Ensworth to take on Brentwood Academy in state rematch for DII title
Before the game even started, Harpeth Hall found itself behind 2-0. From there, things got even worse for the Bears.
And when it ended, defending champ Ensworth had rolled to a solid 53-36 trouncing of the Bears Friday to advance to the DII-AA state tournament finals. They will play region rival Brentwood Academy at 5 p.m. Saturday for the crown at Lipscomb Allen Arena. They beat BA 57-42 in last year’s final.
Being the top team on the bracket, Harpeth Hall was required to wear white uniforms, but instead the Bears wore green. A resulting technical foul was called, and Carson Pittman hit both free throws before the opening tip. It proved academic as Ensworth bolted to a 20-9 halftime lead and was never threatened.
Ensworth’s Jordyn Cambridge
“It was my mistake,” said Coach Anne Weingartner. “We had been visitors on the bracket all the way through region, and I thought that was how it was in state.”
A bigger problem was Kennesha Nichols who had 16 points and 14 rebounds, both game highs, and eighth grade guard Jordyn Cambridge played like a senior, adding 13 points and three steals. Ensworth finished 3-0 vs. Harpeth Hall this season, although their first game went into overtime.
Coach Cleve Harris thought it might have been Cambridge’s best game. Continue Reading
— Tournament schedule
— Brentwood wins third straight region title
BGA, FRA match up for 4th time
By HAROLD HUGGINS
Maybe the biggest problem Franklin Road Academy will have in the state championship game will be climbing down off Cloud Nine.
The Panthers will stage a fourth match-up against Battle Ground Academy Saturday, this one for the DII-AA boys state championship. Both took quite opposite routes for their semis wins at Lipscomb Allen Arena Thursday afternoon.
It was diminutive senior point guard Tori Smith responsible for putting FRA up in the clouds with his stunning last-second three-point shot which lifted the Panthers past Knoxville Webb 56-54.
With the clock winding down, Smith lifted his shot past the outstretched arm of a defender and ball swished cleanly through with one second left. Teammates and delirious students who rushed onto the court mobbed Smith after the buzzer sounded.
“When I released it, it felt good,” said Smith, who said it was the biggest shot he’s ever hit “by far,” he said, laughing. “They had Rob (Marberry) covered inside, and I knew I wanted to take the shot. I was confident it would go in.”
About fans who rushed onto the court up to him after the game, he said, “it was crazy.”
Smith is getting a lion’s share of playing time because sophomore starting point guard Kenny Cooper broke his leg two week ago, ending his season. Smith is making the most of his chances.
“Tori was our best option as they had Rob covered up inside,” said Coach John Pierce, who hopes to guide the school to its first boys state title in history. That will have to go through BGA which holds a 3-0 lead on FRA this season.
“We’ve had some great games with BGA, and I’m sure we’ll have another one (Saturday).”
“It (winning a state) would be unbelievable not just for team but for our fans and students,” Marberry, a Mr. Basketball finalist, said. “We know a lot of their (BGA) guys, and it’s become a good rivalry. For our team, some of us have been playing together since kindergarten, we’re very close.”
Marberry had 22 points, nine rebounds, four blocked shots and hit 8-of-9 free throws. Smith added nine, including his only three-pointer of the game for FRA (26-8). Spence Jones had four assists. Justin Jenkins led Webb with 23 for Webb which beat FRA in overtime in the region tournament.
BGA rambles: Senior guard Nathan Moran poured in 26 points, 18 the first half, to go with five assists guiding BGA to a 60-41 romp over Memphis ECS. Continue Reading
DCA takes perilous trip to Friendship
By HAROLD HUGGINS
Gearing up for the highest region finish possible, Donelson Christian Academy takes a tough journey to Friendship Christian Friday night.
Both teams are taking an eye toward a possible second place finish and a guaranteed home playoff game in the first round of the DII-A playoffs which open next month. A DCA win followed by a victory over Mt. Juliet Christian in week 10 would guarantee a second place finish in the region’s District 1.
DCA is 6-1 and 2-1, while Friendship is 5-2 and 3-1. While it is unlikely either will finish ahead of first place Knoxville Webb (5-2, 3-0), next goal is runner-up and a first-round home game in the playoffs. A third place finish relegates that team to a first-round road game.
Both have lost to Webb, their lone region losses, by similar scores– DCA by 38-14, Friendship by 36-7. Only other Friendship loss is to powerhouse Trousdale County.
The Nashville City Track Meet took place this past week on the campus of The Harpeth Hall School with the conclusion coming last night with the finals of the running events. When it was all over MBA and Harpeth Hall had won the team championships and East Nashville Magnet’s Jada Curbeam and Hillsboro’s Janel Pate had put on quite a show. Curbeam, who recently signed with Prairie View, won the long jump, triple jump, and the high jump on Wednesday, then finished third in the 100 meter hurdles Friday night. Hillsboro sophomore Janel Pate won the open 100 meters, anchored the 4 X 100 relay team win , led off the 4 x 200 winning team , then capped off the night with a win in the open 200 meters.
Highland Games Big Man Winner Joe Irby
The Annual Highland Games took place on Friday and Saturday this weekend hosted by coach David Tucker at FRA. The track and field meet features team relay events interspersed with Scottish influenced competitions such as stone throw, the caber toss, and the kilted mile.