Lady Bulldogs and Eagles take junior high championships

Blount County Schools crowned two champions last Thursday. Susan Moore’s junior high girls and Appalachian’s junior high boys came away as champions of the 2021 Blount County Basketball Tournament.

Susan Moore faced the Hayden Wildcats in the girls’ championship game at Cleveland. Hayden took the early lead, but the Lady Bulldogs’ 11-0 run to start the second quarter changed the momentum. Susan Moore went into halftime with a 31- 18 lead. The Lady Bulldogs continued to pull away in the second half for a decisive 57-30 victory.

J.B. Pennington hosted the boys’ championship featuring the Appalachian Eagles and Hayden Wildcats. Hayden started strong, but the Eagles kept it close. The Wildcats went into halftime with a two-point 20-18 advantage. The Eagles came out of the break with a 7-0 run giving them a 25-20 lead heading into the final quarter. They held on for a 36-28 final.

Appalachian’s Sean Curtis and Susan Moore’s Lani Smallwood were named MVPs. Also named to the all tournament teams were: Junior high boys

Appalachian: Sean Curtis (MVP), Andrew Cooper, Cayden Whittington, Abraham Mena, Tucker Hyatt. Hayden: Owen Grill, Jackson Pruett, Carson Purkey. J.B. Pennington: J.J. Ortiz, Coy Weems. Cleveland: Brooks Dawson, Gavin Spencer. Susan Moore: Corbin Hamrick. Locust Fork: Dylan Embry. Southeastern: Brian Soto. Junior high girls

Susan Moore: Lani Smallwood (MVP), Cesa Hernandez, Haylee Benefield, Tamia Woody, Ally Holland. Hayden: Ruby Fallin, Lanei McDanal, Crislyn Chappell. J.B. Pennington: Summer Hawkins, Kylee Weems. Locust Fork: Harlie Horn, Ava Hancock. Appalachian: Nora Driggers. Southeastern: Emeille Hamilton. Cleveland: Jasmine Sosa.