PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONOR ROLL
Bradley Central: Hunter Chastain averaged 15 points and Bryce Copeland averaged 13 points and three steals in two victories.
McCallie: Cordell James scored 21 first-half points in the Blue Tornado’s only game, a victory over Grace Academy.
Red Bank: Barry Maddox averaged 20.5 points and nine assists last week.
Van Buren County: Sheldon Hitchcock hit 17 3-pointers and averaged 24.7 points as Van Buren went 3-0 for the week.
Whitwell: Clay Easterly averaged 19 points, eight rebounds, 4.5 assists and 4.5 steals in a pair of overtime losses.
There are no dreams of district-tournament championships or state-tournament appearances for the Brainerd girls’ basketball team this season. The Lady Panthers are in a one-year ban following a fight last year against Howard.
But that’s not stopping them, particularly Tiara Boston, from running roughshod over everybody who is in their way.
The team went 3-0 last week, defeating Central, Tyner and Cedar Grove (Ga.) by an average of 44 points. Boston averaged 24 points in those wins and is the Times Free Press player of the week. She went over the 1,000-point career mark in Friday’s win over Tyner.
The Lady Panthers are 15-4 this season and undefeated in District 6-AA.
Asked if they were playing with a chip on their shoulder, coach Carolyn Jackson said, “I don’t think it’s a chip. Of course the girls were disappointed when the sentence was handed down; they didn’t understand why the whole team was being penalized when they didn’t leave the bench area. They’re over it, though. They just want to play well.”
Boston was a first-team Best of Preps selection last season after averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds per contest. Those stats are up to 22 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals, using her size and versatility to create matchup problems.
“She’s really fulfilled everything we’ve asked her to do,” Jackson said. “She’s not a selfish player and she gets the ball to other players that can score, but she’s completely taken over when we’ve needed to, and the rest of the team has been able to respond.
“Tiara has a big body, and she can play anywhere from the 1 to the 4, depending on who we’re playing and how they set up against her.”
Boston will be needed in a variety of ways Tuesday night, when the Lady Panthers battle East Hamilton. A win would all but seal the regular-season district championship for Brainerd, which falls right in with the team’s plans.
“We would be happy. It would show that our team was up for all types of challenges,” Jackson said. “Their heads never went down, and everything I’ve asked they’ve done. Tiara had a great week for us, but she’s done what I’ve wanted — to be a team leader, play up to her potential and do what she’s supposed to do on the court, whatever we need that to be.”