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Clinton’s fiery ‘D’ propels Dragons to ‘W’ against Eagles

A stingy defense helped the Clinton High School boys basketball team propel itself to a win for the first time this season early last week.

The Dragons (1-2) shut out Powell’s First Baptist Academy in the first quarter of its 54-32 victory on Tuesday, Nov. 21, at the Don W. Lockard Gymnasium.

Clinton jumped out to a 7-0 lead after the opening frame and held the Eagles to single digits in three quarters en route to picking up its first win of the season.

“It was like our two Hall of Fame Games (losses to William Blount and Powell) — we played well defensively, but we had trouble scoring,” CHS Coach Chris Lockard said. “We shut them out in the first quarter.

“But the problem was, we only had seven.”

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‘Shot selection’ hurts Mavs in road loss

Ryan McGhee (4) scored 12 points for the Mavericks in last Tuesday night’s matchup with Powell. - Ricky Williams
Anderson County High School has had more than its share of struggles out of the starting gate to open the 2023-24 boys basketball season.

The Mavericks closed out the pre-Thanksgiving portion of their schedule with a road loss early last week,

ACHS, which has dropped four of its first five games this year, came up on the short end of a 61-52 decision against the host Panthers at Powell High’s Jeff Hunter Gymnasium on Tuesday, Nov. 21.

The Mavs (1-4) started fast in Northwest Knox County as they opened an early 9-6 lead and outscored Powell (3-0) 17-13 in the opening frame. The Panthers chipped away and narrowed their deficit to three, at 30-27, by halftime.

Anderson County had some success against Powell’s full-court man-to-man defense over the first 16 minutes of the contest, so Panthers Coach Gary Barnes made a defensive adjustment and took the full-court pressure off after halftime.

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Lady Dragons score 91

Five score double figures in lopsided win

Clinton High School girls basketball Coach Alicia Phillips couldn’t be happier with her team’s start to the 2023-24 season.

The Lady Dragons, who began the season 5-0, closed out the pre-Thanksgiving portion of their schedule with a 91-19 victory over Powell’s First Baptist Academy on Tuesday, Nov. 21, in the friendly confines of the Don W. Lockard Gymnasium.

“Our girls are playing really well right now and we’re playing as physical as I’ve ever seen,” CHS Coach Alicia Phillips said after her team routed the Lady Eagles during their last time out.

“I have six girls who can put up 20 or 30 points on any given night,” she said. “We’re not a team where you can just close in on two girls, and we have some other girls who are coming in behind them.”

Due to the lopsided score against First Baptist, the Lady Dragons’ starters played just a half, but still managed to fill the stat sheet with some gaudy numbers. Clinton had all five starters post double figures in the scoring column.

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Lady Mavericks edge Lady Panthers 77-73 in road victory

Emily Mustard scored 23 points for the Lady Mavericks during last Tuesday night’s 77-73 victory over the Lady Panthers. - Ricky Williams
Anderson County High School’s girls basketball team notched a big early-season road victory just before the Thanksgiving holiday break last week.

“Powell is a tough place to win,” Lady Mavericks Coach Mitch Cupples said after his squad left Powell High School’s Jeff Hunter Gymnasium with a hard-fought 77-73 win over the Lady Panthers on Tuesday, Nov. 21.

“If you get a win over there, you don’t ever want to give it back,” he said.

“(Powell) Coach (John) Fisher does such a great job.”

It was an early-season shootout between the Lady Mavericks (3-2) and the young Lady Panthers, who are still in search of their first win of the new season.

Powell (0-3) started fast, opening a 9-4 lead midway through the first quarter — only to see Anderson County storm back to knot the game 14-14 by the end of the opening frame. That quarter saw the two squads combine to knock down 23 long-range jumpers from beyond the three-point arc. ACHS buried 14 three-pointers, while the Lady Panthers converted nine field goals from long range.

In the first half, the Lady Mavs made 11 field goals, including seven from beyond the arc. Macy Basford converted five three-pointers over the inaugural 16 minutes of the game, and scored 17 of her 22 points before halftime in a game that was in stark contrast with ACHS’s November trip to Northwest Knox County last season.

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Dragon wrestlers return with high expectations

Ace Johnson is one of two newcomers joining the Lady Dragons wrestling team for 2023-24. - Amy Strange
Clinton High School’s boys wrestling team will open the 2023-24 season Thursday night when it makes the short trip to Anderson County to grapple with the host Mavericks and Pigeon Forge.

Weigh-ins are at 5:30 p.m. at ACHS as the Dragons will wrestle against the Mavericks and the Tigers, two of its foes in a new region that also features another one of the state’s top Class A teams in Gibbs.

The Dragons have some high expectations under Head Coach Channing McDonald.

“I like to think that I have six kids who can make it to state,” McDonald said.

Clinton has four seniors back who made deep postseason runs in their respective weight classes last year.

They are: Riley Silk, a 152-pounder, who made it to the state championships in Franklin last season; Justice Snyder, who competes in the 120-pound division and made a run to the sectionals in 2022-23; Parker Sanchez, who qualified for the sectionals last season and will spend the campaign competing in the 138-pound weight class); and Caleb Kendall, a 132-pounder who also made an appearance in the sectionals.

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All-region teams, honors named

Anderson County schools well represented in 2023 selections

Nick Moog ACHS, Region 2-4A Most Valuable Player
Region 2-4A

Anderson County High made another deep postseason run in 2023.

The Mavericks, who haven’t lost a region football game in seven years, made it to the Class 4A Quarterfinals and won eight games, playing one of the state’s toughest schedules and battling injuries along the way.

ACHS went 8-5 during the recently completed campaign, winning another Region 2-4A championship. The Mavs had postseason victories over Sullivan East and Elizabethton earlier this month before being eliminated by Greeneville in the playoffs.

The Mavericks, thus, were heavily represented on the All-Region 2-4A team as the league’s coaches acknowledged the accomplishments of the league’s top student-athletes and coaches.

Anderson County’s Nick Moog won Most Valuable Player honors. Eli Nelson was the Defensive Player of the Year. Gracen Bradshaw shared Defensive Lineman of the Year honors with Fulton High’s Vershawn Cash, and Israel Small was named Defensive Specialist of the Year.

On the coaching staff, Mavs’ defensive coordinator Tony Lambert was honored as the Defensive Assistant of the Year, while Jon Chadwell shared was named Co-Offensive Assistant of the Year, along with Gibbs offensive coordinator Tyler Kitts.

All-region players for Anderson County included: Josh Valero (All-Academic Team); Zae Hall; Xavian James; Waylon LaRue; Trent Strickland; Daylon Cole; Cody Miller, Landon Engle; Ty Murphy; Evan Pyatt; Taylor Davis and Riley Wolfenbarger.

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His mentors have guided Aaron Green’s transition from player to coaching success

To say that basketball has been a big part of Aaron Green’s life would be an understatement.

“It’s been pretty much all I’ve known,” said Green, who recently began his 14th season at Oak Ridge High School.

“My dad was a coach. He was my coach at Sweetwater High School and he’s now working with me.

“Basketball has brought me great memories and great success,” he said.

Green’s father, Danny, is now his assistant coach.

When Aaron was at Sweetwater High School, he and his father won a state championship.

After high school, Green got the opportunity to play college basketball in the Southeastern Conference at the University of Tennessee. In Knoxville, Green played for the Volunteers under head coaches Kevin O’Neill and Jerry Green.

He coached at Cleveland High School from 2000-07 before returning to UT to serve as an assistant to Bruce Pearl from 2007-10.

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Longee claims first OR Senior Women’s Table Tennis title

Jinny Longee and Barb Dlouhy played in the Oak Ridge Senior Women’s Table Tennis Tournament champion- ship match. Longee won the championship by defeat- ing Dlouhy in three of five games.
The first Oak Ridge Senior Women’s Table Tennis Tournament was held Friday, Nov. 17.

Eight players from Knoxville, Crossville, Oak Ridge and Kingston competed for the championship.

After a five-game semifinal and a five-game championship match, Jinny Longee emerged as the champion, defeating Barb Dlouhy 11-7, 7-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-9.

Other participants included Nancy Jones, Julia Scruggs, Sharla Zahn, Ruth Gove, Yumiko King, and Linda Rosillo.

Oak Ridge Senior Center has an active table tennis group that meets three times weekly: Tuesdays from 3:30-6:30 p.m., Fridays from 2-4 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The Senior Center is at 1407 Oak Ridge Turnpike, adjacent to the Civic Center.

For more information on table tennis and other offerings visit

Wildcats take second in Dale Burns Basketball Classic

Giles hits double-digits for the Cats in four of five Bahama tournament games

A Thanksgiving trip to the Bahamas proved to be a learning experience for the Oak Ridge High School boys basketball team.

The Wildcats reached Saturday’s championship game of the Dale Burns Basketball Classic, where they came up on the short end of a 45-44 decision against Columbia High School from the Atlanta area.

Oak Ridge (7-1) opened a 20-13 lead in the first quarter of the title tilt, and had a 41-34 advantage just past the midway point of the fourth frame, but the Wildcats let the lead and the game get away.

“Anytime you have a seven-point lead with under four minutes to go and you don’t win, that’s not good,” Oak Ridge Coach Aaron Green said. “But that’s why you try to put your kids in as many situations like that as you can.

“We didn’t rebound well, and our defense wasn’t good,” he said. “We had a couple of lapses and they made some three-pointers, but I think we can definitely learn from it.”

Garrett Giles led Oak Ridge with 13 points against Columbia. Kaden Brightharp added 11, while Ray’Quan Watson and Cooper Williams finished with seven points each for the Wildcats, who led 34-32 at halftime, but scored just 10 points over the final 16 minutes of the contest.

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