In less than a day’s time, March Madness turned into March Sadness and back into March Gladness for Christ Presbyterian Academy.
As difficult as it was to swallow the bitter pill of their one-point loss in the boys state tournament last week, CPA had an uplifting follow-up moment to that disappointment at school the very next day.
CPA lost a controversial 70-69 Class AA quarterfinal game to Dyer County last Wednesday.
Controversial in that there were a number of questionable decisions by officials in terms of time placed back on the clock in the closing seconds.
It likely was the most exciting game of the tournament. It was certainly the one with the most controversial ending.
The strangest of all involved a situation in which Dyer called time out with 3.9 seconds left in the game with CPA holding a one-point lead. Afterwards, officials made the decision to put seven seconds back on the clock. Coach Drew Maddux frantically argued the case, but it fell on deaf ears.
Apparently, there was the belief that the clock had not started soon enough on an earlier possession. That would seem to dictate that more time be taken off the clock and not added back on.
Also, there was no review of the winning three-point shot made by Dyer’s Rex Pierce at the buzzer as to whether or not his foot was on the three-point line. Tapes reviewed seemed to indicate his toe was very close, virtually inconclusive. Just a two-pointer would have sent the game into overtime.
Maddux has asked the TSSAA to review the tape of the ending of the game and was given only the assurance that it would be. He was also given assurances that hopefully a situation like what occurred would not happen again.
Big deal. Gee, thanks.
But what happened in school assembly the next day brought warmth to Maddux’s heart.
“As tough as that game was to live with, it was great what happened at school (Thursday),’’ Maddux said.
“During school assembly, which was held in the gym, our principal Mr. Nate Morrow asked the team to come out to the court. The students gave us a standing ovation,’’ Maddux said.
“Then he asked all the students to come out to center court, and everyone reached out and touched one another for a prayer,’’ he said. “I felt a wonderful sense of closeness and togetherness by everyone. It was a special moment.’’
“The student body gave the both the team and coach Maddux a standing ovation,’’ said athletic director Mike Ellson. “Then everyone came out on the floor, touched one another’s shoulder and prayed.
“As a school administrator, an athletic director and a father of one of the players on the team (Marshall), I can relate to how great a moment that was. It’s what makes me love that I’m at CPA,’’ he said.
One consolation to the sad ending is the prospect that CPA brings back standout junior players Zaccheus Mason, Hunter Miller and David Anderson next season, a trio which gives them the nucleus for a return trip. However, a 31-4 record, to go with an unbeaten home record, district, region and sectional championships, will be hard to repeat.
METRO STILL SEARCHING: Antioch’s quarterfinal loss to Siegel in the state tournament Thursday still leaves Metro Nashville public schools looking for a first state AAA championship since 1981.
That’s when old Pearl High, coached by Cornelius Ridley and led by MVP guard David Smith, won it all at MTSU. The Tigers beat B.T. Washington, Kingsport, then Memphis Carver in the final to finish 30-6.
The closest Metro AAA has come since is a 1989 title game appearance by Whites Creek — which lost 43-42 to Franklin — and Overton, falling in the 1994 final to Science Hill, 79-62.
M.L. King Magnet School, under coach Doc Shelton, won titles in 1991 and 1996, and Lipscomb in 1993 in Class AA. Ezell-Harding is the last DI Davidson County boys team to win state, in 1998 in A.
UNION CITY OBSERVER: One very happy man Saturday night was John Ed Miller, who watched his alma mater on TV win the boys state championship. Miller later had a great career at Vanderbilt.
Top-ranked Union City High finished 37-0 with a Class A 83-81 win over Memphis Manassas.
“They had a great comeback against Manassas, they were down 17 points in the first quarter and went on a 29-5 run,’’ he said, as his school won its fifth state title. “They use a lot of pressure defense, great shooting and are fun to watch.’’
In 1959 as a sophomore, he led Union City, located in Obion County in upper West Tennessee, to the school’s first state tournament berth.
“The following year, when I was a junior, we were ranked No. 1 and got all the way to the finals before we lost to Hampton,’’ said Miller, 64, who lives in Brentwood.
“The unusual thing that year (1960) was Murfreesboro Central was undefeated, and Hampton beat them in the semis, and we were undefeated and Hampton beat us in the finals (at Vanderbilt),’’ said Miller, who also led his team back to state his senior year.
Union City was coached by Guy Phipps, who later coached at Lipscomb. Phipps is 85 and lives in Lebanon.
Union City went over the 100-point mark twice (once in a 101-86 semis win over Moore County Friday) and hit the 90s 12 times. Guard M.J. Brown was named tournament MVP as well as Mr. Basketball Saturday.
Also, Station Camp junior John Jenkins, a Vanderbilt commitment, was named Class AA Mr. Basketball.
FRA’S CLARKE STEPS DOWN: Gary Clarke, one of Nashville schools really nice administrators, announced last week he will step down as Franklin Road Academy athletic director, effective July 1.
During his 10-year tenure, FRA won 17 state titles, 10 state runners-up, 40 region titles and 41 district crowns. Clarke will remain at FRA, fulfilling school needs.
ROLLINS TO AD FULL-TIME: Pope John Paul II High girls basketball coach Julie Rollins has resigned that position to take over duties full-time in her position as the school’s athletic director. Assistant basketball coach and volleyball coach Mark Seyfred will take over as head coach for Rollins, who won 548 games and took three of her five teams to DII state.
INFO FOR 7-ON-7 LEAGUE: Lighthouse Christian football coach Scott Davis has announced that he is starting a 7-on-7 passing league for high school age athletes in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee area. Winner of the league will represent the Midstate in the national championships in Detroit in the summer. For information or register, call Davis at 331-6286, ext. 24.