The Harriman Blue Devils now have a date with the Clay County Bulldogs tomorrow night with the TSSAA Class A State Championship on the line. The title game will be at 6 pm tomorrow at the MTSU Murphy Center in Murfreesboro.
The Blue Devils defeated Columbia Academy in a nail biting final four game tonight by the score of 72 to 68 to advance into the state championship game. Harriman took an early lead ending the first quarter 19 to 17. In the second quarter, Columbia Academy adjusted and played with the Blue Devils. Both teams would go into the locker room tied at 39 at the half.
Columbia Academy would take the lead at the end of the third quarter by the score of 50 to 50.
That would be the only quarter Columbia Academy could get over Harriman.
The final quarter saw Harriman lay it on Columbia scoring 10 unanswered points after the game was tied at 61 all. The momentum stayed with the Blue Devils until the end of the game as two free throws game them a four point lead with 5 second left and put the game out of reach for Columbia County.
Joe Pace led Harriman in scoring with 24 points. Pace was 7 of 14 from the court shooting and made 10 of 12 free throws. Pace was followed in scoring by Isaiah McClain with 17, John Johnson with 13, Hayden Bingham with 8, Eli Duncan with 5, Jaylen McCullum with 3 and Joshua Davis with 2 points.
As a team, Harriman shot 25 of 54 for 46 percent from the court and made 19 of 23 free throws for 83 percent. The Blue Devils had 30 rebounds in the game. Harriman had 11 steals in the contest compared to Columbia Academy’s five. There was 14 lead changes in the game. Columbia Academy held the lead for just over 17 minutes compared to Harriman having it for 10 minutes and 20 seconds. Clearly, it was the fourth and final quarter that the Blue Devils kicked it into overdrive to outpace Columbia Academy.
Now the stage is set for the Class A state championship tomorrow night. The Harriman Blue Devils will come into the game with a record of 32 and 6 compared to 32 and 4 Clay County. The Blue Devils key to winning it all tomorrow night comes down to containing the Bulldogs Tyreke Key. Key was named Mr Basketball by the TSSAA this year and averages 38 points a game. Key surpassed the single season scoring record of 1,313 in the Bulldogs win over Grace Christian tonight in the other final four game.
Either way, the state championship game tomorrow night between Harriman and Clay County will be a classic.