Macon County High School hosted the Nera White Christmas Tournament at the end of December. It was an all-boys basketball tournament with high school teams from Wilson Central, Trousdale County, Jackson County, Westmoreland, Portland, Obion County, Macon County and Red Boiling Springs participating. The tournament began the day after Christmas, on December 26th. Macon County played Wilson Central and Red Boiling Springs played Westmoreland. Both teams lost the first games of the tournament, but won the second and then played each other for the third.
12/26 Macon County v Wilson Central 61-87
The Tigers lost the first game of the Nera White tournament to Wilson Central 61-87. They put 16 points on the board in the first quarter, 10 in the second, 19 in the third, and 16 in the fourth. They started strong, played hard through the end of the second quarter but seemed to lose steam in the second half of the game. Coming off a busy schedule that included a game on December 17th against Clay County, which they won 58-44, and a three-day tournament in Gatlinburg,Tennessee on December 19, 20 and 21, in which they came in second, winning two of the three tournament games, they were undoubtedly tired after only a four day break that included Christmas. On December 26th, the Tigers let up only a little. They made 20 of 38 two-point shots, 5 of 14 three-point attempts and 6 of 8 free-throws. #20 Evan Perrigo made 23 points in the game. #25 Trace McPherson made 4. #23 Peyton Clark and #53 Travis Eller made 2 each. #44 Dillon McCormick and #10 Michael Ashburn each made 8. #12 Alex Hill made 3 points. #32 Clay Carnahan made 4. And #11 Tyler Carlisle made 7.
12/27 Macon County v Trousdale County 70-51
The Tigers won the second game of the tournament 70-51 against Trousdale County. Coach Jason Welch said: “Everyone played well. It was a good game. Everybody got to play. It was slow the first half, and then at half-time we decided we were going to pick up our intensity, share the ball a little better. We wanted to be aggressive, put the ball where it needed to go. We did and the team did better in the second half. Dillon McCormick had 14 in the second half. The guards handled the ball better. We got the right position. We had 18 assists for the game - which is a bunch, so I’m pleased. Got us to win #5 so we’re happy with that and trying to get one more on Saturday.”
The tigers made 11 points in the first quarter and 17 in the second. After a half-time strategy session with their coach, they came back with 20 points in the third quarter and 22 in the fourth. #44 Dillon McCormick was the top-scorer with 14 points. #20 Evan Perrigo had 6. #25 Trace McPherson had 9. #23 Peyton Clark had 3. #30 Mayson Shrum had 7. #10 Michael Ashburn had 5. #33 Kenderick Carter also had 5. #12 Alex Hill had 4. With two 3’s in the fourth quarter, #32 Clay Carnahan had 6. #24 Nick Hill had 3. And #11 Tyler Carlisle had 8.
12/26 Red Boiling Springs v Westmoreland 32-46
The Bulldogs lost their first game in the tournament 32-46 against Westmoreland. They made a good stand against Westmoreland and one of the Westmoreland players broke his hand in the fast-moving, hard-played game, but the Dawgs didn’t have their usual offensive strategy in play, at least in the first half of the game. In the second half, their defensive strategy lost momentum. They put 9 points on the board in the first quarter, 5 in the second, 6 in the third and 12 in the fourth. #12 Brince Crouch was the top scorer for the Bulldogs. He made 15 points in the game. #11 Zane Roberts made 5. #25 Nick Deckard made 4. #15 Alex Mullinix made 6. #23 Ty Tuck made 2.
12/27 Red Boiling Springs v Portland 48-33
The Bulldogs won their second tournament game 48-33 against Portland. They put 12 points on the board in the first quarter, 8 in the second 11 in the third and 17 in the fourth. #12 Brince Crouch made 21 points in the game. #25 Nick Deckard and #15 Alex Mullinix each made 7. #23 Ty Tuck made 9. #11 Zane Roberts made 4. It was a great game and the Bulldogs really showed what they’ve got, namely a very good team that plays hard and plays to win. I was sitting with the Trousdale, Westmoreland and Jackson players the next night for the play-offs and heard the players discussing the Dawgs. One player from the Westmoreland team said he thought Red Boiling Springs was underrated Players from the other teams agreed and then discussed in more depth the merits of the Bulldogs. They also discussed Macon County and said that the Tigers would be a team to be reckoned with in a year or two. “The sophomores are going to be good,” one said. “Freshman too,” another said. Stats mean a lot in the big picture, but gaining the respect of one’s competitors means a lot, too. Maybe more.
Because Macon County and Red Boiling Springs both won their second tournament game, they played each other in the third and final game of the tournament. Tigers Coach Jason Welch said the teams used to play each other but are in separate districts now. Thus, it was the first time RBSH and MCHS played against each other in several years. The game was great, very close. Each team took the lead, tied it up, made great plays and increased the anxiety of fans on both sides of the auditorium. After a fourth quarter tie, Macon County won the game in the last few minutes. The disappointment in the Bulldogs was palpable, but short-lived as both teams made a great showing for an appreciative crowd. Macon County ended the tournament in 5th place. Red Boiling Springs finished in 6th. MCHS coach Jason Welch said, “It was a great game for both teams. It was like a district tournament game.” On the tournament as a whole, Coach Welch said, “The tournament went great and we hope to have the girls in the games next year.”
12/28 Macon County v Red Boiling Springs High School 56-50
Macon County won their third game of the tournament 56-50. They played Red Boiling Springs in a close and fast game. Macon County put 12 points on the board in the first quarter, 18 in the second, 15 in the third and 11 in the fourth. Red Boiling Springs put 11 points on the board in the first quarter, 10 in the second, 13 in the third and 16 in the fourth. The Dawgs were down in the first three quarters but came back in the fourth to tie the game. They took a 5 point lead in the fourth quarter then lost it to fouls and free-throw points in the last five minutes. Both teams played to win and played their best. #23 Peyton Clark was the top scorer for Macon County. He made 14 points. #44 Dillon McCormick made 12 points in the game. #20 Evan Perrigo and #25 Trace McPherson each made 9 points. #12 Alex Hill made 7. #30 Mayson Shrum and #10 Michael Ashburn each made 2 points. #11 Tyler Carlisle made 1. For Red Boiling Springs, #12 Brince Crouch was the top scorer with 16 points. #11 Zane Roberts made 15 including four 3’s in the third and fourth quarters. #23 Ty Tuck made 8. #15 Alex Mullinix made 6. #25 Nick Deckard made 4 and #50 Dallas Greanead made 1.