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Mentor hits turbo button to top D-B in Arby’s quarters

Tanner Cook • Dec 29, 2019 at 1:52 AM

BRISTOL, Tenn. — A track meet broke out in a quarterfinal matchup on Saturday at the 37th annual Arby’s Classic.

And it was a race in which Mentor sprinted by Dobyns-Bennett 57-36 after a slow start in the first quarter.

Up 13-12, the Ohio-based Cardinals made a 15-2 run near the start of the second period and the Indians never got any closer. The relentless pressure from a well-disciplined Mentor team wore out the Indians and forced them into an up-and-down game they wanted no part of.

View Tanner Cook’s photos from Day 3 at Arby’s

“I was pleased with the way we came out, being deliberate and distrusting them. We executed on offense very poorly,” Tribe coach Chris Poore said. “We turned the ball over six times in the early going, but it was still a six-point game. Then we started attacking the press, which was not a good idea. They got three 3-pointers in a row and that really separated the game. Had we made some better decisions, we might have kept it a bit closer — but that’s a good ballclub and I give them a lot of credit.”

Kent State football signee Luke Floriea had 14 points to lead balanced Mentor. Luke Chicone scored 13, Kyle Culler 12 and Chad Rogers 11.

The Cardinals outhustled and outrebounded the Tribe, grabbing 35 boards — 13 on the offensive end — and had 12 steals.

For the second straight night, Abiah Releford led the Indians’ offense, finishing with 14 points. His effort couldn’t balance out 22 D-B turnovers.

“The defensive switch really helped us,” said 27-year Mentor coach Robert Krizancic. “We bought some time and our two bigs played well with two fouls each. We have four really good players that are going to play Division I in some sport, either basketball, baseball or football. We had some great decision-making on the shots we got and we played solid defensively, getting a lot of one-and-done possessions.”

The Indians, playing in the fifth-place bracket for the rest of the tournament, meet Webb School on Monday at noon. Mentor faces one of the pre-tournament favorites, North Carolina’s North Mecklenburg, in Monday’s 7 p.m. semifinal game.

“This was a very different style to play against and you can’t really attack them on the back end,” Poore said. “They’re very disciplined in what they do and you can’t get caught up in traps like that. Prior to that run, we were forcing them into playing a halfcourt game and teams like that don’t like to play defense. They can’t get into a rhythm offensively like that and when they do, the shots start to fall.”

NORTH MECKLENBURG 82, WEBB SCHOOL 66

The opening quarter saw the Vikings up by only six points, but then it started to go in the wrong direction for the Webb School.

Georgia Tech commit Tristan Maxwell and his silky smooth jump shot fired up 22 points to help lead North Mecklenburg in what turned out to be a lopsided win. Trayden Williams also had 22 for the Vikings, who shot an eye-popping 61.8% from the field (34 of 55).

However, the performance of the night came from Webb School guard J.J. Platt, who blazed in 32 points and went 16-for-18 from the free-throw line.

WISE CENTRAL 76, TENNESSEE HIGH 74

The Warriors’ execution down the stretch — hitting key shots and making free throws — got them over the hump.

Central’s dynamic scoring duo of Isaiah McAmis (28 points) and Elijah Hayes (27) came through time and time again, and the two combined to hit 14 of 21 from the free-throw line. As a team, Central made 18 of 25 from the line and shot 44.6% from the field.

“I’ve got two great leaders with Elijah and Isaiah,” Central coach T.J. McAmis said. “They probably either in the moments when we needed an answer made the extra pass or made the shot. That’s good to have. In terms of a team effort, we were tired — but they were, too.”

The Vikings weren’t too shabby themselves, shooting 52.8% from the field and making 14 of 18 from the line. In fact, Tennessee High outrebounded Central 36-22 and had more assists (16-8), but the Vikings committed 13 turnovers to the Warriors’ five.

Mchale Bright topped Tennessee High with 22 points. Nolan Wishon had 18 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists, just shy of a triple-double.

Blake Fauver posted one of his best games of the season for Tennessee High, racking up 18 points and 11 rebounds. Cole McBrayer also hit double figures in scoring with 10 points.

“We really work on sharing the ball and if we can score 74 points, we’ll win a lot of ballgames,” Wishon said. “Our turnovers killed us in this game, though. That’s what ultimately hurt us the most.”

SEVIER COUNTY 67, ELIZABETHTON 30

Sevier County scored the first 11 points and never looked back.

The three-headed scoring monster of Camden McElhaney (17 points), Jonathan Zhao-Olmos (15) and Wes Maples (13) helped the Smoky Bears shoot 48.1% as a team. They also had only nine turnovers to 27 for Elizabethton.

Nico Ashley finished with half of the Cyclones’ points, netting 15.

A struggling Elizabethton team featuring just one player with any extended varsity experience had a rough day all around. The Cyclones shot 12-for-32 from the field, hitting just one of their 17 attempts from 3-point range.

Elizabethton managed to outrebound Sevier County but could not convert many of those second chances. The Cyclones are still down junior Parker Hughes and sophomore Bryson Rollins, and both play huge roles.

“I hope we’re learning something from playing all these tough teams because there were some times in this game where I felt like we quit,” Elizabethton coach Lucas Honeycutt said. “We usually play hard and that’s something we pride ourselves on. We’ve played maybe one team with a losing record and this game was tough from the start.

“We have to figure something out because the conference starts soon. ... We’re a small team and we’re going to have to figure out how to scrap for some rebounds. When we’re small, we have to play some zone and that really affects how we rebound, but that’s something else that we’re going to have to figure out.”

SOUTHWEST DEKALB (GA.) 57, GREENEVILLE 39

Playing teams with contrasting offensive styles on back-to-back days is tough. Mentor’s up-tempo offense, featuring shooters all over the floor, differed sharply from the long and lanky look the Greene Devils saw out of Southwest DeKalb.

“The styles are different, but the game really doesn’t change. You have to rebound the basketball and we did not do that very well in either game,” Greeneville coach Brad Woolsey said. “When you work on offense for 40 seconds and don’t get anything out of it, that’s demoralizing. (Mohamad Diallo) blocked three shots from the 3-point line and that’s just stuff that we’re not used to seeing.”

The scoring was spread around for the Panthers, who advanced to Monday’s elimination game against Sevier County. Mohamad Diallo had 10 points, and nine other players had a bucket. Ohio State signee Eugene Brown III totaled six points, 10 rebounds and three assists.

Reid Satterfield got back on track with 17 points and Jakobi Gillespie contributed 11 for Greeneville, which was eliminated.

“(Reid) can gain some confidence from this game, I think,” Woolsey noted. “His shooting touch will come back around. I thought he competed well out there today.”

Greeneville lost the rebound battle 31-27, committed 20 turnovers and sank only 5 of 24 3-point tries. It also was hurt by 10-of-22 free-throw shooting.

MARET SCHOOL (D.C.) 42, BARTLETT 41

With his team down by two, Alex Williams hit a 3-pointer with 15.6 seconds left, Dante Delgado got a steal on the other end and the Frogs survived the physical game.

The Panthers lost both games right at the end and now head back to Memphis. Will Farris scored 14 to pace Bartlett.

Teo Rice scored 12 points. Quincy Allen finished with nine for Maret, which plays Wise Central in an elimination game Monday at 10:30 a.m.

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