Rebels claim second place honor in Rhea County holiday tournament
A holiday break doesn’t mean time off from basketball for the Franklin County Rebels team, which went 2-1 and claimed second place last weekend in Rhea County’s holiday tournament.
The tourney tipped off last Thursday night with the Rebels defeating the Chattanooga Home School Patriots, 58-25.
Franklin County’s Rebels jumped out early in the game, establishing an 11-point lead, 17-6, by the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Rebels defense allowed just two points. The Rebels scored 13 points in the second quarter, pushing their total points to 30, compared to the Patriots’ meager eight.
With a comfortable lead, the Rebels were able to play some younger talent in the second half and had some success.
Freshmen Tyreke Hayworth, Draven Tate, and Cody Lester entered the stat sheet, each scoring at least one basket.
The Rebels closed out the game by outscoring the Patriots 30-17 in the second half, and earning a 58-25 victory.
Junior Hunter Watson led all scorers with 13 points. Matt Schmitz finished the game with nine points for the Rebels.
Game two of the tournament was played Friday night with the Rebels defeating the hosting Rhea County Golden Eagles, 48-34.
Montrez Vanzant scored five points in the first quarter, helping the Rebels jump out to a 12-8 lead at the quarter’s end.
The Golden Eagles responded in the second quarter, outscoring the Rebels 12-7. The Rebels second quarter slump caused the team to trail at halftime by one point, 20-19.
After not scoring a single point in the first half, Schaub found his mark in the third quarter.
Schaub connected on three shots from behind the arc for nine points. Defensively, the Rebels shutdown the Golden Eagles in the game’s third quarter, allowing just three points.
Schaub offense sparked the Rebels as they continued to feed off the new energy, outscoring the Golden Eagles in the second half, 29-14.
The second half performance helped the Rebels advance to the finals with a 48-34 victory.
Three Rebels scored in double digits, Schaub leading with 13 points, Vanzant with 12 and Watson adding 11.
Advancing to the championship game, the Rebels were matched up with the fourth ranked team in the state, Baylor.
A team that the Rebels could end up seeing in the playoffs got the better of the them this time around, 62-44.
Baylor’s Red Raiders jumped on top of the Rebels early, taking a first quarter lead at 18-12.
The trend continued in the second quarter. Franklin County was outscored 16-11, creating a 34-23 halftime deficit.
For the first time during the tournament, the Rebels stumbled out of the halftime break, managing just six points while giving up 12 to the Red Raiders.
The Rebels fought hard in the fourth quarter, but to no avail, losing 62-44.
Schaub was a bright spot for the Rebels, scoring 16 points. Vanzant scored 10.
With the tough loss, the Rebels claimed second place in the tournament.
The tournament was over, but the work had just begun for the Rebels.
While most students were in their warm beds sleeping, the Rebels were in the gym Monday and Tuesday morning.
Varsity was in the gym by 5 a.m., while J.V. began at 8 a.m.
Rebels head coach Jeff Taylor has one of the more athletic teams Franklin County basketball has seen in years. And with the hard work the Rebels are putting in, he is optimistic they should be ready come tournament time.
Schaub continues to lead the team offensively, scoring roughly 16 points per game.
Defensively, coach Taylor’s post-game talks seem to click.
The Rebels are getting to their spots, and are holding teams to their season low offensively.
Attention now shifts to a tournament the Rebels are currently embattled in, being held in White County.
To see how the Rebels shape out in the tourney, pick up Tuesday’s upcoming edition of the Herald Chronicle.