By: Kevin Moses

This incredible team right here battled their way into history in the TN State Tournament.  Visiting their tight battle against Ravenwood, I asked 2024 Jett Montgomery about the struggle to win this game at home and the 2 game-losing streak they had not long ago and asked him what was going on with this team. Jett just smiled and said they would be just fine and that they were about to make a run. I later spoke with 2024 Korben Walling about his post-play that had been exceptional that night and told that kid if he played like that the rest of the season they would be tough to beat. Boy did they ever make a run, winning 15 straight games en route to that first-ever 4A State Championship. They finished the season with a 32-6 record while going 11-3 in District 10 of 4A. Led by the prolific scorer guard Montgomery, Southern Miss Signee, they would not be denied that gold ball. A dynamic triple-threat scoring machine that is crafty and extremely athletic with strong handles and explosive speed off the bounce thrived on the big stage shining like the noonday sun. He was able to punish every defense they threw at him in that 3 game state tournament run. He was clutch every time his number was called, finishing this tournament with  77pts, 13rebs, and 12asts in those 3 games. But he had plenty of help as their low post force Walling, who proved he was too unstoppable with dazzling footwork, and his low post spin moves and crafty finishing proved more than defenders could contain.

Every time they want to or need to slow the game down and get high percentage shot, Walling was willing to deliver. Playing like a man among boys he got what he wanted in that paint as he made it his house.  As a low post guy myself in the day, watching him work was fun. Not only was his footwork and back-to-the-basket game strong, but he has one of the sickest spin moves I have ever seen. And he was a force on the boards. Finishing with 41pts, 21rebs, 4asts, and 2blks in 3 games. But I can’t deny the impact of their floor general that makes this engine go,  Tylan Lewis , 6’2′ 185 junior, is fierce and a physical downhill stud with a high IQ ran this team to perfection during this run and his defense was special the entire run. With blowby speed with his leaping ability and physical play style, he never shied away from contact but thrived attacking the lane and finishing strong with a few monster jams along the way. Finished with 36pts, 7reb, 8asts, and 2blks.

Then there was the enforcer Huston Hicks, 6’8, 180 senior, who thrived being that blue-collar gem and the feared rim protector. As a space eater on the defensive end, he patrolled that paint area with authority. However, he stretched the defense with his long-range shooting ability that gave others room to operate inside the lane as he drew the bigs outside with him. Doing that dirty work Huston proved he was a force to be reckoned with. His timing, grit, and tenacity made him a real problem defensively. He finished with 18pts, 27rebs, 6asts, and 10blks in 3 games. Then those two key glue guys were also ready for the moment when the coach needed them.

Dawsyn Miller, a 6’1,v170 junior, was fearless every second he was on the floor. Great facilitator in his rite hit some huge shots and was defensively savvy and solid. Finished with 23pts, 4rebs, 1ast and 2blks. Finally Brayden Buck, 6’4,180 senior, the three-point sniper with ice water in his veins always ready and willing to deliver that dagger and run stopping bombs from deep. He never forced or took one bad shot. Did all his damage in the flow of the offense. There was never a drop off or energy or swagger no matter who was on that floor. It was the amazing finish we all hoped for, making up for last year’s semi-final loss. 

Montgomery earned All-District, All-Region, All-State Tournament Team, and State Tournament MVP. He was also named Mr. Basketball Finalist. Along this journey, he scored more than 2600+pts while knocking down 300 -3 point shots. Joined by @TylanLewis3 in All-District, and All-State Tournament Team while joining the 1000-point club along with Walling on that All-State Tournament Team.  Coached by Mark Wilkins this team is likely to reload and make a return run again next year with a couple of these leaders returning and a stable full of young talent ready to make a mark of the on and continue this winning tradition as they seek to repeat as Class 4A State Champs. I’m thankful to everyone one of these kids for an amazing show and some memories none of us will soon forget.  As the Seniors walked off the court for the last time, it was not the end for them, but the beginning of the next chapter.

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