Mavs can’t get sweep of ’Cats

Win overtime thriller against Scott High

Tanner Davis goes for a bucket in the paint for the Mavs against Oak Ridge. (photo:Conner McCarty )
The Anderson County Mavericks (14-9, 6-4) traveled outside of district play for a showdown with Scott last Tuesday, before returning home to host District-3AAA leader, Oak Ridge.

In both contests, the Mavs were forced to battle from behind. Versus Scott, the Mavs would regain the lead in the fourth quarter.

However, within the final minute, the Highlanders would tie the game from the free throw line, and force overtime — tied at 54-54 at the end of regulation. Anderson County battled back from down four to make the last minute a free throw contest.

With 25 seconds left in overtime, Scott hit a free throw to take the lead by one — 62-61.

Grant Hayes responded on the other end, by muscling in a contested layup to put the Mavs up 63-62 with under ten seconds left. Scott is not in the bonus at this point, so Anderson County fouls with 4.5 remaining—forcing Scott to win the game off an inbounds play.

The Highlanders failed to convert, and the Mavs escaped with a gritty 63-62 road win. Seniors Stanton Martin and Harrison Ogburn both put up 15 points for the Mavs, and fellow senior Marquis Gallaher followed closely with 14 points. Momentum began to swing Anderson County’s way with around 2 minutes left in the third quarter.

Down 44-37, Harrison Ogburn stroked a triple to get the Mavs going. Just over a minute gone of the fourth quarter, the Mavs led 45-44, and it was a possession-by-possession affair till the game’s end. “We were lucky to win it,” said Anderson County Head Coach Derek Wallace.

On Friday, Anderson County hosted cross-county rival Oak Ridge, who currently sits atop the district standings.

Those Anderson County fans hoping to see the Mavs end Oak Ridge’s decade of dominance with the sequel to Stanton Martin’s “The Layup” that upset Oak Ridge at home, drove home disappointed.

Anderson County never led in the basketball game. Oak Ridge’s size and length bothered the Mavs offensively all night. By the half, the Wildcats had already established a commanding 35-20 lead.

The Mavs tried to chip away at the deficit but were unable to muster up a run with enough steam to put them back in the ballgame. The Wildcats would cruise to a 61-48 win over the Mavs, and shot just under 60-percent from the floor. “We never gave up, we didn’t quit, so there are positives,” said head coach Derek Wallace about his team.

Anderson County shot only 33.3% from the floor and struggled to defend the paint as well. “Our shooters just never got going, in either game this week,” said Wallace. Logan Berry played at a high level against the ‘Cats and led Anderson County with 16 points. Stanton Martin was a physical presence for the Mavs all night, and was productive offensively, as he ended the night with 12 points. One definite positive from the Mavs loss to Oak Ridge—the welcoming of Freshman post Anthony White.

White came off the bench to receive significant minutes and played well — finishing the night with 11 points and four boards. “He’s going to be apart of (the rotation) from here on out, as long as he is healthy,” said Wallace about his Freshman center.

“He gives us something we don’t have — a big body,” said Wallace. Here is another positive, the Mavs are still District-3AAA’s last-one-in, sitting in fourth place. While a loss could change things in a hurry, the Mavs prepare for a week that should end with favorable results. Tuesday, the Mavs travel to Karns to face the Beavers, before taking a tip to Campbell County. With only two district games remaining after this week, if Anderson County can win three-of-four, they should be post-season bound.