After losing their first game of the district season, the Northeast Eagles have gone 13-1. That one loss was a one-point defeat at Clarksville High School on Jan. 10.
On Tuesday, they got a chance to avenge that defeat and take a firm possession of first place in the process.
They did both – and convincingly – with a 73-52 victory over the Wildcats.
“The first time we played them, we (weren’t) settling for nothing but (No. 1) one,” said guard/forward Isaiah Farrior. “I think we were way too cocky. So going into here, we’ve just got to support each other and play basketball. That’s what we did.”
Farrior led the team with 20 points, eight of which came during a 22-11 second quarter that saw the Eagles forcing difficult shots on one end leading to fast-paced offense on the other. His scoring output was trailed closely by teammate Ty Jackson with 18 and Jalen Hooks with 14,
CHS’ JJ Wheat led the game offensively with 21. However, one-third of his points came via free throws. This indicates two things: Wheat, and the rest of the Wildcats, had difficulty finding clean looks. Also, the Eagles were playing their traditionally physical defense, leading to several bumps and bruises along the way for both sides.
“We were having a lot of fun,” Farrior said. “We all thought it was a good win because everybody was playing, everybody knew we had a lot more in the tank. They beat us in, like, the last three, four minutes, we had some dumb turnovers. We could have put the game up by more. We let them score.”
To make the win ever sweeter, Northeast honored seniors Jackson and Tomario Vereen pre-game as part of their senior night celebration.
As previously mentioned, the Eagles have taken sole possession of first place in the district and, with zero district games left, the worst they can do is share the regular season crown with Kenwood. They have successfully won each of their last nine district contests.
“We’re at the top of the standings are we’re playing good, that’s the biggest thing,” said Northeast coach Samuel Young. “Whether you’re at the top, middle, whatever, you’re going to have a tough game every night. Guys are playing hard.
“They’ve been tough, they’ve earned it. They deserve to be where they’re at after the stretch they went through.”
The Eagles will visit Ensworth on Friday to wrap up their regular season non-district slate.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats sit at 12-3 with a Friday night date looming against the Kenwood Knights. They could still finish second with a victory or potentially drop into the district tournament’s fourth seed with a loss.
Northeast (73): Isaiah Farrior 20, Ty Jackson 18, Jalen Hooks 14, Josh Alexander 9, Marcus Averhart 6, Tomario Vereen 4, Jalen Bussey 2.
Clarksville (52): JJ Wheat 21, Jamarco Mimms 11, Jaheim Berry 7, Jaheim McDonald 4, Wesley Booth 4, Nick Keener 2, Mason Spurbeck 2, Chris Bagatini 1.