By Dorothy Copus Brush
The Cumberland County High School Jets finished the Sun Drop Romp with a 2-1 mark over the weekend to see their record to go to 7-8 and prepare for this weekend's Nera White Classic in LaFayette, TN.
The Jets opened play Thursday at 6 p.m. against Jackson County, with play continuing Friday and Saturday, before opening District 6AAA play Jan. 4 at home against Cookeville.
Other first round games were Lancaster Christian vs. Red Boiling Springs, Obion County vs. Westmoreland, Trousdale County vs. Macon County, according to the Nashville Tennessean.
CCHS 55, Rhea County 51: For the second time in a week, the Jets defeated the Golden Eagles, this time 55-51 in the consolation round of the Sun Drop Romp at Warren County High School Dec. 21.
Leading the Jets were Diego Poore (eight points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal), Dylan Qualls (13 points, two rebounds), J.J. Miller (three rebounds, two assists, one steal), Tanner Christopher (two points), Austin Brown (two rebounds, two steals), Alex Dixon (two points, one rebound, one assist), Tayler Houston (14 points, two rebounds, three assists, two steals), Cade Smith (one rebound, one steal), Logan Parsons (11 points, two steals) and Cameron O'Rourke (four points, 10 rebounds, one steal).
Nick McWhertor led the Golden Eagles with 22 points.
The Jets built a two-point lead twice in the first quarter, before the Golden Eagles rallied for a 9-8 advantage with 1:50 left remaining. A layup by Poore helped CCHS finish the quarter with a 4-2 run for a 12-11 lead.
Rhea County tied the game at 17-17 with 4:55 left in the half, but a layup by Qualls helped the Jets finish the quarter with a 12-10 spurt to take a 29-27 lead at the break.
Qualls scored five third-quarter points to help the Jets take a 39-35 lead with under 2:30 left in the stanza, but a three-point play by Demetrius Patterson triggered a 7-0 run to give the Golden Eagles a 42-39 advantage.
Qualls left the game late in the third quarter with an injury and did not return.
CCHS opened the fourth quarter with a 6-0 run to take a 45-42 advantage and finished the game with a 10-9 run for the final margin of 55-51.
The Jets were 19 of 47 from the field and 14 of 21 from the charity stripe with nine turnovers, while holding the Golden Eagles to 21 of 36 from the field and five of nine from the charity stripe with 22 miscues.
CCHS 68, Hixson 51: "We played good. It was a team effort. They have a Division I prospect in D'Montra Smith," said Coach Will Foster.
The Jets were 25 of 52 from the field and six of seven for free throws with 21 asissts, 21 rebounds, 13 steals and nine turnovers, while holding the Wildcats to 21 of 40 from the field with 17 turnovers.
Leading the assault were Jon Elmore, Poore (14 points, two rebounds, five assists, three steals), Brian Young, Miller (12 points, six rebounds, three assists), Christopher, Brown (two assists), Alex Dixon, Houston (14 points, two rebounds, five assists, one steal), Smith (three points, one steal), Brandon Moore (one rebound), Ross Martin, Parsons (22 points, seven rebounds, five assists, five steals), O'Rourke (two points, four rebounds, one assist, two steals) and Ty Tabor (one point, one steal).
The Jets opened the game with an 8-0 run, but the Wildcats finished the quarter with a 9-6 run on the strength of Smith's six points. CCHS was four of 12 from the field, while Hixson was four of 10 with five turnovers.
CCHS hit 11 of 19 from the field in the second quarter to outscore the Wildcats 20-13 for a 42-22 lead at the break, minus Qualls who sat out the game with an injury.
Parsons had eight points for the Jets, while Poore and Miller added seven markers. The Jets held Hixson to five of nine from the field with seven turnovers.
Hixson opened the third quarter with a 9-0 run to slice the Jets' lead to 42-31, but Houston buried a trey with 4:15 left to stop bleeding. He and his teammates would finish the quarter with a 10-8 run for a 55-39 lead.
The Jets outscored the Wildcats by the narrowest of margins, one point (13-12), to secure the victory and earn fifth place in the tournament.
Monterey 65, CCHS 54: After one of the better games of the season earlier in the day Saturday, the Jets had one of their poorer performances in the loss to Monterey at Morrison Elementary School.
Houston led the Jets with 32 points, one rebound and two steals, followed by Elmore (one rebound, one assist), Poore (three points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals), Miller (two points, 11 rebounds, four assists, four steals), Christopher, Brown (two points, four rebounds, two steals), Dixon (two points, three rebounds), Smith, Moore (one steal), Martin, Parsons (11 points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals), O'Rourke (two points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal) and Tabor.
A Parsons layup on an assist and steal from O'Rourke gave the Jets a 2-0 lead, but Monterey finished the quarter with a 10-6 run for a 10-8 advantage by quarter's end. The Jets were three of 15 from the field with three turnovers, while Monterey was four of 12 from the floor with four turnovers.
CCHS opened the second quarter with an 8-0 run to take a 16-10 lead. Houston had two of his eight three-points in the spurt.
Jared Phillips converted the second of two free throws with 5:13 left in the half to trigger a 20-5 run to give Monterey a 30-21 lead at the break. CCHS was four of 11 from the field with 11 turnovers, while Monterey was eight of 13 from the field with five turnovers.
Monterey stretched the lead to 34-21 early in the third quarter, but a trey by Houston triggered an 8-0 run to slice the deficit to 34-29 with 4:15 left in the third quarter.
CCHS cut the lead to 41-38 with 15.7 seconds left in the quarter, but a layup by Austin Ealey made the score 43-38.
Monterey opened the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run for a 51-38 lead, but a Parsons trey helped CCHS finish the game with a 16-14 spurt for the final margin of 65-45.
CCHS was 16 of 61 from the field and 13 of 17 from the charity stripe with 32 rebounds, 10 assists and 21 turnovers, while Monterey was 25 of 50 from the field and 15 of 20 from the charity stripe with 18 turnovers.
•Coach Radhika Miller's Lady Jets are in Dover, TN, for the first Stewart County Christmas Classic. CCHS played Clarksville NW at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, followed by South Fulton Friday at 3 p.m. and Clarksville noon on Saturday.
The Lady Jets will host Cookeville to open District 6AAA play Jan. 4.