Saturday night was Senior Night in Roy Sewell Gymnasium. Both teams won big and had a great senior night. Sparta faced off with McMinn Central out of Athens.
McMinn County won the tip but missed their first shot. Mia Murray grabbed the rebound and advanced it up to Gracie Dodgen for a layup within the first 20 seconds. Addison Frazier stole the ball, and Murray grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled going up. She went 1/2 from the line. McMinn County scored 2 around 6:43. The Warriorettes scored the next 9 points. The Lady Cherokees were fouled on the 3-point line, made it, and completed a four-point play. The score was 12-6, with 3:20 left in the first. McMinn missed a shot, and Dodgen grabbed the rebound. She dribbled down the floor and passed it to Murray for a layup. Nia Powers stole it, and then it was hit out of bounds by McMinn. Off the inbound, Powers was fouled and completed both of her free throws. The Lady Cherokees score another two points. The Warriorettes went on another run, scoring 7 this time and caused a McMinn timeout, with 46.4 left. After the timeout, Powers scored 2 to close out the first quarter 25-8.
McMinn possessed the ball to start the second quarter but missed another scoring opportunity. Dodgen got the ball and drove to the rim. She scooped it and made the basket for 2. A minute later, McMinn made another bucket. Shortly after, Dodgen shot-faked and scored 2 more. Celeste Reed stole the ball and missed but got her rebound and kicked it to Morgan Quick for a 3. The score was 32-10. McMinn scored 2 more off an inbound play. About 50 seconds later, Stiles drove to the rim, and a foul was called on the floor. She shot one-and-one and made both. The next okay, Dodgen hit another 3 in transition. A little bit later, Murray stole the ball and passed up to Stiles for 2 more points. The Lady Cherokees got fouled and made both shots off a one-and-one. Dodgen made a 3, and Rittenberry made a jumper right after. With 1:20 left in the half, Rittenberry fouled McMinn, and they went 2/2. Right after, they made a 3 to bring the score up 44-19. Around 34.2, Brown got her own offensive rebound and finished it. McMinn scored another two, and Dodgen closed out the half with a 3.
The Warriorettes got the ball to start the third, and Dodgen drained a 3. Forty-five seconds later, Stiles was fouled and went 1/2 from the line. McMinn was also fouled and went 1/2. A jump ball gave Sparta the possession back, and Murray stripped a 3. Frazier stole the ball and passed it up to Dodgen for a transition layup. With 4:23 to go, Powers made a wide open 2. A minute later, McMinn scored 2 free throws, and soon after scored two more. Under two minutes, McMinn put in two more free throws. Rittenberry scored the last 5 points of the quarter. She was fouled and went 2/2 at the line, then made a 3 on the next play. The Warriorettes went into the fourth winning 65-28.
Sparta possessed the ball again but didn’t score until 52 seconds in, and K.K. McDonald knocked down a 3. After a few plays, McMinn made another bucket. They were also fouled on the next play and went 1/2. They also made the next three points, and Karley Frazier got fouled on a drive and made both free throws. This finished the game for the Warriorettes, winning 70-34.
The boys had a similar game. They won the tip, and Tanner Paul scored within the first four seconds. McMinn turned the ball over, and Grant Slatten answered with back-to-back dunks. The last dunk drew a technical foul against Slatten, but McMinn missed both foul shots. The Warriors turned the ball over, though, and McMinn made a layup. They also scored off an offensive rebound. Slatten was fouled and went 2/2. McMinn went the other way and scored 2. Slatten was fouled again and went 2/2, and McMinn took the ball down and scored 2 as well. Halfway through, Japheth Richmond finished an offensive rebound, allowing the Warriors to take a 12-8 lead. A few traded possessions led to Richmond finishing another offensive rebound. McMinn got fouled, and the ball was placed on the sideline. They got the ball in and scored a 3. Jake Davis was fouled as a one-and-one. He got to the line and made both of them. The Indians tipped an offensive rebound into their goal. On the other end, Davis sank a 3. McMinn also made a 3 on their end off an inbounds play. The Warriors were up 19-16 and called a timeout with 2:23 left. After the timeout, Slatten was fouled and made both. Tanner Paul stole the ball, dribbled down, and passed to Slatten for the completed And1 of a two-on-one. The Cherokees inbounded the ball and scored 2. Both teams traded baskets, and the score increased to 29-22, with less than 50 seconds. Sparta inbounded the ball, and Slatten made an elevated shot in the paint. The Indians turned it over, and Thomas Paul drove down the lane for 2, with three seconds left to end the first at 33-22.
McMinn had the ball to start the second and scored 2. A charge was called on Thomas Paul, so McMinn got the ball back. They went down and knocked in a 3, making it a six-point game. Tanner Paul made the next six points before McMinn made another 3. Thomas Brock made a trip to the line and went 2/2. McMinn fouled and sent Tanner Paul to the line where he went 1/2. Thomas Paul scored 2 on the next play, with 3:54 remaining in the half. McMinn fouled again and sent Slatten to the line 2/2. The Warriors were up 46-30, and a charge was called on McMinn, giving the ball back to the Warriors. Tanner Paul scored two more points. He also shot again and missed, but Brock tipped it in. McMinn called a timeout as the score was 50-30. After the timeout, the Cherokees scored 2. Around 2:16, Slatten shot a deep 3 but missed. He grabbed his own rebound and drove for 2. McMinn scored the next 7 points, including an And1. Sparta called a timeout, and the score was 52-39. After the timeout, Tanner Paul was fouled again and went 2/2. With 0.7 seconds left on the clock, McMinn got fouled and made both free throws. This ended the half at 54-41.
The Warriors possessed the ball starting the third but turned it over. McMinn went the other way and made a 3. Both teams traded baskets: Slatten 2, McMinn 2, Davis 3, McMinn 3, and Tanner Paul dunked it. Davis took a charge, which allowed the Warriors to get the ball back. Tanner Paul then hit Slatten on a cut for 2. Shortly after, Daniel Gentry made a 3 from the wing. Cameron Stephens stole the ball and advanced it up to Slatten for 2 more. McMinn called a timeout, with 4:02 left in the third and the Warriors winning 68-49. After the timeout, McMinn scored 2, but Davis made a 3 on the other end. Slatten got fouled as he shot a 3, but the shot didn’t fall. He was sent to the line and went 3/3. Tanner Paul stole it and advanced it up to Slatten for another dunk. After getting two offensive rebounds, the Cherokees got an And1 and completed it. Around 2:30, Slatten dribbled down and pulled a 3. The Warriors led 79-54. McMinn turned it over, so Slatten threw it up to Tanner Paul for a layup. McMinn made a 3 and called a timeout, with 2:02 to go. Tanner Paul drove to the rim and got fouled, making both. The Indians scored 2 more and ended the quarter 83-59.
In the fourth quarter, McMinn had the ball and scored 2 right away. Thirty seconds in, Richmond scored 2 as well for the Warriors. Still a minute in, McMinn gets sent to the foul line and makes both. They also make a 3 soon after. Around 6:15, Slatten made back-to-back buckets. McMinn called a timeout, with 5:52 left and trailing 89-66. After the timeout, Thomas Paul drained a 3. McMinn went the other way and made a layup. Richmond scored two more for the Warriors. Tanner Paul stole in and dunked it. Back-to-back fouls kept McMinn at the line, going 2/4. Brock sank a 3 for Sparta, with 3:07 to go. Another foul on the Warriors led to McMinn going 2/2 at the line. Thomas Paul scored the next 4 points. McMinn got fouled again and went 2/2. Thomas Paul scored again. Another foul on the Warriors, and McMinn went 1/2 from the line. Christian Henderson crossed over and created enough space for him to shoot and make a jump shot. McMinn got fouled again and went 0/2, but a lane violation on the Warriors gave them another free throw, and they made it. Thomas Paul got fouled on the other end and went 2/2. McMinn knocked the ball out, so the Warriors got it back and held it for about 20 seconds until the clock ran out. The Warriors won 107-76.