The Bartlett High Boys are going to State.
In another strong performance on Monday night, March 7, the Panthers used a pressing defense to build a big lead by halftime and never looked back, defeating Rossview High of Clarksville, 72-43.
Players, students, and fans celebrated on the basketball floor of McDonald Insurance Arena for several minutes after the contest, thankful for a State Tournament run that begins on Wednesday, March 16, in Murfreesboro.
Bartlett (33-6), a winner of 24 straight games, will face the Beech Buccaneers (32-1) out of Hendersonville at 2:45 p.m. March 16 at Murphy Center.
The Hawks started the first quarter in a zone defense Monday night, making the Panthers take outside shots. The game was close early, with Rossview taking a 12-11 lead with 1:20 to go in the first period.
That’s when Bartlett started pressing the Hawks full court, not just after made baskets but after rebounds too. The pressure forced 10 Hawks turnovers from that point to the end of the half.
Meanwhile, the Panthers started heating up from the outside. Bartlett finished the first quarter with six straight points and took a 20-15 lead. The turnovers really turned the game, as Bartlett went on an 11-0 run to start the second quarter and outscored Rossview 18-5 in the second frame to take a 38-20 lead at halftime.
Ten Panthers scored on Monday night and the team made 10 3-pointers, with seven players hitting at least one shot from behind the arc.
Senior guard Amarr Knox had three 3s and finished with 24 points. Fellow senior guard Jr Jacobs drained two 3s and had 15 on the night. Regale Moore (8 points), Charvez Ambrose (4 points), K.J. Neville (4 points), Jack Shackelford (3 points), and Christian Alston (6 points) each had one three-pointer.
The matchup with Beech looks close on paper.
The Buccaneers are averaging 72.7 points per game compared to Bartlett’s 72.8 ppg. Beech is giving up 52.3 points per game to opponents, while Bartlett is allowing 51.7.