Blackman weathered an impressive storm and 3-point onslaught by Lawrence County on Thursday night to capture the Region 4-AAA championship 58-52 before a rowdy crowd.
The Blaze will face Bradley Central Monday night at 7 at home in a Sectional game for the right to advance to the TSSAA State Tournament. Lawrence County play at Waker Valley. Both winners advance to the TSSAA State Tournament with the victory.
The Blaze (31-0) led by as many as 13 points in both halves, but Lawrence County senior guard poured in 24 points and made six 3-pointers to keep the Wildcats at bay.
Blackman led 31-24 at the half, 49-39 at the end of three and took a 51-39 advantage with 6:51 remaining. However, Lawrence County trimmed the lead to 51-46 with 2:02 remaining.
The Blaze spread it out in the half -court and were forced to make free throws down the stretch, which they did by making 7 of 11 after the 2:02 mark.
"We practice that drill every day," said Blackman junior guard and MTSU commitment Donovan Sims, who scored 11 points and made the All-Tournament team. "We just moved the ball around and executed. We knew it would be a great atmosphere with their players, their parents and students. It was a lot of fun."
* MTCS' boys also advanced to Sectional play after winning the 5-A region crown with a 78-74 at McEwen on Thursday. The Cougars host Columbia Academy on Monday night at 7.