Eagles Get Wins over Halls & Wartburg in Tournament
Harriman, TN — The Rhea County High School basketball team picked up two wins in the Jim Cordell Christmas Tournament on Thursday and Friday. Nice Christmas gifts at end of the year. Now the Eagles earned the wins, but still a two game winning streak is a good momentum builder going into 2019.
In both games the dynamic duo of Laws and Guthrie continued to lead the way for Rhea County. In the first game against Halls Guthrie and Laws combined for 46 of the 59 points for the Eagles with 26 points each in the 59-53 win. Eagles opened with 20-14 advantage in first quarter and won second and third quarters for 42-34 advantage going into fourth and held on as Halls won fourth quarter 19-17 for the win.
In the Friday night game against Halls, it was close game early until Eagles pulled away at end of quarter with 7-0 run to push 13-11 advantage to 20-11 over last two minutes of quarter. Guthrie had six points to lead the Eagles in first quarter.
The second quarter saw that margin shrink to 28-23 with a 12-8 advantage for Bulldogs, fueled by good full court defense by Wartburg. Rhea County came out with good energy to start third quarter and pushed the five point lead to twelve at 35-23 with 5 minutes left in third quarter. Eagles pushed lead to fourteen at 42-28 with 2:32 left in third quarter before the Bulldogs used a run of their own(11-4) over the last couple of minutes to stay close at 46-38 after three quarters.
In the fourth the Bulldogs continued their run to close within 46-44 early in 4th(7:28). The double digit lead the Eagles had enjoyed remained slim(2-6 points) down the stretch as Bulldogs matched Eagles but could never quite pull even. A Laws basket with 2:16 pushed the lead to 57-51 with 2:16 left but Bulldogs did not go away. Eagles looked good at 62-56 with 39 ticks left on clock before two Bulldog free throws pulled Wartburg within 62-60 with 13.9 seconds on clock. Cameron Thunquist and Drake Taylor went 4-4 from line down the stretch to hold Wartburg at bay and give Eagles 66-62 win.
Kaleb Laws was the man in second half with 15 of his 20 points in the second half. Laws and Guthrie led the way with 20 and 14 points respectively and Laws and Guthrie led the way on the boards with 10 and 9 rebounds. Also scoring for Eagles were Harveston 7, Thunquist 6(7 rebounds), Vincent 5, Taylor 9, Palmerino 5.
The Eagles can now enjoy their two game win streak as they enjoy the rest of the holiday break before returning to action on January 4th at home against Cumberland County and look to exact some revenge for earlier one point loss to Jets at Cumberland County 41-40. They follow that up with January 7th game at Hixson and win a couple of wins, the streak could continue to grow. Eagles then begin district play with home games against Cookeville, Stone and Warren on January 11,15 and 18.