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Coalmont edges Eastside for Masonic tourney championship
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The Coalmont Middle School basketball team came to Warren County last week and defeated three local teams on its way to the Masonic tournament title.Playing at Charlie Dalton Gym, Coalmont defeated the Warren County Middle School junior varsity team in the opening round, tamed the Irving College Tigers in the semifinals, then beat the Eastside Bulldogs 50-31 on Thursday night in the championship.The Bulldogs came into the game riding a four-game winning streak as the team already had one tournament title under its belt. Eastside won the Morrison Ruritan tournament before Christmas and dispatched Covenant and North Grundy Middle School to make it to another championship game.In the finals, Eastside ran into the same problem two other teams had against Coalmont. The Bulldogs couldn’t slow down the forward combo of Trey Hampton and Zack Sanders.Hampton scored 25 points and Sanders added 16 as the two Coalmont stars outscored Eastside on their own.The Bulldogs got off to a slow start, scoring only three points in the first quarter to trail 10-3 after six minutes.Cito Garcia matched the entire first-quarter output for Eastside on one shot when he drained a 3-pointer in the second quarter, but the Bulldogs still found themselves trailing 26-12 going into halftime.Eastside’s offense awoke in the third quarter when Tyler Beaty and Raleigh Woods each scored four points and Kade Burnett sank a 3-pointer, but Hampton was at his best in the period.The Bulldogs scored 15 points as a team in the third, but Hampton scored 13 on his own to keep Coalmont comfortably out front entering the fourth quarter.Facing a 16-point deficit going into the final six minutes, Eastside’s coach decided to get a good look at his younger players as the Bulldogs substituted in many of their bench players.Jesse Jones scored four points in the final quarter, but the Bulldogs never could mount a comeback against Coalmont.Woods led Eastside with eight points in the championship.