McCallie didn't have a 14-0 run Thursday against Red Bank like it did against Cleveland on Wednesday. The Blue Tornado could only muster a 13-0 run, but they did it twice -- and before halftime.
McCallie's ability to score in bunches, while the Lions weren't scoring at all, led to a 22-point halftime advantage on the way to a 73-55 victory in a semifinal in the Times Free Press Best of Preps basketball tournament at Arts & Sciences.
McCallie (10-0) will play Tyner (10-0) in tonight's boys' final at about 8:30 p.m.
"The kids started talking about this since last year when we got put out," Blue Tornado coach Dan Wadley said of playing for the tournament title, denied by a three-point loss to Red Bank in a semifinal last season. "Our kids are wanting it. Our seniors want it."
McCallie's first big outburst began with the Lions leading 8-3. Starting with a 3-pointer, guard Cordell James had seven points in succession in the middle of that run that led to an eight-point Tornado lead.
"They've got some disciplined guards that listen and follow direction pretty much all the time," Red Bank coach Corey Lazenby said. "That's the only way you can maintain tempo."
Post player Terrance O'Donohue had six points, including a steal and dunk, in the second 13-0 run that made the score 37-14.
"We talk a lot about stop, score, stop," Wadley said. "That's how you build a lead. We've been fortunate this year with the personel we have, if we can get a team mentally tired, for two minutes or so we can make that thing mushroom up."
Twenty-four points was the Blue Tornado's largest lead, the second and last time at 50-26.
The Lions finished the third quarter strong, and by the time Fred Matthews made the first two baskets of the fourth, they had the deficit down to 56-44. But they got no closer.
Niquia McDuffie had a brief hot streak and made four field goals in a short span in the third quarter on the way to his 18 points. Red Bank (5-6) scored 21 points in the third quarter, 19 in the first half.
"We finally started getting our feet under us and started taking it to them. We wanted to try to get them in foul trouble and get their shot blocker out of the picture," Lazenby said of O'Donohue, whose 16 points for McCallie were second only to James' 18. "We started getting our quick guards to penetrate and dish."
Jamal Calvin's 12 points provided scoring support for the Blue Tornado.
Matthews finished with 13 for Red Bank.
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.