Tigers claim third place in District Tournament

February 24, 2009

Payne Denman scored 18 points to lead four Tigers in double-figures, as the DeKalb County High School basketball team beat the Macon County Tigers in overtime, 72-66, Tuesday night, to take third place in the District 7-AA Tournament at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville. Meanwhile, the Livingston Academy Wildcats, the tournament's top overall seed, beat the second-seeded Upperman Bees, 70-61, to win the District crown.

DeKalb County rallied from a 14-2 deficit in the opening period, and owned an 18-14 lead by the end of the quarter. The Tigers owned their largest lead of the game at the half, as the DC boys went into the locker room with a 35-25 advantage. DeKalb held a 47-40 lead at the end of the third period, but Macon County battled back for a 52-50 lead, with 3:49 to play in regulation. The game was tied, 58-58, with 1:13 remaining, and DeKalb County held the ball for the remainder of the fourth period clock. Hunter Poteete missed a shot at the buzzer that would have won the game in regulation for the Tigers.

In overtime, DeKallb County scored the first six points, and held Macon County scoreless until the final 49 seconds of the extra session. Denman made four critical free throws in the closing seconds, and the Tigers, as a team, were 11-of-17 from the foul line in overtime. DeKalb used a 14-8 edge in the extra period to secure the win and third place in the tournament.

Seth Willoughby added 16 points for the Tigers, while Poteete and Jeff Miller each tallied 12. Brandon Tuttle scored 21 points to lead Macon County, while Cody Boone added 15. Both Denman and Willoughby were named to the All-Tournament team from DeKalb County.

The Tigers, now 18-11 on the season, will travel to White House to open the Region 4-AA Tournament on Saturday. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7:00 p.m. Macon County, who dropped to 19-10, will open Region Tournament play at Station Camp, Saturday night.

T.J. Smith scored 23 points to lead Livingston Academy in the championship game. A 10-0 first period run gave the Wildcats a 10-5 lead, and Upperman never led again, although the Bees managed to close to within a point in the fourth period, after trailing by as many as 11 in the first half. Livingston led 41-33 at the half, and 52-50 going into the final period.

Chase Dunn added 18 points for the Wildcats, while Carrin Nash led Upperman with 22 points.

Livingston will host Donselson Christian in the first round of the Region Tournament on Saturday, while Upperman will welcome Greenbrier to Baxter.

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