Locust Fork takes three of four county titles



Locust Fork’s Kristen Cox drives past the Hayden defense.

Locust Fork’s Kristen Cox drives past the Hayden defense.

Locust Fork’s Todd Goodwin hit a 15-foot jump shot in the closing seconds for the winning points as the Locust Fork Hornets upset the top-seeded Cleveland Panthers 53-51 in the finals of the varsity boys division of the Blount County Tournament.

Locust Fork’s win brought an end to two weeks of basketball at Appalachian High School.

The final tally of the two weeks of tournaments has Locust Fork as the county champion in four of the six divisions – junior high girls, B-Team girls, varsity girls, and varsity boys. Hayden won the junior high boys and J.B. Pennington won the B-Team boys. Varsity Boys Locust Fork 53, Cleveland 51

Hornet guard Todd Goodwin launches the game-winning shot.

Hornet guard Todd Goodwin launches the game-winning shot.

The top-seeded Panthers controlled things early.

Cleveland led 12-8 after one quarter and outscored the Hornets 19-14 in the second quarter to take a 31-22 lead at the half.

However, the third quarter ultimately proved to be the difference. The Hornets dialed up the pressure on the defensive end and limited the Panthers to just eight points in the quarter. On the offensive end, the Hornets began to find openings in the Panther defense and put up 19 points in the quarter to take a 41-39 lead to the final eight minutes.

In the fourth quarter, Cleveland was able to take the lead but could never pull away from the Hornets.

The game was tied 51-51 when Goodwin got free to launch the winning shot with just two seconds left on the clock.

Cleveland (18-5) got 13 points and 12 rebounds from Emanuel Terry. Micah Collum had eight points and eight rebounds and Trevor Yates chipped in seven points.

Locust Fork (10-14) got a game-high 20 points from Jacob Hancock. Kyle Hornbuckle added 12 points and nine rebounds. Kolby Meacham chipped in 10 points.

Hornbuckle, who was named MVP of the tournament, went over the 1000-point mark in his career during the game. Varsity Girls Locust Fork 64, Hayden 32

The top-seeded Lady Hornets came out firing. Locust Fork rolled up 19 points in the first quarter and 18 more in the second to take a commanding 37-13 lead at the half.

Hayden fought back a bit in the third quarter, outscoring Locust Fork 18-15 in the quarter to cut the lead to 42- 29 headed to the fourth. However, the Lady Hornets ended any thoughts of a Hayden comeback with a quick 6-0 run to start the fourth quarter and never looked back.

Hayden (19-6) got 11 points and 13 rebounds from Katie Parr but no other Lady Wildcat managed more than Sharley Miller’s six points.

Locust Fork (16-7) got 19 points, six rebounds, five assists, and five steals from Kristen Cox. Kasi McMillian had 16 points and eight rebounds.

Cox was the tournament MVP. B-Team Boys J.B. Pennington 46, Locust Fork 35

The third-seeded Tigers trailed the top-seeded Hornets 7-6 after one quarter.

However, the Tigers outscored the Hornets 15-11 in the second quarter and never looked back.

Pennington led 29-23 after three quarters and outscored the Hornets 17-12 in the fourth quarter to pull away for the win.

Locust Fork got 10 points from Micah Stephens and eight points from Nick Long.

J.B. Pennington was led by Christian Baker’s gamehigh

20 points. Weston Jones had 12 points and Jon Paul Ogle added nine points.

Baker was the tournament MVP. B-Team Girls Locust Fork 40, Cleveland 27

The top-seeded Lady Hornets led 6-2 after one quarter and outscored the Lady Panthers 15-7 in the second quarter to build a 21-9 halftime lead.

Cleveland answered in the third quarter, outscoring Locust Fork 12-10 and trailed just 31-21 after three quarters.

The Lady Panthers could get no closer, however, as Locust Fork outscored Cleveland 9-6 in the final period.

Hitzelt Lemus led Cleveland with 13 points.

Locust Fork (18-1) got 13 points, four rebounds, and four steals from Madison Cater. Carissa Horton added eight points and Mersadys Palmer chipped in six points.

Cater was the tournament MVP.