Junior Cyclones advance to semifinals before bowing out

from staff reports

   T.A. Dugger turned in a respectable showing for the Middle Seven Conference basketball tournament held this past week, reaching the semifinals of the event.
   The Junior Cyclones started off with a thriller 43-36 double overtime win over Sevier, then dropped a 45-30 decision to Vance in the semis.
   TAD got off to a slow start against Sevier, trailing 8-2 at the end of the first quarter, but bounced back to tie the game at the half (14-14).
   The score was 36-36 at the end of the first OT, then shut out Sevier 7-0 in the sixth period of play.
   Michael Rader led the Junior 'Clones in scoring with 14 points, while Caleb Trivett put together a big 11-point, 16-rebound double-double. Corey Pearson added 12 rebounds and a half-dozen points.
   The Vance game saw TAD grab a 5-0 edge, slip into a 23-12 halftime deficit and pull back into a 29-29 tie early in the fourth period.
   However, Vance went into a stall in the final three minutes and forced TAD to foul. As a result, Vance made 8-of-16 foul shots to close the game and avoid the upset.
   TAD had a fine season that was filled with adversity, including the loss of starting center Bud Watson and starting point guard J.C. Atkinson.
   The Junior Cyclones still showed plenty of heart at the end of the year, ending the regular season with a big win over Unicoi.
   TAD coach James Jacobs said he is proud of his team, adding, "Great year, guys."