Halls Red Devils use fast start to eliminate ACHS Mavericks

  • Anderson County’s Trent Strickland looks for an outlet early in last Tuesday night’s region semifinals against the Halls Red Devils. - Ken Leinart

  • Anderson County High School sophomore Brandon Dakes’s record-setting season ended last Tuesday night against Halls. Dake set the ACHS record for three-point- ers in the season Feb. 9 against Knoxville Central High School when he notched his 73rd trey. - Ken Leinart

Anderson County High School’s boys basketball team saw its 2022-23 season come to an end in the Region 2-AAA Tournament semifinals early last week.

The Mavericks, who battled to win the District 4-AAA Tournament as a No. 3 seed after a rollercoaster ride of a regular season, fell to district rival Knoxville Halls 66-54 on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Carter High School in Strawberry Plains.

Anderson County, which finished the campaign with a 17-15 overall record, and the Red Devils (who would go on to win the region championship Thursday as they defeated the host Hornets 63-61, split a pair of meetings during the regular season.

ACHS prevailed in North Knox County, capturing a 69-64 comeback victory on Friday, Dec. 16.

The Red Devils won in Anderson County, 59-51 in late January.

Halls got off to a fast start last week, opening a 35-10 lead by late in the second quarter.

The Red Devils had a 38-17 advantage at halftime.

The Mavs rallied after the break, going on a 12-2 run and pulling to within 40-29 early in the third frame.

Halls, however, answered and would open an 18-point lead before the Mavericks would pull to with 62-54 late in the contest. The Red Devils then scored the final four points of the game.

Ryan McGhee scored 14 points to lead Anderson County. Carter Nelson added 11, while Brandon Dake had nine.

Tate Russell chipped in with eight, and Hayden Craig finished with seven.

The Mavericks went 2-4 in district play during the regular season under first-year Head Coach Jordan Jeffers, knocking off the Red Devils and crosstown rival Clinton.

ACHS, which also outlasted the No. 4-seeded Dragons in the district championship game, was winless in the league last season.

ACHS also defeated Scott (Jeffers’ former team) in the district tournament semifinals.