Ooltewah wasted little time assuring itself a spot in the Best of Preps tournament semifinals.
The Owls never trailed and used an early 7-0 run in just over a minute to take control in Thursday's final game at Chattanooga State, cruising to a 76-55 win over North Jackson.
Six players scored for Ooltewah in the first quarter, and the Owls converted all but one of the Chiefs' seven first-period turnovers into points to build a 19-point lead.
"We had been sitting for about four hours waiting to play, so it was very important that we came out fast, got our legs under us and built a good lead," Owls coach Jesse Nayadley said. "We got after them pretty good in the first quarter and I don't know that we played very well after that, but we had gotten enough of a lead that we were in good shape."
Things were going so well for Ooltewah early on that Jaqueze Robinson banked in a 3-pointer from deep in the right corner, pushing the Owls' lead to double digits. They never let it dip to single digits again as they continued to pull away.
Antonio Jackson led all scorers with 18 points for Ooltewah, which will play McCallie in today's semifinals.
Ben Snider added 11 points for the Owls, while Seth Rowe and Andrew Kirk had 13 and 10 for the Chiefs.
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 20 years, starting at the News-Free Press as a 19-year-old reporter. He has been with the Times Free Press since its inception and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers in the nation ...