Riveting. Tip to horn. FINAL: 71-68 Alcoa. Young Stoudamire Dennis Lewis Jr. Dennis Lewis Jr. 5'8" | PG Brainerd | 2023 State TN fluttered his gorgeous three-pointer up, seemingly in desperation. Good-and-plenty! Alcoa was up 68-65 with the ball and…
Riveting. Tip to horn.
FINAL: 71-68 Alcoa.
Young Stoudamire Dennis Lewis Jr. Dennis Lewis Jr. 5'8" | PG Brainerd | 2023 State TN fluttered his gorgeous three-pointer up, seemingly in desperation. Good-and-plenty! Alcoa was up 68-65 with the ball and the charge to secure a win. Alcoa hero Jahvin Carter Jahvin Carter 6'2" | PG Alcoa | 2024 State #168 Nation TN hit a pair and then Boo Carter Boo Carter 6'0" | PG Chattanooga Christian (football) | 2024 State TN hit a 25-footer to close the game to three points again with 10ish seconds remaining.
Jahvin hit another pair, and Carter heaved a less attractive three-pointer instead of feeding the better shooter Dennis Lewis Jr. Dennis Lewis Jr. 5'8" | PG Brainerd | 2023 State TN , who did have a defender near him. Missed. Season over. Brainerd fell. The ’23 Panther core slain.
Brandon Winton’s return to the Knoxville-area helped Alcoa Friday.
Winton made a grand left-handed stop-and-go layup just over 90 seconds left over Donivon Thomas Donivon Thomas 6'5" | PF Brainerd (football) | 2023 State TN , the thrilling, springy shot-blocker and then hauled down an assertive defensive rebound seconds later. Neither assured Alcoa of victory, but both made the comeback attempt of Brainerd more challenging.
Formerly a top 15 basketball prospect in the Class of 2025, Winton moved to Florida from Knoxville Webb to play football. His return to Alcoa was almost certainly a football-decision. The school earned its reputation as a football school, though the hoops team is now playing for their third State Championship golden ball.
#42 hit a monster three-pointer late in the first quarter to Brainerd’s Panthers their very first lead of the evening, 11-9. It was short-lived. Alcoa’s swift offense went to work without a beat and scored right away. Brainerd answered back with a layup seconds later off of the hands of Quintus Broadnax Quintus Broadnax 6'2" | SF Brainerd | 2023 State TN .
Quarter one ended 14-13 Alcoa, an electrifying chapter to be sure.
Then the Tornado touched down.
By the half Alcoa was sitting on the mound, looking down upon Brainerd, leading 37-25. A 23-point quarter against Brainerd truly conveyed the
Alcoa scored 89% of their free throws in the opening half and easily outrebounded the Panthers: 15-8. Brainerd suffered seven first half turnovers.
NOTES: Wednesday Jahvin Carter Jahvin Carter 6'2" | PG Alcoa | 2024 State #168 Nation TN earned a Middle Tennessee offer, just a couple of hours after playing on the Blue Raiders’ home floor.
Jahvin Carter Jahvin Carter 6'2" | PG Alcoa | 2024 State #168 Nation TN . The star poured in 18 first-half points. Hit 20 seconds into the second half.
Brainerd tried Joshua Hood Joshua Hood 6'4" | SG Brainerd | 2023 State TN matching up one-on-one with Carter. How did he do?
Very well. Carter scored “just” five points in the third, and no baskets were scored against Hood. Carter’s most impressive moment of the quarter was the final moment of the quarter. After an Alcoa make, Brainerd tried to inbounds with buzzer-beating urgency, only to be intercepted by Carter. Jahvin fluidily stole the ball and lofted a tender 8-foot floater at the horn. Good.
BHS Head Coach Levar Brown deliberately fed the post, operating through their Adonis, Donivon Thomas Donivon Thomas 6'5" | PF Brainerd (football) | 2023 State TN . The future SEC footballer finished repeatedly, above the Marrooners.
Astutely, Thomas did his best to establish a problem and then kick out. Often, Thomas’ kicks found another Carter, not Jahvin.
Don’t be scared. Orlando “Boo” Carter bulled his way into the danger zones, yet impressed with his left-handed whip pass, his hesi-dribble, his guile. Slick and strong, Carter did plenty to help Brainerd cut it to 43-42 after a sizable halftime deficit.
Alcoa is playing in their 22nd State Tournament. They last played in the finals in 1992. The Tornadoes last won the State Tournament in 1967. This is their seventh appearance in the State Tournament since the 21st century arrived.