Blount Press Row

Taking Pride In His Work

Smooth-shooting guard paces Settlers to county championship
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Prospect’s Brett Buckner glides to the basket ahead of Middlesettlements’ Reece Pride at the Blount County Elementary Basketball Tournament on Tuesday. Photos by Jolanda Jansma

By Stefan Cooper
Editor
Blount Press Row

Settlers guard Reece Pride pump fakes to get open.

Settlers guard Reece Pride pump fakes to get open.

Reece Pride can play some ball.

The Middlesettlements guard started strong and only got hotter when it came time to put it away, driving the Settlers to a 36-19 win over Prospect in the National Conference championship game of the Blount County Elementary Basketball Tournament on Tuesday at Heritage Middle.

Pride poured in 17 points, seven of them in the fourth quarter to finish it, as Middlesettlements led throughout to cap an unbeaten 12-0 run to the championship. Holden Fuller and Thalen Justice had seven each for the Settlers, Ryder Jones three and Riley Stroud two.

The Tigers, slowed by a cold-shooting second quarter, were paced by Brett Buckner’s five points. Luke Johnson and Kaden Adsit had four each for Prospect, which finished the season with a 10-2 mark.

Sean Galyon, John Beard and Ethan High each tallied a bucket each for the Tigers.

Pride was popping right away, accounting for all of Middlesettlements’ first-quarter points. Slick ball handling and a real feel for the game, he was fun to watch. He gets it from his mom’s sister, Summer Weathers, and his older brother, Chance, he said.

“I used to not have a very good shot,” Reece said. “He pushed me to get better.”

That said Adsit, Beard and Galyon powered Prospect to an 8-6 lead after a quarter, the Tigers running at every opportunity. A cold second quarter, where only Buckner could tally, enabled the Settlers to turn the tables and take a 14-10 lead at the half. In the third, a Middlesettlements’ full-court press helped open a decisive gap.

The champs from Middlesettlesments broke it open with a strong third quarter.

The champs from Middlesettlesments broke it open with a strong third quarter.

“We’re quick,” Settlers coach Kristy Byrd said, “so I figured we might as well use it.”

Fuller, Justice and Jones led the surge, and Middlesettlements stretched the lead to 28-15 to start the fourth.

“Getting in foul trouble there at the end hurt,” Prospect coach Charlie Johnson said, “but they were the better team than we were tonight, and they hustled.”

Pride drove the Settlers home, getting into the lane for a series of baskets to close it out in style.

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