The Oak Ridge Warriors hosted the first round of the KCAA State Tournament against the Assumption Horseman from Independence, KY last Tuesday. The game started out neck and neck with the Horsemen taking the lead early and holding on all the way until halftime where the Warriors found themselves down by 9. The Warriors came out in the 3rd and senior players Heath Cardwell, Hunter Mason, and Colten Bratcher took over and brought the Warriors back within one by scoring a combined 15 points.
Everything was now looking up for the Warriors. The Horsemen did not go away in the 4th and spread their lead to 6 with 1:20 left to go on the clock. The Warriors were panicking as time was running out but with 2 rebounds off missed free throws of the Horsemen Heath Cardwell blistered down the court and made the layup after grabbing the rebound on the other end. With 17.8 seconds left the horsemen were on the line up 1 point and had two free throws. They made the first and missed the second causing a long rebound recovered by Anthony Skipworth.
He drove down the sideline towards the basket and was fouled as his shot rolled in. The game was tied as Skipworth stepped to the line to give the Warriors a 1 point lead with 7.8 seconds left. This was the Warriors first lead of the game. The Warriors held on to that lead and advanced to Asbury College on Friday Night to face the Community Crusaders.
Friday night was very memorable for Oak Ridge Warriors they came out of the gate ready and on fire as they faced the #2 Community Crusaders. The Warriors’ Heath Cardwell was dropping dimes to our hot hand shooters Colten Bratcher who scored a career-high 29 points by sinking 6- 3 pointers and Anthony Skipworth knocking down 4 -3 pointers to give the Warriors the momentum to win and advance to the Final Four on Saturday with a score Oak Ridge 63 Community 49.
Saturday the Warriors faced longtime rival Heritage Christian from Hopkinsville. Heritage came out red hot and the Warriors were struggling to keep their feet in front of the Heritage guards. Heath Cardwell was chipping in on making it to the basket and big man Jacob Chrisman stepped up and started owning the paint scoring 21 points to help the Warriors on a late run in the second half but the Heritage Warriors held on to win with a final score Oak Ridge 55 Heritage 67.
Colten Bratcher was named All-Tournament Team.
Heath Cardwell was named All-State Team and 2019 KCAA Mr. Basketball – making him only the second player in Oak Ridge history to receive the title.
The Oak Ridge Lady Warriors headed into the KCAA State Tournament on Thursday with the #1 seed as they finished the regular season undefeated in league play and won the Regional Championship last weekend to advance them on to Asbury College in hopes of bringing home the first Lady Warrior State Title.
Their first game was against the Academy Cougars from Louisville, KY. The Lady Warriors started out strong and never looked back. Senior Gabby Harris added to the Lady Warriors energy by pulling down some rebounds and the Lady Warriors rolled on to the Final Four by beating the Cougars with a final score 49-22.
Saturday morning proved to be Gracie Clark’s game as she led the Warriors with their first 11 points of the game. The Lady Warriors were going strong leading into halftime 23-15. In the second half Heritage made a comeback but with the rebounding strength by Kailie Beasley and the defensive effort of Jenna Burden shutting down Heritage’s best player and only allowing her few touches proved out to be successful for the Lady Warriors and they advanced to the Championship game with a final score of 33-24.
It was Championship game time as the Lady Warriors were preparing to play the defending state champs Trinity Titans. The game started out slow with not much scoring on either end and the Titans snuck out to an early lead in the first. Hannah Jones came into the game hitting a 3-pointer and making a 3-point play off of a steal which helped give the Warriors a boost going into halftime but they still trailed the Titans 15-23. Shalyn Bratcher started the second half getting to the basket and was able to put some points on the board for the Lady Warriors. Delaney Cooper finally connected with a couple 3’s to pull the Lady Warriors closer to the Titans.
The Lady Warriors fought hard but ended up a little short losing by a final score 40-46. Congratulations ladies on becoming only the 2nd team in Oak Ridge history to make it to the Championship game and the 1st time of an undefeated regular season.
Shalyn Bratcher and Delaney Cooper was named All-Tournament Team.
Shalyn Bratcher and Gracie Clark was named All-State Team.