On Tuesday, February 28, the Macon County High School Tiger basketball team travelled to Tennessee Tech for their matchup with Central Magnet in the Region 4AA Semifinal game. The Tigers defeated Central Magnet by a score of 66-61. Individual scores were Michael Ashburn 20, Heston King 14, Riley Phillips 11, Kendrick Carter 9, Seth Carlisle 6, and Cameron Welch 6. With the win, the Tigers advanced to the Region 4AA Championship and automatically advanced to the Sectional/Substate game.
On Wednesday, March 1, the Tigerettes travelled to TTU for their matchup with the Lady Bees of Upperman for the Region 4AA title. The Tigerettes fell to Upperman 26-43, but did claim the Region 4AA Runner-Up title. Individual scores were Keeley Carter 8, Kyndal Bullington 7, Jenna Russell 6, and McKaylee Mix 5. Due to the loss, the Tigerettes would have to travel to McMinn Central for their Sectional game.
On Thursday, March 2, the Tigers faced Livingston Academy in the Region 4AA Championship game. The entire game was very neck and neck and was a nail biter for players, coaches, and fans. However, the Tigers came out on top 45-43 to claim the Region 4AA Championship title which also meant hosting Sectionals. Individual scores were Riley Phillips 13, Seth Carlisle 12, Michael Ashburn 7, Kendrick Carter 5, Cole Carnahan 3, Cameron Welch 3, and Heston King 2. After the win, the Tigers hosted Tyner Academy of Chattanooga on Monday, March 6, at 7 p.m. in the Class AA Sectional game.
On Saturday, March 4, the Tigerettes travelled to McMinn Central High School in Englewood, Tenn., for their matchup with the Chargerettes in the Sectional game. The sectional round of post-season is arguably the most important round of the season considering the loser’s season ends and the winner advances to the State Tournament. Going into the game, the Tigerettes were definitely the underdog as the 28-3 Chargerettes were ranked #2 in the entire state and had only lost two sectional games on their own court in school history. The Chargerettes are one of the most decorated teams in the state with several State Championship titles under their belt, one of which was in 2011 when they beat the Tigerettes in the Class AA State Championship. Despite the odds against them, the Tigerettes pulled off an unbelievable 75-69 win leaving the entire gym stunned. Individual scores were Keeley Carter 29, Kyndal Bullington 20, Jamie Ashburn 11, Mattie Goolsby 8, Jenna Russell 5, and Morgan Carter 2. With the win, the Tigerettes advanced to the Class AA State Tournament for the first time since 2013. “The Tigerettes played their hearts out to upset the Chargerettes! This was the first time in 15 years someone has beaten them at their place in Sub-State. This was a huge win for our program,” said Assistant Coach Courtney Cherry.
The draw for the 2017 BlueCross Basketball State Tournament was held on Sunday, March 5, for all three classes of girls teams entering the tournament. The Tigerettes will play Pearl Cohn on Thursday, March 9, at 10:00am at Murphy Center on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro in the first round of the tournament. Class AA teams in the tournament are as follows: Knoxville Fulton, East Nashville (2016 State Champion), Upperman (2016 State Runner-Up), Jackson South Side, Pearl Cohn, Macon County, Westview, and Gatlinburg-Pittman.
Nera White Gymnasium was the place to be on Monday, March 6, as the Tigers hosted the Rams of Tyner Academy of Chattanooga in the sectional game. The Tigers and Rams were playing in front of a packed house and a very loud and excited crowd. Coming into the game, the Tigers were the Region 4AA Champions while the Rams were the Region 3AA Runner-Up following their loss to Brainerd in their Region Championship. The Tigers started off strong from the very beginning and kept up the good work and strong momentum to pull off a 69-58 win over the Rams. Individual scores were Seth Carlisle 21, Michael Ashburn 14, Heston King 10, Dalton Marsh 8, Cameron Welch 8, Riley Phillips 6, and Kendrick Carter 2.
With the win, the Tigers also advanced to the Class AA State Tournament for the first time since 1986. “This is fantastic for a bunch of young men who have worked so hard to be rewarded with an opportunity of a lifetime. We are all just enjoying the ride,” said Head Coach Jason Welch. The draw for the 2017 BlueCross Basketball State Tournament was held on Tuesday, March 7, for all three classes of teams entering the State Tournament. However, results of the draw were unable to be printed in this week’s paper due to press times. Class AA boys teams competing in the 2017 State Tournament are as follows: Sullivan East, Knoxville Catholic, Brainerd, Macon County, Whites Creek, Maplewood, Sheffield, and Haywood.
For the very first time in school history, both the Tigers and Tigerettes of Macon County High School advanced to the State Tournament. Macon County and Oak Ridge are the only two schools in the entire state that have both their boys and girls teams competing in the State Tournament. “Congratulations to both the Girls and Boys basketball teams on their big Sectional wins and trips to the TSSAA State Championships! This has been a very good year for Macon County High sports thus far, and we expect good things from the spring sports which start up next Monday. Our 2016-17 basketball teams are a part of history for Macon County High and we, as fans, are very proud. They have both worked hard and are very deserving of such an honor. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience the State Tournament as a player (1975 Girls Basketball) and as a coach (Golf) and there is nothing that compares to that feeling of excitement. I hope that these young women and men, their coaches and their parents cherish these next two weeks and enjoy the experience,” said Macon County High School Athletic Director Beverly Shoulders.
Congratulations, Tigers and Tigerettes, on your Sectional wins and best of luck at State! Macon County is very proud of each and every one of you!