Bartlett 2 wins from State title

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Jr Jacobs was huge in Bartlett’s quarterfinal win March 16 in the BlueCross Boys Basketball Championships. File photo.

Bartlett’s dynamic duo did it again.

Jr Jacobs had a double-double and led all players in scoring on Wednesday, March 16, leading the Bartlett High Boys to a 64-59 victory over Beech in the BlueCross Boys Basketball Championships.

Bartlett is just two wins from a state title now.

The Panthers (34-6) will play Dobyns Bennett High from Kingsport on Friday in the Division 1 4A Championship semifinals at 1:15 p.m. at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro.

Jacobs took the leading role on a day when fellow teammate and McDonald’s All-American nominee Amarr Knox didn’t have his best stuff until late.

Jacobs finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds Wednesday, going 6-for-13 from the field and hitting 7 of 8 free throws. Knox had 16 points and five rebounds for the Panthers, hitting important free throws late in a close game on a day when he went 4-12 on field goal attempts and 1-4 from the 3-point line. Knox had averaged 30 points a game in the last two Bartlett wins to get this far, and the team has won 25 in a row.

The two guards – the heart of this Bartlett team – were the only two Panthers to score in double digits.

Beech (34-2) got off to a fast start, taking a 10-2 lead, but Bartlett settled in and trailed by only two at the end of the first. Jack Shackelford was a presence in the quarter for Bartlett, helping cut the lead. He finished with 5 points, 4 rebounds and an assist in 10 minutes of play. Rashad Williams and Matthew Stokes also played well in the paint.

Statistically, the game was so close it could have gone either way. Bartlett only had two steals – something it has excelled in all season – while Beech stole the ball seven times. But the Panthers outrebounded the Buccaneers 43-36.

Trailing 48-45 at the end of the third quarter, the dynamic duo took the stage.

Knox scored 10 points in the final frame, hitting a big three-pointer, completing a natural 3 and going 5-for-5 from the free throw line. Jacobs went 5-for-6 from the stripe in the fourth quarter.

With Bartlett trailing by one, 55-54, with 2:35 left, Christian Alston and Regale Moore both hit two free throws each, Moore’s final shot making it 60-55.

Beech fouled Knox twice in the waning seconds, and he nailed four consecutive free throws to seal the win.

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