Baylor’s boys’ basketball team battled its way to a Smoky Mountain Classic championship with Wednesday’s 50-42 win over host Gatlinburg-Pittman.
Junior point guard Eli Sparkman made four 3-pointers on the way to a game-high 18 points for the Red Raiders, who won their sixth straight game and third straight holiday tournament.
“I am really proud of these guys,” third-year coach Mark Price said. “We just came off our second quarantine, and we haven’t been able to practice much at all. We played three good teams here, and we got better. That’s all you can ask. Winning holiday tournaments certainly can give you some momentum going forward.”
Baylor (6-1) did not allow more than 44 points in any of its three games at the Smoky Mountain Classic. Gatlinburg-Pittman (5-2) was held to 15 points in the first half Wednesday and did not score more than eight in a quarter until the fourth.
Troy Boynton, a senior and first-year transfer, added 16 points for Baylor, while Cameron Sparks scored six in the fourth to seal it.
“This team’s guard play has really improved since the start of last year,” Price said. “This team has talent offensively and with more time together will start to click even more, but it’s been nice to see the defense take off early. These are good kids who are all naturally unselfish. That is what it is going to take to have the type of year we want to have.”
Ringgold girls 70, Calhoun 67: At North Murray’s Mistletoe Madness, the Lady Tigers avenged a loss two days earlier to the Lady Yellow Jackets with a huge fourth quarter. Rachel Lopez got 14 of her 20 points in the final period as Ringgold outscored Calhoun 26-14. Riley Nayadley led the winners with 24 points, while Maggie Reed added 12 points, 15 rebounds and nine steals. Calhoun’s Britiya Curtis scored 35 points, including eight 3-pointers, and Lauren Watson added 14 points.