TCPS Hawks soar high over Eagles
by RICHARD ROBERTS Banner Sports Editor
Feb 07, 2014 | 749 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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TCPS SENIOR JACOB COLEMAN goes up for two of his 27 points against Knoxville Apostolic Thursday, in “The Hawks Nest.” With a 3-pointer in the first quarter, Coleman became the first Hawk in school history to reach 1,000 career points. Banner photo, LYNNAE ROBERTS
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The Tennessee Christian Preparatory School Hawks broke the .500 mark and celebrated the career milestone of senior Jacob Coleman with a 58-51 win over the Knoxville Apostolic Eagles in the battle of “The Birds of Pray” Thursday night at TCPS.

Coleman etched his name in the TCPS record book late in the first quarter, becoming the first Hawk in school history to score 1,000 career points. The talented senior later stepped up to nail down the win from the free-throw line.

“He hit his 1,000th point tonight, the first time in school history,” lauded Hawks coach Frank Walker. “We are proud of him and what he brings to the team. He works hard and always brings a solid effort.”

The Lady Hawks used a third quarter scoring outburst to pull away from the Lady Eagles and win the night’s opener by a score of 56-36.

The Hawks will wind up regular season basketball with back-to-back games Monday and Tuesday.

Coleman opened the boys’ contest with the first five Hawks points, highlighted by a 3-pointer from the right corner. A second 3 with 1:21 left in the first quarter cut the Eagles’ six-point lead to three and put Coleman in the TCPS record book with his 1,000th career point.

The Hawks celebrated the moment with a brief game-stopping ceremony to honor the achievement.

Moments later, a soaring reverse layup by the honoree closed out the first quarter scoring for the Hawks.

Coleman ended the night with 27 points, including three 3s, sharing scoring honors with Apostolic’s Tristan Winters, who also notched 27 points and three treys for the Eagles. Luke Benton did his part for TCPS in reaching double figures with 13 points.

Trailing 19-16 to open the second quarter, the Hawks found the going tough offensively. Luke Benton pulled TCPS within one point at 24-23 with 3:27 left in the half. From there the Hawks managed only a turnaround jumper from Andy Chase and found themselves behind 34-26 at halftime.

Chase had a huge night on the boards for TCPS, pulling down 19 rebounds in the Hawks’ winning effort. Chases’ domination in the pain helped offset what Walker said were far too many giveaways.

“Andy did a great job for us tonight. He was strong on the boards. We needed that because we didn’t start out very tough and ended up with 26 turnovers. That’s our Achilles’ heel,” said Walker. “They did have a very strong player in Tristan Winters. He had a strong night with 27 for the game. But we responded. We weren’t as focused as I would halve liked for the guys to have been, but they responded in the second half and we got a win.”

The third quarter saw a different group of Hawks take flight midway through the period. After falling behind 39-29, TCPS reeled off 14 straight points.

Coleman, Val Berger, Benton and Robbie Davis took command of the offensive floor to boost the Hawks to a 43-39 lead. Winters lifted in a 3 for Apostolic to make it 43-42 at the buzzer.

Coleman’s third 3 of the night put the Hawks on top 46-42. Davis and Chase added two and four points, respectively, in a 6-0 to make it a 52-44 game midway through the final quarter. Apostolic retaliated with a 7-2 run to cut the TCPS lead to three before Coleman put the Hawks back out front by five with 46 seconds to go. Coleman closed out his memorable night from the free-throw line with 20 seconds left to seal the victory.

“He is our senior leader and our go-to guy. He came through for us tonight with 27, a strong night. He iced the game for us at the end when it counted,” said Walker. “Also he rebounded well for us in the second half. I put him on Tristan (Winters) and he came through for us.”

“We outrebounded them 43-19 which is a confidence booster for us. All in all, it’s a win. We came from behind to get the win and I am proud of them.”



The night started out on the rough side for the Lady Hawks in the opener. The Apostolic Lady Eagles took flight and raced to a 12-9 first quarter lead.

Carrie Claypoole cut the Apostolic lead to a single point with the first basket of the second quarter. Merit Jenkins followed with a basket to put the Lady Hawks out front and added a free throw minutes later to make it a 24-12 game. Neely Benton added two more free tosses to give TCPS a four point lead midway through the second.

Neely led the Lady Hawks with 23 points. Apostolic’s Sydney Briggs matched Neely’s effort with 23 for the Lady Eagles.

Apostolic tied the game at 18-18 late in the quarter, but trailed 22-18 after baskets by Logan Hall and Neeley.

“We weren’t getting things we’ve been working on done in the first half. Clearly it was mental mistakes the first half,” said Lady Hawks coach Tawnie Locklear. “The one thing we needed to do was regain control. We had to have that intensity and regain control of the game. They came back out and started playing the way we normally play, our basketball.”

The Lady Hawks came out firing on all cylinders in the third. Merritt Jenkins, who finished with 11 points, fired the first volley of a 13-6 TCPS run that put the Lady Hawks out front 33-21. Karissa Armao, Natalie Calfee and Carrie Claypoole finished out the quarter with two points each inflating the TCPS cushion to 39-25.

The Lady Hawks steadily added to the lead in the fourth building a 17 point lead on a Brooke Howard 2-pointer with 2:42 left to play. Hall closed it out for the Lady Hawks with a final basket to make the final margin 20 points.

“They always put forth a good effort. They just needed a little motivation, that’s what halftime is for,” said Locklear after the second half Lady Hawks resurgence. “The one thing I can always count on is they are going to give their best effort. They may be off that night defensively or whatever, but I can always count on them giving me their best effort.”

Knoxville Apostolic is coached by former Tennessee Volunteers star Frank Hamer, who went on to play in the NBA for the Boston Celtics.


Knoxville Apostolic 12 6 7 11 — 36

TCPS 9 11 19 17 — 56

Apostolic (36) — Sydney Briggs 23, Lambert 9, Warchol 4, Prout 2, P. Briggs.

TCPS (56) — Neely Benton 23, Merritt Jenkins 11, Hall 6, Claypoole 4, Howard 4, Calfee 2, Armao 2, Carter, Rubuano, Nelms.

Records: Apostolic 9-5; TCPS 14-3.


Knoxville Apostolic 19 15 8 9 — 51

TCPS 16 10 17 15 — 58

Apostolic (51) — Tristan Winters 23, Simpson 8, Todd 6, Covey 6, Neeley 4, Doeger, Lam, Watkins.

TCPS (56) — Jacob Coleman 27, Luke Benton 13, Chase 8, Berger 6, Davis 4, Wycoff, Akin.

3-point goals: Apostolic 3 (Winters); TCPS 3 (Coleman)

Records: TCPS 11-10.