Hoops for Hope V produced five winners on the hardwood Saturday at Signal Mountain. But more importantly, six individuals were presented scholarships thanks to the labor of love the event is for the many involved.
Three Signal Mountain students and three GPS students, each of whom has had a parent stricken with breast cancer, received promissory certificates for help with college tuition through the high school basketball competition's beneficiary -- the MaryEllen Locher Foundation Scholarship Fund.
In action, GPS defeated Arts & Sciences 46-33 in the opening game. After Notre Dame's girls beat Red Bank 54-32 in the second game, Baylor's girls earned a 60-27 victory over Soddy-Daisy 60-27 and Signal Mountain's girls defeated South Pittsburg 55-28. Signal Mountain's boys completed the day's play by defeating South Pittsburg 71-35.
"It's been a fun day," Signal Mountain boys' coach Steve Redman said Saturday afternoon even before his team won.
Hoops for Hope was Redman's creation five years ago when he was girls' coach at Red Bank. Last year's event raised a record $10,000 for the local charity.
This year's awarding of six scholarships is the most in Hoops for Hope history. The program has now enabled 15 students to receive scholarship help through its efforts.
"As funds have grown and money has been raised, we've been able to give more scholarships," Foundation administrator Cindy Pare said. "We've been very blessed."
The first three games were similar in that the teams that won got out to leads, watched as their opponents fought back within a possession or two, then they pulled away.
Baylor scored the first 14 points of its game, only to see the Lady Trojans surge within 20-17 late in the first half. The second half (38-9) was a different story.
"We got a little sloppy," Baylor coach John Gibson said of how his team expended its 14-0 start. "We started turning the ball over at the wrong place, up top, and that led to a couple of buckets for them. They got some easy things and started feeling better about themselves.
"The second half we kept it up defensively. You can't press when you don't score, and the second quarter we didn't finish a lot of shots."
Abby Hubert had 10 points in the third quarter and finished with 18 for the Lady Red Raiders. Kaleigh Clemons added 11.
CSAS rallied from a 28-13 halftime deficit and got within 35-32 of GPS when Brooke Mitchell made two free throws with 4:41 to play. But the Bruisers regrouped and behind five points from Akia Harris and four from Kelby Crownover closed with an 11-1 run.
Harris had 14 points for GPS, which made seven of nine free throws in the last 2:46. Crownover and Kara Ware scored 10 apiece.
Keturah Billen's 15 points led the Lady Patriots.
Notre Dame led Red Bank 25-21 with a little more than five minutes to play in the third quarter before pulling away.
Taelor Hill's 22 points paced the Lady Irish. Morgan Cantrell chipped in with 11.
Autumn Babb had 14 points for Red Bank.
Signal Mountain's teams were in control throughout their games with Aryn Sanders's 24 points leading the Lady Eagles and Lannon Sowell's 14 leading the boys. Jack Teter added 13 -- all in the first half -- for the Eagles, and Luis Gutierrez contributed 11.
Contact Kelley Smiddie at email@example.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him at twitter.com/KelleySmiddie.
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.