9 lead changes and 7 ties later and the Maplewood Panthers, led by Bo Hodges (26 pts, 2 blks), outlasted the Haywood Tomcats 57-56 in the TSSAA Class AA Semi-Final. The Murphy Center looked and sounded like we were in Haywood Co. TN. Maplewood may be in Nashville, but the crowd was very pro Haywood, with a very few Maplewood fans in attendance. From the jump the game was lit! and it had the makings of something great which is exactly what it was. Great!
The game had some highs and lows on both sides with neither team ever going up by more than 6.In the 1st half the game was being controlled mostly by the Tomcats. EKU commit Dedric Boyd was hot to start the game, he had 12 points in the opening half but he ended the game with a total of 16 points. Then you add the fact that Tristan Jarrett was playing hurt the entire 2nd half and let’s not forget how 2X Mr. Basketball in the state & ETSU signee, Bo Hodges is on the opposing team, and he took over the game and put the team on his shoulders, while having 26 points, he added 8 rebounds.
Both teams were very aggressive but in the last 2 minutes of the game, there were a couple questionable calls that went against the Tomcats that changed the game drastically. No, the refs didn’t cost them the game but they definitely made it a lot tougher. Congrats to Maplewood on advancing to the Class AA State Championship Game and also to the Haywood Tomcats on reaching their 2nd state appearance in the last 3 years.
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