TROPHY TIME. The Cedar Creek Middle School Jaguars were more than happy to accept their second MAC Tournament Boys Basketball Championship trophy in the past three campaigns. (Photos Submitted)
BUNN -- Cedar Creek Middle School picked the right time to play its best basketball of the season, and the reward was the Jaguars' second Middle Athletic Conference Tournament Championship over the past three years.
Taking on a Henderson Middle squad that had topped the Jags by over 20 points earlier in the campaign, Cedar Creek claimed the title with a hard-fought 48-46 decision over the Rams in the tourney finale on Jan. 29 at the Bunn Middle School Gymnasium.
Cedar Creek entered the tourney as a No. 5 seed, while Henderson, the defending champion, was the second seed.
ut the Jags served notice of their capabilities by upsetting top-seeded Warren County in the semifinals to advance to the championship.
CMS surprised Henderson early on by jumping to a 9-2 cushion, but the Rams responded and went ahead by as many as 12 points in the second half.
A pair of clutch trifectas drew the Jaguars closer, and the contest was back-and-forth for most of the fourth quarter of action.
With the score tied at 46-46, Cedar Creek's Nick Green stepped to the free-throw line with just 20 seconds remaining and calmly nailed a pair of clutch freebies.
Henderson turned the ball over and missed a shot over its final two possessions as the Jaguars claimed the championship.
"Obviously, we played a lot better the second time around (against Henderson),'' said CCMS veteran head coach Scott Bond. "We had played our best basketball since we came back from Christmas Break. We are a good shooting team and we've been playing better, so I thought we had a good chance (in the tourney finale).''
Cedar Creek, which closed at 9-4 overall, received 18 points from Kameron Brooks and 13 points from Green.
The Jaguars were strong from the stripe down the stretch, converting 8-of-10 free throws in the fourth stanza.
Cedar Creek's boys basketball roster members were as follows:
• Javontai Cooke
• De'Von Grant
• Quandre Bullock
• Seth Davis
• Jason Armstrong
• Jamari Adams
• Nick Green
• Sam Gupton
• Jayden McCowan
• Bryant Baskerville
• Kameron Brooks
• Tyler Burnham
• Aaron Garner
• Koty Smith
• Michael Smith
• Macaih Brooks-Williams
• KyJuan Jones
• Aiyon Burrell
• Taru Stallings
• Patrick Armstrong
• Coach Scott Bond
• Assistant Coach Terrance Blackwell