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Dragons team (l-r) Coach Josh Danninfelser, Coach Aries Johnson, Cayman Morgan, Cam Jones, DJ Mitchell, Aiden Mumaw, Nate Wallace, Dodge Davis, McCord Purdy, Caleb Lanford, Parker Davis, Jamin Martin, Montego Morgan, Hayden Jones, Head Coach Bob Martin, Joshua Lanford.

PHS Dragons and Nettes both win holiday championships

            PHS Dragons are tournament champions

The Pickens Varsity Boys Basketball team has won eight out of their last nine games and currently sit at 11-5 on the season.

            The Dragons most recent success came at the Marlin Christmas Classic in Panama City Beach, FL where they finished 3-0 and won the tournament championship. The Dragons averaged 79 ppg while only allowing an average of 47 ppg by their opponents. Several players contributed throughout the tournament, including Nathan Wallace (9 made threes), McCord Purdy (21 ppg), Dodge Davis (15.3 ppg), Parker Davis (13.3 ppg), Caleb Lanford (9.6 ppg), and Hayden Jones (8.3 ppg).

            The mark of this team thus far this season has been team defense and unselfish play.

            Coach Martin had this to say about his team’s recent success. “I am proud of the effort these young men put in during practice every day. We tell them winning is not easy and takes sacrifice. I think they are really starting to understand that when we play together and for each other good things happen.”

            We caught up with Sophomore Point Guard McCord Purdy, “We have really grown together and started to fight for the guys beside us. The team is trusting one another and we are trusting the system more and more.”

            The Dragons return home Tuesday, January 9th  against White County and Friday, January 12th against Wesleyan for region play.

PHS Nettes win Marlin Christmas Classic

Nettes team (l-r) Caleigh Hoffard, Ellison Steinhauer, Reagan Ludington, Ashaela Buchanan, Emery Bryant, Bella Hopkins, Caroline Mullins, Brylee Deering, Bree Jewell, Emery Steinhauer, Bella Martin.

            The Nettes traveled to Panama City Beach for the 19th annual Marlin Christmas Classic and came back with a first place trophy in the form of a skimboard. The Nettes defeated three opponents, all from Tennessee, just minutes from the gulf at Arnold High School and Surfside Middle School.

            Game one featured a match up with Stone Memorial out of Crossville, Tennessee.  It would be a record breaking game as Bella Hopkins nailed 10 three pointers in the contest, moving past the previous record of 8 threes set in the 1990s.  Bella’s sharpshooting helped lead to a 68-53 win and a semi final match up with a historic program in Tennessee, Shelbyville Central.

            Shelbyville Central played physical and aggressive versus the Nettes and took a two point lead into the half. However, the Nettes managed an 18-6 third quarter to take a double digit lead into the 4th and never looked back with a 49-36 final. Ellison Steinhauer led the Nettes in scoring with 22 followed by Hopkins with 18.

            The championship game would pit the Nettes versus Lipscomb Academy, which advertises itself as voted the #1 private christian school in Nashville. The Nettes came out with a strong defensive game plan vs. Lipscomb, holding them to 16 points in the first half while putting up 34. Lipscomb Academy would not go down without a fight and won both the 3rd and 4th quarters but it would not be enough.

            The final was 55-44 Nettes and the holiday championship.

            Perhaps an even better part of the trip to Panama was the good sportsmanship and support shown by the boys and girls teams for each other. Both programs provided impactful student sections for each other, making the games exciting and entertaining. The local dance team at Arnold HS employed the enthusiasm of the Nettes by asking for their support for the performance as more than half of their dancers were out to go along with a sparse local crowd. The Nettes gladly obliged, forming a tunnel for the dancers to run out through as well as a front row cheering section. The kindness was touching enough to earn a social media shout out from an Arnold HS parent and new Nettes basketball fan.

            Pickens returns to play on January 6 at Teasley Middle School taking on state ranked Model.  They will follow that with home games vs White County and Wesleyan on Tuesday, January 9th and Friday, January 12th, respectively.

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