No. 4 Red Bay upsets No. 1 Belgreen
BELGREEN — The Red Bay boys varsity basketball team has not had a lead on Belgreen in two years. Red Bay has not beat Belgreen in three years. Red Bay has not been to the finals of the Franklin County tournament in four years.
All of those stats are according Red Bay head coach Greg Cash, and thanks to his team’s performance on Thursday night, all three of these data points may now be deleted.
The No. 4 seed Tigers upset the No. 1 Belgreen Bulldogs 61-59 in a stunning match. Belgreen, this year’s county tournament host, was a favorite by many to win the whole thing, but Red Bay unseated them in the second round of the varsity boys’ bracket and in the Bulldogs’ first game at the event.
“It feels good to get a win,” Cash said. “We knew coming in that getting pressure on their players was key. We didn’t do a perfect job tonight, but we limited our turnovers and made plays.”
The Tigers got out to an early 3-2 lead in the first quarter, but it was Belgreen that led 14-12 by the end of the period.
The game would stay close throughout, but Red Bay would only take the lead two more times in the contest.
The first came at the start of the second quarter when the Tigers went up 15-14. The next came in midway through the fourth quarter when Red Bay went up 53-50 on a 3-pointer by Zach Garrett.
Between those two lead changes Belgreen had the lead, but never by more than seven points.
The score was tied four times between the third and fourth quarters, and Red Bay went on a small run in the fourth that gave them a 57-53 advantage, which tied their largest lead of the night.
The Bulldogs then scored four straight to tie the game at 57-57 with just over a minute left to play.
Levi Humphres hit a free throw after a foul that put the Tigers back on top, and another foul shot, this one by Tra Elliott, put them up by two at 59-57.
Red Bay fouled Belgreen next, and Brock Hester was sent to the line. He hit both shots, tying the game once again at 59-59 with one minute left in regulation.
The Tigers made good on their next possession, as Kyle Fuller made what proved to be the game-winning layup.
Belgreen moved the ball to its side of the court before head coach Greg Watson called a timeout to draw up an inbounds play to attempt a tie and force overtime.
The play allowed an open Bulldog player to take a shot, but the field goal banked off the glass and was rebounded by Red Bay, who ran out the clock and picked up the unexpected upset victory.
“Kids love tournaments, and this win helps us build up confidence because we know we beat a good team,” Cash said. “We’ve won our last few games, and you can see the confidence on their faces.”
“Red Bay played really well tonight,” Watson said. “They had a smart game plan, and they outplayed us. It’s hard to play with your third point guard, and how they were trapping us made it difficult.”
The loss of key player Josh DeVaney to a foot injury before the tournament and early foul woes plagued the Bulldogs on the night.
Humphres led Red Bay in scoring on the night with 21 points. He also had seven rebounds.
Michael Ramirez came next with 15 points and post man Barry Reach added 8.
Also scoring for Red Bay were: Bradley Brooks (8), Garrett (3), Fuller (3), Austin Thorn (2) and Elliott (1).
Brock Hester led Belgreen and the game in points with 26. Chase Landers had 12 o the night, and Dakotah Leverett added 8.
Also scoring for the Bulldogs were: Dustin Smith (7), Dakota Davis (3), Nick Miller (2) and Jared Mitchell (1).
Red Bay 62, Vina 27
The Tigers took on fifth-seed Vina in the first round of the 2013 Franklin County tournament Tuesday evening.
Red Bay had a comfortable lead throughout the contest, as the Red Devils remained unable to get anything going on offense.
Ramirez led Red Bay in points that game with 12 and Humphres totaled 10.
Tyler Hammock led Vina in points with 12, Andrew Hester added 8, Hunter Haithcock had 6 and Daniel Wooten contributed 1.
—stats kept by Jeremy Reed and Katelynn Scott