Mavs go 2-1 in Christmas tourney

ACHS takes 3rd after loss in semifinal

Anderson County senior Grant Hayes makes a drive to the basket for two of his 15 points against Carter. (photo:Conner McCarty )
The Anderson County Basketball Mavericks hosted their Christmas Tournament this past weekend.

The Mavs (10-5, 5-2) faced First Baptist Academy, Carter, and Kingston. Anderson County would finish the weekend 2-1; earned third place, and go into the short Christmas break in a good place.

Last Friday, in Round One, Anderson County matched up against First Baptist Academy at Norris Middle School.

Anderson County would win their Christmas Tournament opener 71-62 over First Baptist Academy.

The Eagles started the game with a strong 10-3 run. FBA stretched their lead to as much as nine, leading 14-5, with about three minutes to go in the first quarter. The Mavs would finish the quarter better than they started it, but trailed 18-12 heading into the second quarter. Anderson County shot 3-of-16 in the first quarter — 18.8-percent — yet only trailed by six.

The Eagles maintained their lead through half of the second quarter, leading 27-19. However, it would not be enough, as the Mavs would heat up before the break.

A 15-4 Anderson County run to end the first half would put the Mavs up 34-31 at the intermission.

The Mavs’ run to end the first half completely changed the momentum of the game. After trailing almost the entire first half, Anderson County never trailed again in the ballgame.

Senior Stanton Martin would shoot 7-of-16 from the field, hit 6-of-7 from the charity stripe, and lead the Mavs with 20 points.

Anderson County returned home on Saturday to face the Carter High School Hornets, in a winner’s bracket semifinal. Unfortunately, the Mavs would never lead in the game. Twice the game was tied, 2-2 and 14-14. However, Carter went on an 18-8 run and took a 32-22 lead into the half. The Hornets’ largest lead of the game—19 points late in the third. Anderson County battled the entire second half, but could not put a run together. A 61-56 six-point deficit, late in the fourth quarter, was the closest the Mavs came to closing the gap. The Hornets would advance to the Championship game with a 72-61 win over Anderson County. The Mavs were led in scoring by Senior Grant Hayes, with 17 points.

The loss moved Anderson County to the third place game, against Kingston High School. The Mavs struggled to hit shots in the first quarter, yet only trailed 12-8 heading into the second quarter. Defensively, Anderson County would go into a full court press, and momentum would swing the Mavs’ way. Led by Senior Quis Gallaher’s seven-point second quarter, Anderson County would go into the half with a 25-22 advantage.

The third quarter slowed down into a possession-by-possession battle. Both teams would take and deliver blows. Kingston would hang around, and Anderson County would cling onto a 39-36 heading into the fourth quarter. The tempo would rise once again, as both teams sought to run the floor. Senior point guard Logan Berry would score all seven of his points in the fourth quarter, which led all fourth quarter scorers. Anderson County would go 12-of-18 from the line, and held Kingston down by at least two possessions down the stretch. The Mavs would grind out a 55-50 third place victory over Kingston. Gallaher would lead Anderson County in scoring, with 18 points.

The Mavs now look forward to the second half of their 2018-2019 campaign, currently sitting second in District 3AAA. Anderson County will return to the hardwood on Dec. 27-29, at the Maryville Christmas Tournament.