HENDERSONVILLE The Station Camp High boys basketball team had to exercise a considerable amount of patience to remain undefeated on Tuesday evening.
Despite allowing East Nashville’s Marques Whitmon to pour in 32 points, the Bison pulled away in the fourth quarter to secure a 69-56 victory and reach the championship game of the Beech Holiday Tournament.
“They were all athletic,” Station Camp senior Keaton Dotson said of East Nashville. “We played McCallie earlier this season, and their guards were really athletic. One through five, (East Nashville) is athletic as it gets.”
Station Camp (15-0) shot 57 percent from the field and had four players finish with double-figure point totals. Both Dotson and classmate Sawyer Taylor scored 15 points to pace the Bison, with junior forward Kody Eden scoring 14 and senior forward Yalen Reed finishing with 13.
“When we get the ball moving and sharing and we can get balanced scoring, then, I like our team,” Station Camp head coach Seth Massey said. “We’ve still got to work some on defense and especially rebounding. East Nashville whipped us on the glass.”
Whitmon hit six 3-pointers for the Eagles as the Bison had few answers for East Nashville’s junior point guard.
“(Whitmon) had a great game,” Massey said. “It wasn’t that we didn’t know where he was. He just hit tough shots. He’s a good ballplayer.”
However, Taylor found his touch in the third quarter, hitting three of his five 3-pointers in the period. His 3-pointer from the left corner with four seconds to play gave the Bison a 42-38 lead entering the final frame.
“When we got on that first run in the third quarter, it really sparked us,” Dotson said. “We didn’t really rebound well in the first half, and we didn’t have any momentum. But we got going in the third quarter.”
Massey added, “Thomas (Zazzaro) found (Taylor) three times in the third quarter. Thomas played good minutes tonight with Chase (Freeman) in foul trouble.”
Zazzaro led the Bison with eight assists.
East Nashville led once in the contest, holding a 17-16 advantage in the second quarter. Station Camp quickly regained the lead on a 3-pointer from Dotson midway through the period and held a 27-23 edge at halftime.
“As a team, I thought that we responded and got tougher as a team as the game went on,” Massey said. “We just played a good ball team, a well-coached team, and any time we can play a good team over the (holiday) break like that, we feel like it can help us for league play after the break.”
With four players in double figures, Dotson said it takes pressure off of everybody to shoulder the load offensively.
“It’s unbelievable,” Dotson said. “We have a different guy pretty much step up every night. It’s awesome playing with these guys.”
East Nashville had been averaging 66.7 points per game entering Tuesday’s contest, with the Eagles’ only prior loss coming in a 55-52 setback to visiting Maplewood on Dec. 8.
Station Camp moved on to face Whites Creek in Wednesday evening’s championship game.
Reach Chris Brooks at email@example.com or at 615-575-7118. Follow him on Twitter @CB_SumnerSports.
STATION CAMP (69) – Keaton Dotson 15, Sawyer Taylor 15, Kody Eden 14, Yalen Reed 13, Hayden Baldwin 6, Chase Freeman 4, Thomas Zazzaro 2.
EAST NASHVILLE (56) – Marques Whitmon 32, James Kirk 6, Monte Catlett 5, Dominque Washington 4, Taras Carter 3, Gene Holmes 2, Leonardo Holmes 2, Jayden Lockett 2.
Half: 27-23, Station Camp. 3-point goals: Station Camp 7 (Taylor 5, Dotson 2), East Nashville 7 (Whitson 6, Catlett 1). Records: Station Camp 15-0, East Nashville 12-2.