MURFREESBORO – It hasn’t been a typical season by Siegel High boys basketball standards.
However, the Stars are in an a familiar spot — playing for a District 7-AAA boys basketball championship.
Siegel (14-12) plays third-ranked Blackman (20-4) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the District 7-AAA boys championship game at Riverdale’s Johnny Parsley Memorial Gymnasium. The girls consolation and championship has been postponed until Thursday because of the snow and icy road conditions.
The championship game appearance marks the third consecutive for Blackman and Siegel. Blackman has won the past two 7-AAA title game meetings and has won three straight league tournament championships.
Siegel’s 12 losses are more than the Stars have lost in the past two seasons combined.
“I’m just so glad these guys didn’t give in,” Siegel coach Ben Dotson said. “Coming back after Christmas, we played terrible against Blackman. It would have been easy to say, ‘What’s the use?'”
But Siegel didn’t.
Dotson and the Stars were in the midst of a reloading project entering the season with the graduation of guards Ryan Jones and Charles Clark — arguably the top two players in the county a year ago. Teammates Aden Burton and Dominique Gooch also graduated leaving the Stars without 58.9 points a game minus the quartet.
Siegel’s D.J. McGee, Braxton Eddings were the lone players with significant varsity experience. Add guard Deante Miller in the group when he arrived in the offseason after transferring from Wilson Central.
But then Dotson removed five players from the team after an incident over the Christmas break while in East Tennessee for a tournament in Maryville.
“Everybody knows the troubles we had at Christmas,” Dotson said. “After that we called the guys in and just told them, ‘This is what we’ve got. This is who cares about you.’
“We haven’t been playing a whole lot of players, maybe six or seven players. But this team wanted to prove to themselves that we aren’t going anywhere.”
Siegel has won six straight and seven of its past seven games.
The Stars were swept by Blackman in the regular season, but went to overtime in the first meeting. And Stewarts Creek beat the Stars in the first meeting in a last-second basket.
“These guys just bought in,” Dotson said. “These guys are just trying to buy into the Siegel tradition.”
Contact Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kreager.
The District 7-AAA, 8-AA and 9-A basketball tournaments have been postponed until Thursday because of the snow and icy road conditions.
Weather permitting, all three tournaments plan on holding the girls consolation game at 6 p.m. and championship game at 7:30 p.m. The boys games are scheduled for Friday with the same time schedule.
The TSSAA recently announced it has moved the start of region tournament play to Monday.