Blount Press Row

Luke Clicks! (In pictures)

Wildcat rally, championship one for the books

The Union Grove Middle School Wildcats claimed the first basketball championship in school history with a buzzer-beating, 52-51 win over Maryville Junior High in the championship game of the TMSAA Area 2 tournament at Alcoa Middle. The history-making Wildcats include: No. 3 Reece Pride, No. 12 Ryder Jones, No. 24 Luke Click, No. 11 Kendall Brewer, No. 21 Brayden Mayfield, No. 12 Matt Rodgers, No. 4 Carter Abbott, No. 1 Riley Stroud, No. 44 Ethan Pratt, No. 5 Nick Harrison, No. 32 John Macon.

Union Grove Middle School entered the Tennessee Middle School Athletic Association Area 2 tournament as a No. 4 seed. After knocking off Alcoa to reach the title game with Maryville Junior High, the best team in school history wasn’t done, although you wouldn’t have been able to tell after the first two quarters.

Union Grove’s Ryder Jones drives to the rim as Maryville’s Nick Johnson applies heavy pressure.

Behind a prodigious 25-point night from sharpshooter Nick Johnson, the Rebels blew open a 16-point lead that stood until the early minutes of the third. Union Grove stormed back for a 52-51 win on a Luke Click 10-footer in the lane at the buzzer.

The title was the first for the Wildcats in basketball in school history.

Enjoy some of photographer Jolanda Jansma’s pictures from a memorable night of basketball:

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