To call the rivalry between Jacksboro and LaFollette Middle Schools to be intense is like calling this winter a little snowy. The teams split their regular season contests with each picking up a win on their rival’s home court. Now the two will battle in Jacksboro’s Jim and Linda Agee Gymnasium in the finals of the TMSAA Area 2 tournament, which is hosted by LaFollette. Confused yet? Problems with the floor forced host LaFollette to move the event to Jacksboro. It was a gracious move. LaFollette coach and tournament administrator Jason Dotson said, “I really appreciate the administration at Jacksboro Middle School for letting us move the tournament her. They have given us great support. Even though we are rivals if Jacksboro is playing someone else we are cheering for them.”
Dotson led his team into a semifinal match with top seeded Oak Ridge Robertsville. The underdog Owls pulled the upset of the tournament by taking down the Rams 40-33. After a tight first half the Owls built a lead after half time and were able to use speed and ball control to frustrate the Rams and pick up a win to advance to the title game.
Roston Letner led the Owls with 15 points. Dakota Dossett put 7 on the board and Durand Jackson and Austin North each added a half dozen.
After the game Dotson praised his team’s efforts. “All the credit goes to the kids. They executed the game plan to perfection. Rebounding and defense were the keys to victory, it may be an old cliché but it holds true,” he said of his team’s efforts.
As the Owls were celebrating their victory the Eagles took the court against the Red Devils of Horace Maynard Middle School. The Eagles won the contest by a score of 47-30 on the back of a performance by Darin Gillenwater that probably had the Red Devil coaching staff wishing they had brought a chunk of Kryptonite to the game.
Gillenwater put up 30 points in the outing in perhaps his strongest game of the season. Even though he scored several of the points his teammates added some of their own. Trey Torres had 8, Dylan Clawson and Jesse Sharp each added 3 and Will Chambers added 2. Jared Ray added a point on clean up duty at the end of the game.
After the Eagles victory Coach Dotson spoke of the upcoming match up in the finals. “This will be number 3 for us. As teams we mirror each other in a lot of ways. We match up pretty evenly. Jacksboro is a team with tremendous quickness and great hustle.We plan on using our size and physical ability to even things up. It should be a great game and we are looking forward to it,” concluded Dotson.