Dover, TN – Northwest High School’s boys basketball team saw its five-game win streak come to an end, Monday, December 29th at the Bill Craig Memorial Gymnasium in the final day of the Stewart County Rebel Christmas Classic, at the hands of Cheatham County Central High School, 56-52.
The game – although lower scoring than most fans would have thought – was tight the entire way – including Northwest (9-8) tying the game for the final time at 50-50 on an old-fashioned three-point play by JaRyan Young, with 3:11 left.
Both teams would struggle with missed shots and turnovers for the next minute and a half, before Caleb Johnson would give the Cubs (14-2) the lead on a three-point field goal, with 1:50 left.
The Vikings would cut the deficit back to one point, 53-52, on two free throws by Dezman Stacker, with 1:28 left, but that would be as close as Northwest would get the rest of the way.
The Cubs would run the clock down to 36.4 seconds, with the Vikings having to foul Austin Douglas – who knocked down both attempts from the line to extent the Cheatham County lead back out to three points.
Douglas would lead all scorers in the game with 20 points.
Northwest would fail to score on its next possession and were forced to foul again, this time sending Johnson to the line with 6.2 seconds left.
Johnson would miss the first and make the second to seal away the 56-52 victory and hand Northwest its first loss since a double-overtime loss to Clarksville High School back on December 12th.
The first half would see both teams come out and struggle early to score, with the first points of the game coming 1:39 into the contest on a bucket by Northwest’s Marice Wright.
That would lead to three ties and four lead changes in the opening eight minutes of play, with Cheatham County holding a slim 10-9 lead.
The two teams would continue that trend into the second quarter, with three more ties and lead changes in the period, before a Johnson three for Cheatham County, with 37 seconds left before halftime, would give the Cubs a 22-19 advantage at intermission.
Northwest did have chances to make the game even closer — or lead — before halftime, but it missed four free throw attempts in the final 7.9 seconds of the first half.
The third quarter would see the Cubs take a little bit of control of the game in the first half of the period, building its biggest lead of the game by going up seven points, 30-23, with 4:32 left.
The Cubs would answer right back with Douglas scoring 10 straight points in a span of 50 seconds to give Cheatham County a 41-33 lead – with 32 seconds left – before they heading into the fourth quarter up on the Vikings by six, 41-35.
As the two teams went deeper into the fourth quarter, Northwest would slowly chip away at the Cubs lead, finally tying the game 45-45, on a three by McCoin with 5:08 left.
The game would be tied twice more, including for the final time at 50-50, before Cheatham County pulled away in the final seconds for the win.
The Vikings are off until after the new year, when they return to District 10-AAA action on January 6th with a 7:30pm road contest at Kenwood High School.
Cheatham County 56, Northwest 52
|Cheatham County Cubs||10||12||19||15||56|
Cheatham County: Nate Goode 2, Austin Douglas 20, Gage Lipscomb 2, Dallas Mantlo 12, Caleb Johnson 10, Trevor Gaines 10. Team totals 18 17-29 56.
Northwest: Jahnal Browne 6, Mayrel Randolph 2, Marice Wright 8, JaRyan Young 11, Elijah McCoin 13, Markel Kea 2, Dezman Stacker 10.Team totals 16 16-25 52.
3-point field goals: Cheatham County 3 (Johnson 2, Mantlo 1), Northwest 4 (Browne 2, McCoin 1, Stacker 1).
Records: Cheatham County 14-2, Northwest 9-8.