By CHIP CIRILLO, Courier Correspondent
One shot was stuck in Matt Rigsby's mind all weekend.
East Nashville's Thomas Booker, a college prospect, hit a 3-pointer with 21 seconds left in regulation to force overtime in a 58-56 win over Cannon County's boys in the first round of the Mitch Wilson Classic on Friday.
Booker's shot tied the game at 52 and the Eagles went on to outscore the Lions 6-4 in overtime.
"Their stud, Booker, hit about a 23-foot, contested 3 off a side-out play," said Rigsby, the Cannon County coach. "He's a D-1 kid. He's a 6-4 kid that can flat-out play.
"He can get you inside, he can elevate over you. That's all people told me after the game or the next day, 'Oh, my gosh, I can't believe how much that kid elevated to shoot that 3.' Jacob Nave was the one that contested it and Booker's feet were at Jacob's waist, almost. He hit a dagger."
Booker led all scorers with 29 points. Nave missed a shot at the buzzer in regulation.
East Nashville finished second in Class AA last season.
"We're not built on moral victories, but if you sat in the gym that night and you weren't proud of our bench and the kids that were out on the floor 1-15 I don't know what game you were watching," Rigsby said. "For both teams, for that matter. It was just a really well-played high school basketball game for two teams that hope to be playing very late in the season."
Josh Ruehlen scored 13 points to lead three Lions in double figures.
Cannon County (4-2) rebounded with a 62-56 win over Middle Tennessee Christian on Saturday.
Ruehlen and Nave led the Lions with 15 points each.
The classic is named after the State Farm Insurance agent in Woodbury who sponsors the tournament.
"We're getting good minutes from everybody," Rigsby said. "Briar Jakes is definitely giving us a good lift off the bench. The sixth man is not really discussed very much, but he definitely deserves recognition."
Cannon County visits Central Magnet (2-6) for its District 8-AA opener on Friday.
"That's not a fun place to play," Rigsby said. "It's very loud, a great environment."
Warren Co. 7 12 15 8--42
Cannon Co. 26 12 17 14--69
Warren Co.: Alex Yates 4, Carlos Villegas 7, Alex Cripps 3, Holden Baker 6, McCall Turner 3, Krojhn Calbert 1, Isaiah Grayson 4, Hunter Hawkins 6, Joelah Solomon 8.
Cannon Co.: Briar Jakes 7, A.J. Daniel 4, Josh Ruehlen 10, Marshall McReynolds 8, Preston Campbell 2, Jacob Nave 12, Garrett McReynolds 10, Austin Martin 9, Anton Knox 4, Tyler King 3.
East Nashville 15 16 12 9 6--58
Cannon Co. 17 12 12 11 4--56
East Nashville: Leonardo Holmes 3, Marques Whitman 4, James Kirk 1, Carl Brown 4, Toree McGhee 7, Thomas Booker 29, Isaiah Blacksmith 10
Cannon Co.: Briar Jakes 3, A.J. Daniel 9, Josh Ruehlen 13, Marshall McReynolds 3, Jacob Nave 11, Garrett McReynolds 10, Austin Martin 6, Tyler King 1.
MT Christian 15 11 13 17--56
Cannon Co. 17 11 13 21--62
Middle Tennessee Christian: Nate Howell 8, Tyler Lamb 5, Joseph Peck 5, Trey Hickey 14, Barr Ellenburg 2, Luke Howell 21, Perry Patton 1.
Cannon Co.: Briar Jakes 2, A.J. Daniel 4, Josh Ruehlen 15, Marshall McReynolds 7, Jacob Nave 15, Garrett McReynolds 13, Austin Martin 6.