Boys further exericse demons in rout

Tariq Daughton, Webb senior guard, dribbles hard to the basket on a fastbreak against the Grace Christian Academy defense as teammate Lukas Walls (2) comes from behind for offensive support. The Spartans pulled away to win easily, 63-44, Friday night, Jan. 31, at GCA.
KNOXVILLE — Beating Grace Christian Academy’s boys basketball team won’t get old anytime soon for Webb School of Knoxville head coach Ricky Norris and his Spartans upperclassmen.

While the scars of losing a down-to-the-wire Division II-A state champship game to the Rams, a region rival, two years ago remain, Webb’s own 2019 state crown has helped soothe bad memories.

However, “You never really get over that one, that’s for sure,” Norris said after a convincing 63-44 victory at GCA Friday night, Jan. 31, extended the Spartans’ measure of revenge.

Rallying late in the first quarter from an 11-4 deficit, Webb went on a 15-0 run and led 38-20 at halftime. The Spartans’ advantage would grow to as many as 27 points, 55-28, late in the third quarter.

“We got off to a slow start, so we changed up what were doing defensively,” Norris said.

The win keeps Norris’ Spartans unbeaten in region play entering this week, led by four players with lots of experience.

Luke Burnett, Webb senior guard, scored a team-high 14 points to pace a balanced attack.

Uriah Powers, senior wing, and David Sanger, junior wing, each tallied 13 points.

“We knew we had to get back in it, they came out hitting some threes. We just had to get back to what we do: play hard, play defense, and we got back in it,” Powers said. “We got our heads right.”

Senior guard Tariq Daughton helped spark the late first-quarter rally and scored nine.

Lukas Walls added eight points for the Spartans, while Jaylon Green, Joseph Moore and Owen Feld scored two apiece.

As exhibited at GCA, “The faster we can play on offense the better for us,” Norris said. “We’ve got guys who can handle the ball and shoot the ball, and they’ve got a pretty high skill level.”

Pointing out his team’s unselfish attitude, “I’m blessed to have a great group that does that,” the Webb coach said. “That’s why I love coaching so much.

“I wouldn’t want to coach a lot of other teams.”

Overall, “I like where we’re at,” he said, adding his team’s post-season state tourney experience means “they know what’s coming, so every day in practice they’re working to where we can reach our potential and play with those (top state) teams.”