CHURCH HILL – Surgoinsville jumped on Rogersville City School early and never looked back in a 50-36 victory in the TMSAA East Tennessee Area 3 boys basketball tournament championship game Wednesday at Volunteer High School.
The Eagles scored the first eight points of the game and led 14-2 after one period as all five starters scored, led by Logan Johnson with six.
A 5-2 run to start the second period gave the Eagles a 19-4 lead and further clues that the third game of the season between the two teams wasn’t going to be as compelling as the first two: a 39-37 RCS win Nov. 21 and a 35-33 SMS win Jan. 14.
The Eagles built their lead to 22-11 by halftime and extended it to 33-11 on Lucas Case’s drive with 2:41 to go in the third quarter.
The Warriors closed the quarter with a 9-1 run to cut the Eagles lead to 34-20.
A put-back by Rogersville’s Jayden Ward started the fourth-quarter scoring and cut the lead to 34-12.
Two free throws by Roman Borghetti-Metz were matched by a layup by Colten McLain, as Rogersville cut the lead back to 12, 36-24.
However, Surgoinsville then hit 5-of-6 from the free throw line to build its lead back to 41-24. A three by McLain followed by an RCS timeout saw the two teams retake the court with SMS holding a 41-27 lead.
Borghetti-Metz then went coast-to-coast to push the lead back to 43-27.
A drive by McLain and three by Zayden Hayes cut the lead back to 43-32 with 2:56 remaining.
However, the Eagles then went on a 7-0 run to give SMS a 50-32 lead with just 1:25 to go.
Johnson finished with 16 to lead the Eagles. Nolan Amyx added 13, including 7-of-10 from the line. Borghetti-Metz added 11 and Lucas Case seven.
Hayes led RCS with 14, including two three-pointers. Keaton Lawson added eight with two threes and McLain had seven.
Both teams will play in the sectional tournament this weekend at John Sevier Middle. RCS goes in as Area 3’s No. 2 seed and was to meet Area 1’s No. 2 seed, University School, Saturday at 6:45 p.m.
Surgoinsville, Area 3’s No. 1 seed, gets a first-round bye and will play the Gray/Keenburg winner on Monday at 5:30 p.m.
Bulls Gap, which fell to Debusk in the boys consolation game earlier Wednesday, earns a berth in the sectional as the Area 3 No. 4 seed and plays Area 1’s 3-seed Providence Saturday at 11:15 a.m.