Saturday, January 20, 2007


OK, first thing's first. Halls and Powell don't like each other much.

Oh, we pretend we do, mumble magnanimous phrases, say it's all in good fun. But when an estimated 1,200 show up for a high school basketball game on a freezing cold winter's night, you know different.

Found myself at the old school last night for the battle. And what fun it was. Basketball has changed some since I darkened the doors at Halls. It's more festive, more rowdy, actually; it's full of fire and vinegar.

The upstairs bleachers, which used to be reserved for three dads with cameras, were packed. Even the band showed up, blaring the fight song, and "Crazy Train," and other ditties to get the crowd happy.

Teachers who hadn't been to a basketball game in 20 years showed up. So did alumns like Josh Witt, Josh Horner and Jonathan Woodall, school board guy Rex Stooksbury and former principal Dink Adams. Yeah. It was that big.

And let me tell you something friends, every paying customer got their money's worth and then some. Both the girls' and boys' games went into overtime. Three point shots told the tale in both ends of the girls game. The Halls boys refused to be denied, clawing back from a 17-2 Powell run to force overtime and earn a win.

Of course, the real story was Cameron Sharp, "Pistol," (as in Pete) the paint-covered student fans call him. Sharp's 18 points led the way. Carson-Newman is getting something special in that kid.

Overtime was more of the same. Halls pulled ahead. Powell looked out of it, but hung around, stayed within six. Back and forth it went, until fouls and free throws sealed the deal.

Halls High teacher Tim Reeves, who fires up the fans as the public address announcer, usually isn't at a loss for words. But even this night, two hours you never forget, renders the bombastic Reeves speechless.

All he can say afterwards is "Wow."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow indeed. Great story, Jake. Felt like I was there. -- s.

11:11 AM  

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