On Wednesday, the Blackman High School boys basketball team added an exclamation mark to an exceptional showing this week at Father Ryan High School
The unbeaten Blaze, who tallied wins over Hillsboro and Cane Ridge to reach the championship game, claimed their third straight Willie Brown Memorial Tournament title with Wednesday’s 62-34 triumph over the host Irish.
“We’ve got a lot of good players and we’re just playing really good team ball,” Blackman senior forward Christian DeWitt said. “We’re making everybody better, and we don’t have any selfish guys. That’s really all I can tell you.”
DeWitt — the only Blackman player to score in double-figures — finished with 11 points and a pair 3-pointers Wednesday, while teammates Deonte’ Ally and Jacob Nelson each contributed nine points in yet another lopsided victory for the reigning Region 4-AAA champion Blaze (14-0).
“We’ve got a group of guys that for the entire season have had good practices and have brought that to the games,” Blackman coach Barry Wortman said. “I’ve been awfully proud of the way we compete. We’ve created a mentality and we try to play to a certain standard.”
Father Ryan (10-3), led by Griffin Bumpus’ 11-point effort, attempted to slow things down early, prolonging its possessions in hopes of countering Blackman’s depth and athleticism.
It seemed to work, too, but only for about a quarter.
The Irish actually held an 8-6 advantage following three straight first-quarter free throws from Bumpus, but things quickly went off the rails after that.
“We just played a team that was much better than we were,” said Father Ryan coach Doug Bontrager, whose Irish are off to their best start since 2012-13.
Blackman strung together seven unanswered points to open the second quarter and outscored Father Ryan 17-5 in the period to claim a 28-14 halftime advantage. It only got more one-sided in the final two quarters.
“We were trying to slow the pace down and honestly I thought it was working,” Bontrager said. “We just missed some shots in the second quarter and all the sudden you’re down 10 or 11 and it changes how you play.”
Cane Ridge (10-10), which suffered a 64-53 loss to Blackman on Tuesday, claimed third place with Wednesday’s 68-57 win over McAdory (Ala.).
Hillsboro 55, Brentwood 53: Thomas Smith scored a a game-high 18 points to lead the Burros to a 55-53 triumph over Brentwood in Wednesday’s seventh-place game.
Edwin Broadnax finished with 14 points for Hillsboro (7-4), which snapped its two-game losing skid, while Farius Ferguson added 12 points. Toe Bautista and Reed Smith each tallied 16 points for the Bruins (4-11), while Linden Hardee contributed 14 points.
Mt. Juliet 47, Clarksville 44: The Golden Bears managed a fifth-place finish at the Willie Brown Invitational by edging Clarksville 47-44 behind Tyler Faulkenberry’s game-high 20 points.
Austin Brown added 11 points for Mt. Juliet (12-4). Teal Young — Clarksville’s lone double-digit scorer — finished with 10 for the Wildcats (6-8)
Lady Eagles pull away for title
Brentwood Academy’s girls basketball team never took its foot off the gas pedal Wednesday, powering past Dickson County 60-43 for the Above the Rim championship at Hickman County.
Makaila Wilson led the Lady Eagles (11-3) with 16 points and won MVP for the tournament. Lady Eagles teammates Bre Jackson and Sydni Harvey tallied 15 and 11 points, respectively. Kailey Rosenbaum paced Dickson County with 14 points.
The key for Brentwood Academy was shutting down Vanderbilt signee Lea Lea Carter.
“Carter was the big game plan and their point guard (Emily Beard) is so good, so obviously trying to contain those two,” Brentwood Academy coach Rhonda Brown said. “We didn’t do a good job in the first half with (Rosenbaum), keeping her off the boards … trying to limit those three’s touches and make somebody else beat us, that was the plan.”
Brentwood Academy took a 32-27 lead at halftime, but by the end of the third the lead increased to 10.
“Brentwood Academy just took it to us tonight,” Dickson County coach Greg Tipps said. “I don’t think we got any breaks and we didn’t shoot it well. Emily Beard getting into foul trouble in the first half — we didn’t handle that situation well — but you have to give Brentwood Academy credit. I think they just manhandled us at times and were by far the more aggressive team. They had a competitive spirit tonight.”
Beech Holiday Tournament
Station Camp 57, Whites Creek 56: The Bison stayed unbeaten (16-0) by holding off the Cobras to capture the Beech Holiday Tournament. Yalen Reed hit five 3-pointers and scored 24 points to pace Station Camp.
Above the Rim Tournament
Ravenwood 56, Marshall Co. 51: Zach Erickson hit five 3-pointers and scored 21 points as Ravenwood captured the Above the Rim boys title over Marshall County.
Franklin Classical 79, Hickman Co. 63: Franklin Classical’s Gray Michael set an Above the Rim Tournament single-game scoring record (breaking former Station Camp and Vanderbilt standout John Jenkins’ record of 36) with a 43-point performance for Franklin Classical. Michael was 16-of-19 from the field (5-of-7 from 3-point range).
Sandestin Beach Blowout
Pope John Paul II 78, Notre Dame School 53: Pope John Paul II advanced in the Sandestin Beach Blowout as 13 different Knights scored, led by 10 each from Devan Cambridge and Justin McMurray.
Overton Christmas Tournament
Wilson Central 60, Hillsboro 24: Wilson Central raced out to a 22-0 lead after one quarter and never looked back to win the Overton tourney title. Kendall Spray knocked down seven 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 27 points for the Lady Wildcats (14-0).
White County 59, Clarkrange 45: Hannah Leftwitch scored 18 points and Deandra Luna added 14 as the Warriorettes (11-2) won their own holiday tourney. Hannah Garrett scored 15 for Clarkrange.
Reach Michael Murphy at 615-259-8262 and on Twitter @Murph_TNsports.