NORTHEAST IS A QUALITY FOE
By TOMMY BRYAN, sports editor
Still seething after Tuesday’s controversial double overtime loss at Gallatin in the District 9AAA finals, Wilson Central’s Wildcats must get back on tack as they prepare to host Clarksville Northeast.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Saturday at Central in the first round of the Region 5AAA tournament. Many in the Wildcat camp feel the team was jobbed in a 79-76 double overtime loss to host Gallatin.
Wildcat coach Troy Bond said Thursday his team must forget about Tuesday night and move on.
“We’ve got a very talented Northeast team coming in here Saturday,” Bond said, “they’ve got an outstanding player in Alex Poythress and some very good people around him.”
Finishing third in the District 10 AAA tournament, the Eagles sport a 14-14 record, but could be the type of team that catches lightening in a bottle for a stretch of two-three games.
“Poythress is tough, some say he’s one of the top 10 juniors in the country. He had 28 against Dickson County the other night.”
Poythress, 6-7, was named a Class AAA Mr. Basketball finalist Monday. Tuesday’s loss -- Gallatin’s Jason Griffin drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing just before (or after) the final buzzer — according to who you pull for.
The game was tied at 62-62 after regulation and 68-68 after the first overtime period. Gallatin called time out with 9.9 seconds left in the second OT and worked the ball inside, then kicked out a pass to Griffin for a shot.
The horn sounded twice -- once as Griffin was shooting -- then again as the shot was going in. The officiating crew never approached the scoring table to address the multiple horns, but rather raced off the court.
The crazy ending overshadowed a brilliant comeback by the Wildcats, who trailed by nine points in the late stages of regulation, only to force overtime with a 3-pointer by Dee Oldham.
Oldham scored 29 points for Wilson Central (21-8) and led all scorers.