An improbably matchup of #7 Cleveland and #8 Roan came to fruition on Monday evening as the Cougars and Raiders will battle for the TCCAA/NJCAA Region VII Championship. With both teams playing their third game in four days, Cleveland was able to outlast Columbia in the nightcap 70-66. In the first semifinal, the Raiders were able to hold off the hard charging Eagles of Dyersburg 99-86.
Raone and Dyersburg went head to head for the entire first half as neither team could get a stronghold or dominance over the other team. Both temas had at least a seven point lead in the first half only to see their opponent come back. The Raiders would find themselves on top at the end by 45-42 score. Although the game would see several ties in the first ten minutes of the second half, the Raiders would never trail in the second half. Roane would start to pull away with seven minutes left and build a double digit lead, and they would be albe to manage at least and eight point advantage the rest of the way.
DeMeirre Black was the catalyst that drove Roane as he led the team with 35 points and three steals. James Jordan wasn't far behind with 26 points, nine assists, and ten rebounds. Kavan Hill also reach a double double with 13 points and ten rebounds. Austin Brooks added 11 points to go with nine boards. Devin Pitts led a trio of double digit scorers with 21points to go along with five steals. Aaron King would score 19 to go with seven rebounds, and Antwan Beans would finish with 14 points. Darron Maxwell would pull down a team high nine rebounds.
The second semifinal was almost a mirror ofthe first one as Cleveland and Columbia bounced back and forth in the first twenty minutes. The Chargers would find themselves up 37-34 at the half. Both squads would battle before Cleveland would take the lead for good at the 10:49 mark. The Cougars would build a six point lead, but the Chargers would stay close down the stretch. With two minutes left to play, Domont'a Wright would hit a three pointer which gave the Cougars a five point lead which they would carry to the end of the game.
Dalanio Walker would lead the Cougars with 35 points and a team high eight rebounds. Exavian Young would be the only Cougar in double digits as he scored 11. Demonte Person led the team with 10 assists. The Chargers had only player to reach double figures as Jeremiah Alexander poured in 16 points. Jonathan Bolden led the team with seven rebounds. Jaden Stanley-Williams had five rebounds to go with two assists. Gary Grooms and Alexander also had two assists.