a Buffalo run, scoring six points in a row and pushing the Little Milligan lead to 12 at 26-14 at the 5:09 mark of the final period. Reiley Layne would help in the final period by hitting her free throws and the Buffaloes would keep the Comets and arms-length the rest of the contest.
Olivia Mills would lead all scorers in the low-scoring contest with 15 while Reiley Layne would chip in seven.
For the Comets, Alex Moore would score ten points while Nickles would chip in seven on the night.
Consolation Game Central 45 Keenburg 32
In the boy’s game for third place, Central’s Carter Cornett would come out firing and not let up, scoring a game-high 24 points in the game and posting the Comets to a 27-14 halftime lead. Keenburg’s M. Waterman would score 14 in the loss. Central’s efforts would be aided by Jackson Fenner, who would chip in 15.

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