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Monday, December 11, 2023

Commemoration Classic Basketball: Former All-Black Schools Well Represented at Event


Dobyns-Bennett High School (Douglass High School, Kingsport)

Knoxville West High School (Rule High School, Knoxville)

Tennessee High School (Slater High School, Bristol, TN)

Austin-East High School (Austin High School), Knoxville

Virginia High School (Douglass High School, Bristol, VA)

Morristown West High School (Morristown West High School, Morristown)

But first, thanks DiMingo!  Hit the "PLAY" button twice on each of the two videos below, to hear special words of inspiration from two Douglass-DB fans:

The following recaps courtesy the Kingsport Times-News, photos by J.D. Vaughn and a couple by Calvin.



KINGSPORT — Two fast-break layups after the opening tip, and the Knoxville West boys basketball team had already gained the upper hand.

The Rebels never relinquished control in Friday’s nightcap at MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center, winning 77-57 over Dobyns-Bennett to begin the Commemoration Classic.

In tribute to the former teams of old, Dobyns-Bennett wore the replica school colors of the former African-American Douglass High School Tigers of Kingsport, while Knoxville West players donned the colors of the former Knoxville Rule High School  .

Three players scored in double figures for West (4-2), which recently added Hunter Dance and Jack Keith after they led the Rebels to another football state championship. Keith hit two 3-pointers in the first half en route to a nine-point night, and Dance made a pair of field goals himself.

The Tribe (5-3) simply couldn’t find an answer for Kevin Jack and Devyn Martin early. Martin made six field goals and scored all 12 of his points in the first half. Jack finished with 17 after his nine-point second quarter, and Maurice Clark added 15.

“We really play as a team,” West coach Aubin Goporo said. “If you don’t share the ball, you’re coming out.”

West had built a 50-32 cushion by halftime, and the Indians couldn’t get closer than 54-41 the rest of the game.

Zayden Hayes led D-B with 17 points, making half of the Indians’ four 3-pointers. A baseline jumper by Charlie McHugh put D-B up 7-4 early before two foul shots by Major Dawson gave the Tribe their final lead at 9-8. Tegan Begley made a 3-pointer and a floater to cut West’s lead to 15-14, but the Rebels never looked back after their ensuing 11-1 run.

Dawson finished with nine points, Begley eight and McHugh seven. But the Indians shot 16-for-38 at the free-throw line.

“It’s not youth, just a mindset,” D-B coach Chris Poore said. “It’s a mindset, a feel-sorry-for-you type attitude we possess as a group. That’s something that has to change. It’s called get up there and get the job done, and we didn’t.

“This game today was lost yesterday, our focus our approach to the game, we didn’t value the details. I did a poor job getting practice ready for our guys and putting them in a situation where we were ready today. I’ll do a better job in the morning, we’ll have a shoot-around. I’ll make sure that tomorrow you’ll see a vivid difference in our basketball team.”

Austin-East 80, Tennessee High 69

Shane Cherry gunned in 35 points to help the Roadrunners (5-3) finally claim the lead in the fourth quarter. His stepback 3 early in the final frame built a 67-62 advantage, and Austin-East remained in control the rest of the game.

Jaxon Young also hit double figures with 13 points. JaKaylon Bogus buried three triples in the second half, matching Juwaan Troutman with nine points.

Colin Brown led the Vikings (4-7) with his 27-point effort, 15 coming in the first half when Tennessee High led 24-19 after the opening frame. The halftime score was tied at 36, but a Braden Howard 3-pointer gave the Vikings a 55-47 lead late in the third.

Howard scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half. Reed Miller hit two first-quarter 3s enroute to his 14-point night.



KINGSPORT — Dobyns-Bennett boys basketball coach Chris Poore could already tell a positive difference during Saturday morning’s shootaround.

Major Dawson showed why. His fast start helped the Indians quickly recover from Friday’s defeat, ending the Commemoration Classic on a high note with Saturday’s 72-50 win over Virginia High at MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center.

Dawson scored the first six points of the game and eight of D-B’s first 11. And his 9-of-12 effort from the foul line in the second half helped him finish with a game-high 21 points.

“When he approaches the game like he did today, he’s aggressive, he’s in attack mode, pursuing the ball, he’s a really good player,” Poore said. “I’ve seen tremendous strides from him from last year to this year. He’ll become more consistent.”

Tegan Begley and Jeremiah Jones joined Dawson in double figures with 13 and 12 points, respectively, for D-B (6-3), which ended a three-game slide. Charlie McHugh made an early 3-pointer before finishing with nine points.

Begley made four field goals, nearly dunking twice, during his nine-point fourth quarter. Jones hit from 3-point range three times between the second and third periods.

“Our strength should be the depth of players that we have, because there’s no one guy that has to play, or that makes or breaks our team,” Poore said. “I’ve seen some growth in (Jones). You can see he’s still green, but he’s giving great effort, and today he made shots.”

Zayden Hayes beat the first-quarter buzzer with a steal and layup for a 15-9 lead, the beginning of his seven-point effort. He and Begley both scored in transition just before the half for a 29-20 advantage. Dawson’s fall-away jumper at the end of the third made it 48-30, and the margin reached 66-40 in the fourth quarter.

Teron Woolen led the Bearcats (4-2) with 19 points, and his third 3-pointer of the first half closed the gap to 18-17. Deonta Mozell scored his 17 points in the second half, making all 10 of his free throws.

Austin-East 80, Morristown West 66

Shane Cherry finally dented the scorebook in the second quarter, and there was no stopping him once he did. Cherry made 11 field goals between the second and third periods, dropping 25 points to lead the Roadrunners (6-3).

Terrance Brown and Juwaan Troutman each fired in 15 points. Each made two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to help Austin-East pull away after taking a 51-50 lead after the third.

Bricyn Gudger and Juan Gallardo led the shorthanded Trojans (5-3) with 16 points apiece. Gudger knocked down two 3-pointers in the third quarter, after Gallardo’s 11-point first half. Bereket Evans also hit double figures with 12 for Morristown West, which led 14-10 after one quarter and 27-26 at the half.

Knox West 76, Tennessee High 38

Trailing 16-15 after the opening frame, the Rebels (5-2) scored the first 16 points of the second quarter and never looked back.

In fact, West owned the second quarter 26-8 to take a 41-24 halftime lead, which grew to 57-31 prior to the final period.

Garrett Burch knocked down four 3-pointers in the first half, finishing with 14 points. Dane Britton, who made four layups in the first quarter and a triple in the third, contributed 13 to West’s balanced effort. Joe Dupree hit from deep three times for his nine points, with Devyn Martin scoring all eight of his points in the first half. In all, 12 players scored for the winners.

Reed Miller led the Vikings (4-8) with nine points, with Jack Singleton and Braden Howard both scoring seven. Miller and Singleton both hit from 3 in the first quarter, when Howard scored six of his points.