On Saturday night, No. 2 Sweetwater wasn’t entertaining any ideas of an upset when East Ridge came calling for the Region 3-AA quarterfinals. Dominique Oggs put up 21 points in the first half and Sweetwater never trailed en route to a 67-30 win over the Pioneers in The Den.
The Wildcats wasted no time jumping out to a big lead. Oggs started things off with a layup and Kolbe Billingsley added one before Oggs added three straight buckets and a free throw to push the Wildcats to an 11-0 lead in the first quarter. Matthew Kile sank a 3-pointer and Oggs was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made two of the free throws. When the dust settled and the quarter ended, Sweetwater held on to a commanding 17-4 lead.
Sweetwater just added to the advantage in the second stanza. Oggs opened the quarter with a trey and Austin Long added a layup before two free throws by Tyrone Martin stopped the streak. Oggs answered with another 3-pointer and two free throws and Billingsley added a layup to push the lead out to 30-8. Kile, Billingsley, and Oggs all scored a basket before the halftime break to counter baskets from DeAngelo Hudgens and Nico Johnikin and the Cats went to the intermission with a 36-10 lead.
Hudgens opened the second half with a 3-pointer for East Ridge, but Oggs replied with a putback dunk that rocked The Den and sent the home crowd into a frenzy. Kile and Billingsley followed that up with a layup apiece before another Pioneer 3-pointer from Sam Garmany stopped the mini-run.
East Ridge got another trey before the end of the quarter, but Jayce Upton responded with a layup and a 3-pointer for Sweetwater to give the Wildcats a 49-21 lead headed to the final stanza.
The Wildcats came out in the fourth quarter with all the momentum and capitalized with a 10-0 run. Billingsley poured in three straight layups, Oggs got a putback tip shot and Kile notched a steal-and-score to push the lead to 59-21. DeKobe Williams stopped the run with a jumper, but Sweetwater had virtually sealed the game with the big run. Upton and Long added layups and Christian Baker got a layup to end the game on a high note for Sweetwater.
The Wildcats coasted to the win and advance to the Region 3-AA semifinals at Loudon High School on Tuesday. Top-seeded Sweetwater will face second-seeded Brainerd for a spot in the region championship game and a place in sectionals.
Oggs led the way for Sweetwater with 26 points and 16 rebounds. Billingsley added 14 and Kile had 13.