MURFREESBORO – Jett Montgomery and the Independence High School boys’ basketball team wanted to prove they could play for a state championship all season.
Now, they’ll get that opportunity.
The Eagles shut down Memphis East and recorded a 78-58 victory in the Class 4A BlueCross State Championships at the Murphy Center on Friday. Independence will play for a state title for the first time in school history Saturday at 1:30 p.m. against Memphis Overton.
“I think we had a chip on our shoulder this game,” said Montgomery, who scored a game-best 24 points. “A lot of people have been saying some things about these Memphis teams, but we some dogs over here.”
State Hoops Photo Gallery – Independence boys vs. Memphis East, Class 4A Semifinal
The Independence High School boys' basketball advanced to the program's first state championship game with a 78-58 win over Memphis East in the Class 4A BlueCross State Championship semifinals on Friday, March 17, 2023 at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro.
State Hoops – Independence boys vs. Memphis East, Class 4A Semifinal
Photo by Charles Pulliam @cspulliam
Brayden Buck fired in six 3-pointers for the Eagles and finished with 20 points, while Matthew Witt recorded 18 points on 8 of 11 shooting to go with nine rebounds. Tylan Lewis provided an all-around performance for Independence with nine points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists.
Independence used a 22-8 second-quarter run to build a double-figure lead that stuck – and stretched – in the second half. Memphis East shot just 33.9% from the field and misfired on 20 of 22 3-point attempts for a 9.1% clip from beyond the arc.
MURFREESBORO – The first shot Jett Montgomery took on the state tournament stage didn’t draw…
“It feels great to get here, but obviously the last thing we need to do is just get comfortable where we are at,” the senior Witt said. “We’re obviously not going to stop now. Everyone of us is driven to get the next one, too.”
Memphis Overton handled Hillsboro, the Region 6-4A runner-up to Independence, in the other semifinal 71-61 behind 36 points from Jordan Frison.
VIDEO: Here's a little glimpse into the action from the first half where Independence leads Memphis East 35-24 --> pic.twitter.com/FhKlPTv0jI
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