HIXSON, Tenn. — The Eagles walked away with another close win after Thursday’s hard-fought battle against Hixson, which has become a habit for Signal Mountain this season.
With neither side leading by more than seven points, the Eagles stole the road win against the Wildcats with a final score of 67-64.
“All of our games have been close,” Signal Mountain head coach Steven Redman said. “All of them will be close. We usually have a size advantage on most teams, so we run when we can, but we can’t run that much. We looked to slow it down, run our stuff and be patient.”
Neither team had an answer on the defensive end.
“Anytime you score 64 points in a high school basketball game you should win,” Hixson head coach Alex Disdrow said. “It wasn’t offense that failed us, it was defense.”
With Hixson holding a one-point lead at the end of the third quarter, both teams knew it was anyone’s game heading into the final quarter, but Signal pulled away in the final 40 seconds when B.J. Wilkerson connected on four straight free throws, which put the Eagles ahead 67-61.
The Wildcats went down swinging, though, as senior Allante Novene connected on a 3-pointer in the final seconds to trim his team’s final deficit to three points.
Hixson’s D’Mondta Smith finished with a game-high 28 points to lead the Wildcats after scoring just four in the first quarter, while Chandler Abbott (11) and Novene (10) also finished in double figures.
“D’Mondta is a good player,” Disdrow said. “After the first quarter we sat down the kids and said ‘look let’s play to D’Mondta. He’s going to pass it if he’s doubled.’ He’s a real unselfish player, so we knew he would get his shots in.”
The Eagles, who trailed 29-27 at the break, were led by Jack Teter’s team-high 19 points, Wilkerson added 12 while Lanom Sowell chipped in 11.
Both teams return to action tonight as Signal hosts District 7-AA foe Chattanooga Christian, while Hixson travels to East Hamilton for a District 6-AA showdown.
Hixson girls 55, Signal Mountain 31
Hixson’s Ty Harmon led her team with 14 points, while Marissa Hill and Cierra Taylor each added nine in the Lady Wildcats’ lopsided win Thursday.
The Lady Eagles, who trailed 25-10 at the half, were led by Kelsey McGowan and Lydia Bledsoe’s eight points each.