Earlier in the season, Tellico Plains took a humbling 20-point loss at home at the hands of Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences. Later in the season, the Bears sprung the upset at CSAS and won by one point. Saturday’s championship game went more like the latter, luckily for the Bears, and Tellico Plains escaped with another one-point win, 48-47, over CSAS for the district championship.
Jesse Lambert opened the game with a layup and Piper Carter added one of his own to counter a layup by CSAS’ Troy Pride. Kobe Walker was spot-on with a 3-point attempt and gave Tellico Plains a 7-2 lead early. CSAS rallied to take an 8-7 lead, but a Dale Rinehart layup just before the end of the period helped Tellico Plains take a one-point lead after one quarter.
Cahlib Edwards did most of the scoring for CSAS in the second quarter, sinking four shots, and Hollis Edwards added a 3-pointer. On the other side of the court, Rinehart scored three baskets and Evan Harris added a layup and a 3-pointer as the margin remained unchanged, 20-19, at the half.
The two teams traded the lead back and forth in the third quarter. Kobe Walker and Harris made layups for Tellico Plains while Hollis Edwards made two layups for CSAS. After a Cahlib Edwards layup, the Patriots led 30-29 until two free throws by Lambert erased the deficit. Three straight 3-pointers from Rinehart and Carter helped lift Tellico Plains to a 6-point lead, and at the end of the third quarter, the Bears held their biggest lead of the game at 39-32.
Rinehart made a layup to start the fourth quarter to up the lead to nine, but 3-pointers by Chris Drake and Cahlib Edwards helped CSAS make a run. Cahlib Edwards added a layup and another 3-pointer and Pride added a layup, but Tellico Plains made its free throws in crunch time. Lambert and Carter combined to go 7-for-8 from the stripe to take a 4-point lead. With 3.8 seconds left, Cahlib Edwards’ second trey cut the margin down to one, and Carter missed on both opportunities at the line, but time simply was not on the Patriots’ side and they fell by the one point margin.
Rinehart led Tellico Plains with 17 while Carter and Lambert added 9 apiece. Cahlib Edwards led CSAS with 20 and Pride added 12.