The DeKalb Middle School basketball teams had their seasons ended in the first round of the James C. Haile State Invitational Tournament, Saturday in Murfreesboro.
The Saints lost a heartbreaker to Westwood Middle of School of Manchester, 26-25, in the opening round of the Class AA boys' bracket, early on Saturday, while the Lady Saints dropped a 33-17 decision to South Fentress, Saturday afternoon.
The DMS boys fell behind 13-0 in the first period of their game with Westwood, but managed to battle back. The Rockets held a 13-2 advantage at the end of the first, but the Saints trimmed the lead to nine, at 17-8, at halftime.
The Saints continued to chip away at the Westwood lead in the third, and had the margin narrowed to 21-18 in the closing seconds. A foul from three-point range at the buzzer, however, put Westwood's Jared Davis at the free throw line, where he made all three attempts, and gave the Rockets a 24-18 lead at the end of the period.
DMS tied the game in the final minute of the fourth on a pair of free throws from Stephen Howell, but Westwood inched back ahead on a free throw with 23.8 seconds to go. The Saints had one last chance to win the game, but a shot from under the basket by Hunter Graham hung on the rim, then fell off to the side as the final horn sounded.
Daniel Stanley led a balanced Saints attack with seven points. Sebastian Phillips added six, followed by Cody Puckett with five, Andrew Atnip with three, while Wesley Mason and Stephen Howell added two points apiece. Tyler Maxwell led Westwoon with 10 points.
The Lady Saints also fell behind early in their game, as South Fentress built a 7-0 advantage through the first four minutes. The Lady Buffaloes led 10-4 at the end of the opening period, but DMS had cut the deficit to two, at 12-10, by the end of the half.
South Fentress slowly increased the lead in the third period, as the Lady Saints couldn't get any closer than the two-point halftime difference. The Lady Buffalo lead was as many as nine points in the period, and was 21-14 by the end of the third. South Fentress pushed the advantage into double figures in the first minute of the fourth, and DMS posted only three points in the final quarter.
Cori Jennings led the Lady Saints with six points, followed by Chelsea Lewis with four. Jessica Garrison and Loren Foster had three points each, while Brooke Hutchings chipped in one. Leah Norris led South Fentress with 13 points.
The DeKalb Middle School Saints finish the season with a 10-12 record, while the Lady Saints end the year with an 8-19 mark.