An unselfish brand of basketball led Black Mountain to a 14-0 mark in the regular season. There was no reason to stray from that plan in the final game of the year. All six players that stepped on the floor scored for the the top-seeded Tigers as they held off Rosspoint 38-29 to claim the county fifth- and sixth-grade title.
“At any time, any one of them could break out and have a good game. That is what has made these boys so good this year,” said Black Mountain coach Mark Ward. “There were some games where they came out a little slow, but most of the time they finished strong.”
Alex Pace and Gabe Price combined for Black Mountain’s first 10 points as the Tigers took an early 10-2 lead. Hobert Cornett followed with basket to push it to 12-2, before Rosspoints’s Dalton Johnson hit one-of-two from the line. James Dean closed the first quarter scoring to put the Tigers up 14-3.
Rosspoint hung around throughout the second quarter. A jumper from Garry Henson closed the gap to six with 27 seconds remaining in the half. Jarrett McKenzie then grabbed an offensive rebound and scored with 16 seconds left on the opposite end to make it 20-12 at the break.
“These players have improved as much as any team that I have had. I am proud of them,” said Rosspoint coach Ralph Napier.
The Wildcats continued to close the gap in the third quarter. After a basket by Price made it 26-18, Johnson closed the period with three straight points to cut the deficit to five.
“(Rosspoint) played us tough. I believe that is the best game we have had all year,” Ward said.
Black Mountain quickly erased any thoughts of a comeback, and opened the fourth quarter on a 6-2 run to extend the lead to nine. Johnson made it 32-25 with a basket underneath, but Drake Ward put the game out of reach with a three-point play with 1:20 left.
“Black Mountain has a big, physical and experienced team. They are hard to match up with. That’s why they are undefeated this year,” Napier said.
— — —
Wallins overcame a one-point deficit at the half to pull away for a 51-41 victory over Evarts in the third-place contest.
Jared Hawkins recorded 18 points to pace the Purple Devils.
Josh Burkhart tossed in 17 points to lead Evarts.
— — —
Black Mountain (38) — Gabe Price 6, James Dean 2, Drake Ward 7, Alex Pace 11, Jarrett McKenzie 6, Hobert Cornett 6.
Rosspoint (29) — Josh Turner 3, Matt Brown 2, Hunter Helton 0, Garry Helton 8, Dalton Johnson 16, Chris Brown 0.
— — —
Wallins (51) — Jared Hawkins 18, Taylor Spurlock 9, Elisha Smallwood 5, Ryan Kilgore 10, Tyler Cole 9.
Evarts (41) — Nick Shackleford 8, Josh Burkhart 17, Dylan Burkhart 4, Kobe Burkhart 12.