Webb’s web engulfs TN foes

Norris, Spartans grab program’s first state crown after blowing past CPA, then Tipton-Rosemark

Standout guard Charlie Wyrick, the Spartans’ lone senior, proudly hoists the “gold ball” TSSAA state championship trophy.
NASHVILLE — For nearly a year, Webb School of Knoxville’s boys basketball team lived with a heartbreaking loss to rival Grace Christian Academy in the 2018 Division II-A state championship game.

All that pain is over now, as the Spartans wasted little time asserting their dominance in a 75-40 win over Tipton-Rosemark Academy Saturday night, March 2, at David Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena.

Webb head coach Ricky Norris celebrated the school’s first boys basketball state title at a postgame press conference with tournament MVP Uriah Powers, junior wing, and All-tourney team selections Luke Burnett, Emory Lanier and Tariq Daughton.

“These kids have all made sacrifices for the betterment of the team,” Norris said.

Webb (30-6) posted a dominant performance against the Rebels (23-9). The Spartans got off to a sizzling start and hit 11 of their first 13 shots (including 6-of-7 from beyond the 3-point arc) in the first quarter en route to opening an early 29-18 lead by the end of the opening frame.

Hot shooting is nothing new for Webb, but even Norris had to be amazed after his team made 16 of its 24 field goal attempts in the first half.

“We’ve had stretches of games where we’ve made shots like that, but when you start by making 6-of-7 (3 pointers), that’s really good,” Norris said. “But that’s what we do. We move the ball and we make shots.

“Sure, we made shots. But those were open shots and we had guys passing up on good shots to pass the ball for great shots,” he added.

On this night, the Spartans boasted a balanced scoring attack. Burnett, a junior guard who completed his first season at Webb after transferring from Heritage, led the way with 25 points. Powers scored 19, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out five assists. Daughton scored 14 points and had five rebounds. Lanier had four points, five assists and five rebounds.

“This weekend we put together great teamwork,” Powers said, including a 69-47 semifinal victory again CPA Friday, March 1. “Coach (Norris) talked about (winning a state championship all year) and we all have the ability, and this was just an entire team effort.”

“I think it reflects on the amount of work that we put in during the season and the commitment we made to coming together as a team and playing unselfishly and having a common goal,” Lanier said.

Early foul trouble likely kept guard Charlie Wyrick, the team’s lone senior, off the All-tourney team. He scored four points, had three rebounds and two steals.

“Charlie is a four-year varsity guy and he’s a team player,” Norris said. “He’s extremely unselfish. You can lose one guy and your whole team dynamic changes.”