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Wildcats survive, advance to Top-2 semifinal showdown

The state boys’ basketball tournaments at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro began on Wednesday.

Opening day one was a AAA quarterfinal that saw Independence knock out the young, talented Bearden Bulldogs 63-48. Independence will face Southwind, 59-40 winners over Oakland in the first AAA semifinal on Friday at MTSU.

Closing out the AAA quarterfinal round, Oak Ridge overcame a slow start to finish strong and eliminate Brentwood 53-45. Tyshawn Young led the now-31-2 Wildcats with 18 points while Tee Higgins notched a 16 point, 10 rebound double-double. Their victory sets up a much-anticipated showdown with the only team Oak Ridge has trailed in the polls all season, #1 Memphis East on Friday afternoon after the Mustangs ended East Hamilton’s season 76-56.

The Catholic Fighting Irish easily advanced to the semifinals with a 78-46 drubbing of Macon County. The Irish will play Whites Creek, 60-50 winners over Sheffield, on Friday.

The Class AA quarterfinals wrapped up early Thursday afternoon and Grace Christian’s boys take the floor against Humboldt while Harriman takes on defending champ Memphis Mitchell in the final game of the first round at 7 pm EDT.

Semifinals are Friday and championships in all three classifications will be decided Saturday. Follow the action at www.tssaa.org, where you can find up-to-the minute stats for each game, box scores, brackets and more.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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