Skyline’s Kordell Talley raced up court with a Woodville defender on his hip and let go of a high-arching shot that bounced off the backboard and the off the side of the rim.
The basketball hung in the air for moment before being slammed in by Talley’s teammate Dawson Wynn, igniting an deafening roar from the Skyline faithful.
Wynn’s putback dunk was among the highlights of another sharp effort for the Class 1A No. 5-ranked Vikings, who extended their winning streak to eight games with a 64-28 Class 1A Area 14 Tournament championship game over Woodville Thursday night at Skyline High School.
“They’re playing so hard. They’re so focused. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a team this focused this last in the year,” said Skyline head coach Ronnie McCarver. “Starting right before the county tournament and just every game since. Everything we ask of them they’re doing.”
Skyline (22-8) will host a Class 1A Northeast Sub-regional game Tuesday at 7 p.m. against the Area 15 runner-up, either Lindsay Lane or Whitesburg Christian. Woodville (14-15) travels to play the Area 15 champion on Tuesday.
Thursday’s win gave Skyline its 10th straight area tournament championship.
Collin Lockard scored 21 points and Wynn netted 16 for Skyline, which improved to 3-0 against its rival this season. Casey Kendall scored eight points, Jaylon Clements seven, Conner Lockard five, Dylan Bickers four and Talley three.
Blake Frazier scored 12 points for Woodville while Hunter Sisk had five and Blake Lands had four.
Woodville endured a dreadful shooting night, making just 9-of-44 shot attempts while going 0-for-18 from the 3-point arc.
“For us to have a chance to beat Skyline, we’ve got to shoot the ball good [from the 3-point arc],” said Woodville head coach Bubba Smith. “[Skyline is] so long in that zone. If you do get it inside, what are you going to do? They’ve got 6-foot-4, 6-5 players covering you up.”
Said McCarver, “Defensively, we’re guarding you. You’re going to take a long shot or you’re going to come in [the lane] and shoot against long arms. And when you shoot it, we’re getting the rebound. That’s the biggest difference since we came back from [a holiday tournament in] Florida. We played some teams down there that really physical. Since then we’ve done a really good job holding teams to one [shot].”
Skyline’s offense was strong, too. The Vikings took a double-digit lead on Collin Lockard’s putback with 3:33 remaining in the opening quarter, and the lead never dipped in to single digits again. Skyline led 21-6 after one quarter, 37-11 at halftime and 53-19 entering the fourth.
Kendall, Skyline’s lone senior, said the team has found its stride.
“Coach has been tell us to stay patient with the ball and get the shots we want,” he said. “We’ve just been playing really good. That county championship helped a lot, just gave us a boost. If we keep playing the way are, we can make it far.”