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Boone defeats University High to win Hardee's Classic

Jeff Birchfield • Nov 24, 2018 at 10:36 PM

With a combination of lock-down defense and Chad Heglar’s hot hand, Daniel Boone won its first-ever Hardee's Classic championship on Saturday night.

The Trailblazers held University High to 21 first-half points and rolled to a 62-46 win in the championship game of the 29th annual basketball tournament at David Crockett High School.

With host Crockett beating Volunteer earlier in the evening, Washington County schools finished 1-2-3 in the tournament.

Tournament MVP Heglar led the way, hitting 11 of 13 shots from the field for 27 points to go with 11 rebounds and two blocked shots. He had scoring totals of 51 and 17 in the first two games for an average of 31.6 points over three games.

"This is the first time for Boone to get to the championship game, so we had to capitalize," Heglar said. "We slowed it down. When their big man was coming up, we would always 'iso,' and we played our style of basketball. We have a lot of depth on this team this year."

That depth included Judah Hilton with eight points and Derek Percell with seven, while Boone coach Chris Brown also talked about the defensive contributions of Zac Saul, Cade Norris and others.

The 'Blazers never let the Bucs get on track, going up by 16 in the second quarter before leading 32-21 at the half. It was 50-31 at the end of three quarters and the lead was up to 58-36 midway through the fourth.

Boone won the rebounding battle 41-23 and employed a defensive strategy focused on closing the gaps and cutting off the passing lanes.

"We focused on really getting after them," Brown said. "We had to get in passing lanes and be real active with our hands and feet. Defensively, I thought it was our best performance of the year. We wanted to be aggressive, take away their driving lanes and get them off the 3-point line. We talk about wanting to impose our style on people and once we got up, I thought we controlled the game tonight."

Kaleb Meredith scored 14 points and Colin Daniel had 13 to lead the Bucs. Jake Hubbard and Marshall Fleenor each finished with seven points. University High had advanced to the title game by beating a pair of five-time Hardee's champions, David Crockett and Unicoi County, earlier in the tournament.

"We learned a lot about ourselves last night and tonight didn't go our way," University High coach Justin Penley said. "We had good shots. We just didn't knock them down. That's just the game of basketball. It happens that way sometimes. But it was a good tournament overall and we get in these types of tournaments to challenge the kids."

David Crockett 76, Volunteer 39

Ayden Begley hit six shots from 3-point range in a 22-point performance to lead the Pioneers' victory over the Falcons for third-place honors.

"It feels great when it's like that. You know it's going in when you shoot it," Begley said. "After last night's game, I just went home, got some rest and got focused."

Mack Hensley had focus with 12 points and Donta Hackler scored 10 as the Pioneers pulled out to a 47-20 lead at the half. All total, 11 players scored for Crockett.

"I thought our kids were unselfish and they shared the basketball," Crockett coach John Good said. "You hit some shots and it's funny how everything else works. You miss shots and it saps the daylight out of you. You hit some and it pumps you up."

Brody Hunley had seven points and Dakota Hicks scored six to lead Volunteer.

South-Doyle 64, Unicoi County 55

Mason Brang finished with a game-high 16 points to lead the Cherokees over the Blue Devils in the fifth-place game.

Cleophus Smith came through with 14 points and Quentin Carr added 14 in the South-Doyle victory.

Brett Lingerfelt scored 14 to lead Unicoi County, which led 28-27 at the half. Ty Thelen and Danny Lowery each finished with nine for the Blue Devils.

Sullivan South 72, Claiborne 60

The Rebels jumped out to a 27-14 lead at the first quarter and controlled the action against the Bulldogs.

Chase Bowery paced South with 18 points, followed by Gannon Chase netting 15. Ben Diamond contributed 13 points and Gavin Rader added eight.

Jacob Williams scored 17 and Kade Beeler netted 16 to lead Claiborne.

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