The Crestview Middle School Chargers pose for a photo after clinching a state tournament berth earlier this week in Newbern.

The Crestview Middle School Chargers battled their way to a 19-1 season with three straight wins in sectional play in Newbern this week to earn a berth in the state tournament.

CMS will open play in the four-team state tournament on Feb. 11 in Murfreesboro. The consolation and title games will be played Feb. 12.

After an opening round 48-17 demolition of West Bemis Middle, the young Chargers were tasked with defeating an unbeaten team from Bolivar.


It took a run all the way to the final horn, but Covington prevailed 40-38 on a buzzer beater by TY Beard to take down the Tigers. The Chargers had possession with 16 seconds left and the game tied at 38. Five passes ensued around the perimeter followed with the last three involving Ty Beard. Beard drove the lane after receiving pass. He was tripled-teamed. He dribbled back out and then turned and wove his way through three defenders to score the winning layup as time expired.

Crestview coach Gary Murdock described as likely the best win of his coaching career. The Chargers dropped Inman Middle from Paris 32-29 to earn their spot at state.

This game had plenty of drama as well. With nine seconds on the clock and the Chargers leading 32-29, Inman got the ball to the center circle. The shooter split two Charger defenders and heaved a desperation 3-point attempt that banged off the backboard and the front of the rim before falling away to the floor as time expired.

Devon Mason and T.J. Miller paced CMS with 10 points each. Duke Somerville scored seven, all in the second half and Beard had five, all in the fourth.

Steve Holt
Author: Steve Holt