Buccaneers hijack Bulldogs championship, Rangers topple Huskies in consolation

Published 6:18 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2023

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BLOUNTVILLE – In the District 1A championship game played at Evelyn Rafalowski Athletic Center on the campus of Westridge High School, University High lived up to their nickname and the Buccaneers ‘hijacked’ the championship that seemed to be destined for Hampton.
The Bucs came away with a 66-58 win on Tuesday night to take the District 1A boys championship.
“I thought UH shot the lights out,” Bulldogs head coach Ned Smith said. “We didn’t play well and they outplayed us. We have to have a short memory and get back to work. We’ll practice Friday and regroup and get ready to play a game on Saturday. Defensively, we had just three steals and ten deflections.”
UH (18-12) led from the start and took a 16-11 first-period lead with Andrew Cole and Pete Boynewicz each hitting a trey. Hampton (23-7) rallied in the second period but the Bucs held on for a 28-24 halftime advantage.
In the third period, the Bucs went on a 14-2 run led by tournament MVP, A.J. Murphy and forward Alex Cole, who hit a pair of treys in the run. The Bulldogs answered with a short run of their own, to go into the final stanza trailing 47-39.
In the fourth period, Hampton junior post Hayden Campbell opened with a deuce in the paint but Boynewicz dropped in a three. Junior forward Dylan Trivett had a putback bucket but Drew Finney’s three-point play staked UH to a 55-45 advantage.
Another Campbell bucket in the paint closed Hampton to 57-51 with 4:39 remaining in regulation but A.J. Murphy had a dribble drive bucket that was answered by Trivett to make it a 59-53 game with 2:10 left. The Bucs scored the next four points on a bucket from Finney and a pair of free throws from Andrew Cole as UH took a 63-53 lead with under a minute left in the contest.
Consolation game
Unaka 68
North Greene 56
The Rangers (7-23) used a dominating game on the glass to defeat North Greene for third place in the district. Unaka pulled down 38 rebounds, including 19 on the offensive glass, to outhustle the Huskies.
The Rangers looked like they were going through the motions in the first half as North Greene built a 20-17 first-period lead that was extended to 31-24 by halftime. In the first half, senior guard Joe-Z Blamo had zero points and guard Mason Wilson was zero-for-seven from the floor, including 0-for-6 from long distance.
As a team, the Rangers shot 9-for-28 from the floor (32.1 percent) in the first half.
“We challenged them at halftime,” Rangers head coach Aaron Dugger said. “I felt like we missed a lot of shots – makeable shots – and we gave up a few on the defensive side that allowed them to push their lead. We had some discussion about that and they responded.”
Unaka outscored the Huskies 24-10 in the third period while totally dominating the boards and Blamo scored 13 second-half points and helped spark the Rangers offensively.
“Coach came in at halftime and made the adjustment and told us to slow down,” Blamo said. “That was mainly it. I knew that I had to play like myself. They were killing us on the boards and we knew we had to start rebounding better.”
The Rangers took a 47-41 lead into the fourth quarter and midway through the period, Unaka led 51-43 and went on an eight-point run getting three consecutive buckets from Blamo and senior forward Landon Ramsey added one more to give Unaka a 59-43 lead.
Ramsey scored a game-high 25 points with 12 rebounds, while Blamo and junior post Marcus Shomaker, each had 13. For North Greene, Jason Britton had 24 points and Bennett McLain added eight.
Consolation game
Unaka 68-56
North Greene (56)
English 5, May 5, McLain 8, J. Britton 24, T. Britton 6, Humburger 4, Carrico 6.
Unaka (68)
Wilson 6, Douglas 6, Blamo 13, Ramsey 25, Shomaker 13, Powell 3.
North Greene 20 11 10 15 – 56
Unaka 17 6 24 21 – 68
3 point goals : NG 6 (J. Britton 3, English 1, May 1, T. Britton 1), U 7 (Wilson 2, Douglas 2,
Ramsey 2, Lewis 1).
Championship game
University High 66-58
University High (66)
Murphy 18, Boynewicz 12, Finney 11, Carter 4, Al. Cole 8, An. Cole 13
Hampton (58)
Trivett 8, Anspaugh 7, Buckles 24, Campbell 10, Carrico 7, Point 2.
University High 16 12 19 19 – 66
Hampton 11 13 15 19 – 58
3 point goals : UH 6 (Al. Cole 2, Boynewicz 2, An. Cole 1, Murphy 1), H 2 (Buckles 1,
Anspaugh 1)
All Conference team
Hayden Campbell, Michael Anspaugh, Dylan Trivett, Geno Carrico
Landon Ramsey, Joe-Z Blamo, Mason Wilson
Ryan Sexton
University High
A.J. Murphy, Drew Finney, Pete Boynewicz
Co-Players of the Year
Jason Britton, Cadon Buckles

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