While the high schoolers are just now starting up, middle school basketball teams are well underway with their seasons.

Brindlee Mountain Middle School had a busy week. Last Tuesday, Lions teams played Decatur Heritage, then on Thursday they played Randolph. This week, they played at Cotaco on Monday and at Woodville on Tuesday.

Against Randolph last Thursday, the seventh grade boys won 34-29. Adin Murphy led the team with 11 points, including eight in the second quarter when teammates got in foul trouble.

Adyen Batz added nine points, Quintavian Wright had seven, Zaden Childress had four points and Kolton Brewer added three.

“We started off a little bit sluggish but managed to come back and have a big third quarter,” said coach Chase Weaver. “They are starting to jell more as a team and showed a lot of heart to fend off a strong surge in the third quarter.

“Very proud of them!”

The eighth grade boys lost 45-35. Tobi Knepper and Ashton Gregory paced the Lions with nine points each. Conner Hardin added six points, Zach Schrader had five, and

Hayden Fraschieur, Tyler McCormick and Logan Hallmark all added two points apiece.

“We are finally able to have the whole team back from sickness but we are not 100 percent,” Weaver said. “We started off the game slow and they had a strong first quarter where they scored 17 points.

“We answered by winning the second quarter but we dug ourselves a big hole that would prove to be too much to overcome. I am proud of the way we fought back and refused to lay down.” The girls combined team, playing an eighth grade schedule, won its game over Randolph, 20-18. Brooke West, Zoey Persle and Dasiee Stewart all had six points apiece. Maci Tedder added the other two points.

“This game felt so weird. I felt like the game was in hand with how we were playing but Randolph just plays so hard,” said Lady Lions coach Evan Lemons. “I was upset at our execution down the stretch but Randolph caused a lot of it.

“We will be focusing on how to handle pressure better in the coming days of practice for sure. We actually lost the lead 16-15 in the fourth before Brooke West hit a big 3 with 2:30 left, followed by a Dasiee Stewart layup.”

Against Decatur Heritage, the seventh grade boys played shorthanded with players out with sickness. They got down 3-0 after one quarter and went on to fall, 22-16.

Batz led the Lions with 14 points. Spencer Peach added the other two.

The eighth grade boys also lost, 35-24.Hardin led the team with eight points, Gregory added seven, McCormick added five points, Frachiseur had three and Zach Schrader had two.

“We played with a lot more intensity in this game,” Weaver said. “Both games started very slow. Digging ourselves a hole that we did a great job fighting back and climbing out of but ultimately wasn’t enough.

“The fact we had such a huge deficit and pulled within 3-5 points in the fourth was promising.”

The eighth grade girls lost as well, falling 28-26. Persle led the Lady Lions with 10 points. Tedder added six points and West and Emma Edmonds had four points each. Kayla Pierce had two.

“We gave up too many second-chance (shots) the whole game,” Lemons said. “Decatur Heritage was big! They had two or three girls who were 5-foot-10 or taller. By the time we realized we could play with them and their size, it was too late.

“We went on an 8-0 run in the last 2:15 of the fourth quarter and had a chance to tie it in the last six seconds but couldn’t convert.”

At Cotaco on Monday, the seventh grade boys won 31-5. Wright had 11 points, Batz had 10 and Childress added four.

Murphy, Jackson Tyler and Colby James added two each.

“The team played very wellm” Weaver said. “They played extremely hard on defense and were able to put good pressure on Cotaco.” 

The eighth grade girls lost 25-12. West had five to lead the Lady Lions. Kylie Patterson, Zoey Persle and Daisee Stewart each had two. Claire Matlock added one point.

“I am not a fan of playing games on days when we don’t have school,” Lemons said. “It’s very difficult to get our teams to focus and it definitely showed tonight.

“Good news, everything we did wrong tonight can be fixed.”

The eighth grade boys beat Cotaco 35-32. Hardin had a huge game, scoring 21 points to lead the Lions. Hardin scored 17 of those points in the second half to help the Lions overcome a three-point halftime deficit.

Gregory and Schrader had five points each, Kaden Lewis had two and Knepper and Frachiseur had one point apiece.

“In the first half we struggled a little but managed to hang in the game, only down three at the half,” Weaver said. “We played more team basketball in the second half.”

At Woodville on Tuesday, the eighth grade girls won 36-13.

“The focus and fire was there today,” Lemons said. “The loss Monday did not sit well with the girls and they came out playing like their hair was on fire.

“It’s very enjoyable to watch when the team executes and has fun. Makes the coach look smarter than they are for sure.”

West led the team with 11 points. Stewart had her best game of the year with 10 points.

Matlock and Persle added four points each, Jaycee Tidwell had three, Patterson had two and Tedder and Pierce added one each.

The eighth grade boys beat Woodville 43-23 in the team’s most complete performance of the season, according to Weaver.

“We were able to apply a lot of pressure with our press,” he said. “We played hard and even with some foul trouble, we still managed to keep the pressure up.”

Hardin led the Lions again with 12 points. Schrader added 11 points, Wright had six,

Gregory had five and Knepper added four. Lewis had three points and Murphy pitched in two.

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