published Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Ooltewah Owls break into Tennessee state basketball pool at No. 10

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    Ooltewah basketball coach Jesse Nayadley directs his team.
    Photo by Tim Barber.
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If there ever was a good time to enter the state boys' basketball poll, Monday wasn't necessarily that time for Ooltewah.

The Owls (16-2) moved in at No. 10 in Class AAA and tonight they're facing 13-2 Tyner, which is ranked eighth in Class AA but likely irritated after being fourth before losing by a point last week to Howard.

"We have them tomorrow and Bradley Central on Friday. If we can stay ranked after that, we've done pretty well," Ooltewah coach Jesse Nayadley said Monday evening.

Bradley is 14-5 after a 65-60 loss Saturday night at Cookeville.

Although they weren't absolutely certain, Nayadley and Times Free Press preps chief Stephen Hargis believed this is the first time the Owls had gotten into the top 10.

"It seems like a couple of years ago we were getting votes but never got into the top 10," Nayadley said. "It's good. It's a positive thing, and I think it's good for the area and for us. We still have a lot ahead of us and a lot of work to do."

McCallie (14-1) remained top-ranked among Division II boys' teams even after its first loss, 55-52 Saturday to Battle Ground Academy. In the girls' polls, Bradley Central (18-1) dropped inexplicably from fourth to fifth in AAA, McMinn Central (11-4) stayed sixth in AA and GPS (15-3) dropped from first to third in Division II.

Local trio stand out

Three Chattanooga players distinguished themselves at the recent Tennessee-Kentucky football Border Bowl.

Tyner's Chandler Patrick, Signal Mountain's Tim McClendon and Hixson's Clarencio Holmes were named to the postgame Border Bowl team.

Patrick was defensive captain for the state team and intercepted a pass and recorded a half-dozen tackles in Tennessee's 28-24 victory. Fellow linebacker McClendon had a handful of tackles and broke up a couple of passes, according to former Hixson coach Houston White, who was Tennessee's defensive coordinator.

Holmes played mostly running back, picking up 48 yards on nine carries, including a 7-yard touchdown run.

Patrick has been talking with the University of the Cumberlands (where the game was played), Eastern Kentucky and Tusculum, where he's scheduled to visit this weekend. Holmes is talking with Cumberlands, Tuskegee and Eastern Kentucky, and McClendon likely is headed to a junior college, either in Mississippi or at California's College of the Sequoias.

White, by the way, has been asked to coach the "Stump on Sports" Tennessee team for this summer's game against Georgia stars that will be played on Ringgold's new artificial turf.

Area teams 2-3-4

Soddy-Daisy, Baylor and Bradley Central finished second, third and fourth in the Fandetti Brawl wrestling tournament hosted by Science Hill on Friday and Saturday.

Soddy-Daisy had three champions: Gage Richmond (138), Billy Swanson (220) and Alex Seeley (285). Trojans runners-up were Jacob Stevens (120) and Campbell Lewis (132). Turbo Smith was third at 145 and Josh Deckelman was fifth at 126.

Baylor's lone champion was Matthew Cate at 152. Cate now has a record of 36-0. Red Raiders runners-up were Michael Murphy (106), Zach Watson (126) and Spencer Craig (170). Zach Watson suffered his first loss of the year, dropping a 5-1 decision to Northwestern signee Garrison White, a two-time North Carolina state champion.

Heavyweight Patrick Benson, Bradley's top medalist, finished second to Seeley when he injury defaulted. The Bears' other medalists were third-place Dakota Ream (113) and Jacob Bailey (160) and fourth-place Tyler Schuch (152).

Tyner wrestlers win

Tyner won the Mountain Top Invitational wrestling tournament Saturday at St. Andrew's-Sewanee.

DeAngelo James (113 pounds), Ned Piper (138), Tony Walton (145) and Chandler Patrick (220) were individual champions for the Rams. Their runners-up were Delandis White (106), Chase Daughtery (160) and Zach Hutchins (182). Hunter Daughtery (152) finished third and Morgan Mines (132) was fourth.

James earned his fourth outstanding wrestler award of the season. He previously had that honor at Central, Chattanooga Christian and Gordon Lee.

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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