The York Institute Dragons blew open a close game in the fourth period, and ended the DeKalb County Tigers' basketball season, Friday night, in the quarterfinal round of the District 7-AA Tournament at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville. The Dragons out-scored the DeKalb boys 20-5 in the fourth period, and rolled to a 53-37 victory, which advanced York on to a Saturday semi-final showdown with top-seeded Livingston Academy.
Payne Denman hit a pair of free throws to end the first period, as the TIgers took an 8-6 advantage in the low-scoring affair. DeKalb County led by as many as four points in the second period, but the Dragons closed to within a point, at 20-19, at the half.
The Tigers, again, would open up a four-point edge in the third, but the last DC lead came with 1:20 on the clock in the period, as Zack Rowland hit a shot to make it 32-30. From that point on, the Dragons held the Tigers to just one field goal, and out-scored the local team 23-5 in storming back for the victory. The deficit grew larger for the Tigers late in the fourth, as DeKalb was forced to foul York in an attempt to stop the clock. The Dragons converted 20 of 34 free throw attempts in the second half.
John Malone, in his final game as a DeKalb County Tiger, led the team with 11 points, while fellow senior, Travis Woodward, added seven points and 12 rebounds. Seth Willoughby tallied six points, followed by Hunter Stewart with five, Zack Rowland with four, while J.J. Herriott and Payne Denman each tossed in two points. Perry Atkinson led York Institute with 21 points.
The Tigers end the season with a record of 14 wins and 12 losses, while the team was 6-7 against district opposition.
In other District Tournament games on Friday, Livingston Academy topped Macon County in girls' action, 74-51. The Lady Wildcats, seeded third, will square off against second-seeded York Institute, Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. Fourth-seeded Cannon County came back from a 20-point deficit to edge fifth-seeded Smith County, 62-60. The Lionettes take on top-seeded Upperman, Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
The other boys' quarterfinal saw Macon County rally from a four-point halftime deficit to blow out Cannon County, 61-41. The Tigers will battle second-seeded Upperman, Saturday at 5:30 p.m., while Livingston and York will tangle in the late game at 8:30 p.m.