Chatty boys win OT thriller
District playoffs began Friday for Class A and B area schools, while the regular season rolled on just a little longer for teams in Class 2A-4A.
District tournamentsChatty boys edge Grandfield in OT
CHATTANOOGA When it came down to which one of his players stepped up the most, Nick Gable didn't know where to start. The Chattanooga coach just knew the Warriors' season will live on at least another week.
Toby Denny scored 24 points and his three-point play in overtime helped give Chattanooga a 69-66 win over Grandfield in Class B Area III District 8
It was enough to qualify for a mild upset: Chatty came in at 8-15 and lost to Grandfield (9-9) two weeks ago. The Warriors got big performances from Keegan Garrett (19 points) and Payton Howell (14 points).
"We beat a dang good team. Grandfield is super talented," Gable said.
Grandfield guard Jerome Whittington erupted for 28 points and Martin Torres added 13, as four Bearcats scored in double figures. Jermaine White and Trenton Palmer each chipped in 10 points.
But Chatty went 20 of 24 from the foul line and played some of its best defense this season, Gable said.
Grandfield tried a stalling technique after winning the overtime tipoff, but Denny waited patiently for an opportunity to force a turnover. The 6-foot-1 junior plucked a steal, raced for a coast-to-coast layup and was fouled. His three-point play put Chatty ahead for good, as the Warriors held Grandfield without a field goal in overtime.
Chatty's Blake Hine (nine points) hit two free throws with 12 seconds left to make it 69-66. Whittington missed a well-guarded 3-pointer with two seconds left and Chatty secured the rebound.
"(Garrett) did a heck of a job tonight handling the pressure really well, playing good defense and hitting some big timely shots," Gable said. "(Howell) really stepped up in the post."
Chattanooga will play Big Pasture (8-14) at 8 p.m in the finals Saturday. Gable was head coach at Big Pasture for nine years until taking the Chatty job this past offseason.
Fletcher boys stun Sterling in OT
FORT COBB-BROXTON With a flick of the wrist, Carson Funkhouser ended several years of postseason frustration for Fletcher.
Funkhouser caught an inbounds pass with eight-tenths of a second remaining in overtime and made an 8-foot jumper off one foot, giving Fletcher a 55-53 upset victory over Sterling in Class A District 3 at Fort Cobb-Broxton.
Fletcher (5-16) has seen its share of quick playoff exits in recent years. After graduating a crop of talent it's struggled through a tough losing season.
"I ran out onto the court and grabbed (Funkhouser) for a hug," Fletcher coach Darrell Stanley said of his reaction to the shot. "This was a monster game for us, just to get to regionals."
Sterling (18-7) had won 14 of its past 15 games and was a logical favorite. The Tigers jumped out to a 14-5 lead in the first quarter and led 26-19 at halftime.
But Fletcher, behind Hunter Stanley's game-high 29 points, slowly chipped into the lead and actually grabbed a lead in the fourth quarter before heading to OT.
Stanley hit a layup with 13 seconds left in OT to push Fletcher up 53-51, but Sterling came right back with a basket.