The GCHS boys’ basketball team placed second in the District 7-2A Tournament last weekend before its season came to an end Saturday in the regional quarterfinals.
The Yellow Jackets finished runners-up to No. 11 Cascade with a 79-61 loss in the district tournament finals last Tuesday before falling 69-43 to Pearl Cohn at home on Saturday in the region.
“I am really proud of our guys,” head coach Kevin Butner said. “We didn’t end the season the way we wanted to, but placing second in the district and the district tournament are great accomplishments. We had a lot of guys on this team who had never played for a championship, and that experience is going to make a big difference next season.”
After trampling Forrest 51-25 in the semifinals, GCHS could not keep up its momentum in the championship game against Cascade. The Champions completed the season sweep of Grundy with an offensive burst halfway through the fourth quarter.
The Jackets trailed just 62-59 with five minutes to play, but a turnover and three Champions 3-pointers put the game out of reach down the stretch.
Following the game, Brendan Marsh and Alex Parson received all-district honors, and Sam Parson and Isaac Campbell were elected to the all-tournament team. Sam Parson was also voted the district’s co-MVP for the season, landing him an automatic spot on the all-district team. He is Grundy’s first district MVP since Jaden Ruehling earned the award in 2021.
For securing the No. 2 seed for Region 4, Grundy hosted third-seeded Pearl Cohn last Saturday at Ricky Richards Gym for the first round of region play. While GCHS had the upper hand with home-court advantage, the Firebirds proved to be better than a No. 3 seed as they rolled to a 69-43 victory.
“Pearl Cohn was such a tough draw for us,” Butner said. “They got upset by Whites Creek in their district tournament, so they really should have been at least a two seed, and they just outplayed us. I hate that our season is over, but I was glad we got to host a region game and have our guys play on their home court one final time.”
The Firebirds controlled the game from the get-go, taking a 21-7 lead after the first eight minutes. Jarod Huntley supplied 11 points for the Jackets in the first half, but Pearl Cohn held a commanding 34-17 lead at the break. GCHS was outscored 35-26 in the second half.
Huntley ended the night with 13, and Sam Parson scored 12 of his team-best 15 points in the final 16 minutes.
For the Firebirds, Mr. Basketball nominee Doyel Cockrell led the team with 21 points, and Mekhi Wallace tacked on 17.
Grundy finished the season 19-10 with a 4-3 mark in the district. It’s 19 wins are the second-most in a single season for the Jackets since Butner became its head coach in 2016-17, coming up one victory short of their 20-win campaign in 2020-21.
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