The Dayton City School (DCS) Sweatbee basketball team won the Tennessee Middle School Athletic Association (TMSAA) Area Three AA Basketball Tournament, as the Sweatbees defeated the Sweetwater Middle School Wildcats 45-40 in the championship game on Thursday, Jan. 30.

The Sweatbees jumped out to a 12-5 first quarter lead over Sweetwater behind the point contributions from Bryce Dupre (4), Kyler Akin (3), Rex Pendergrass (3) and Ethan Davis (2).

The DCS offense cranked out 19 more points in the second to Sweetwater’s 15 and led 31-20 at the half. Pendergrass tallied 14 of his game-high 20 points in the second to lead the Sweatbees. Davis drained a trey and Dupre added a basket.

A very cold third quarter, where the Sweatbees only scored three points to the Wildcats’ nine, left DCS clinging to a 34-29 lead headed to the final period.

Each team produced 11 points in the fourth quarter and the Sweatbees held on to claim the 5-point win for the championship.

Sweatbee scorers included Pendergrass (20), Davis (14), Dupre (8) and Akin (3).

Pendergrass hit three 3-pointers, while Davis hit two and Akin had one in the game.

In Wednesday’s semifinal game, the Sweatbees faced and defeated the North Middle School Stars 44-41 in a thriller that came down to the last shot for the tie, but fell short for the Stars.

After getting outscored 10-7 in the first quarter, 13-12 in the second, the Sweatbees trailed 23-19 at the half. The Sweatbees opened the second half with a 13-2 run and then proceeded to outscore the Stars 25-18 in the half to get the 3-point win. However, the Stars made the DCS fans nervous as they drained a 3-pointer with 6.8 seconds left in the game, cutting the Sweatbees’ lead to two points.

North immediately fouled Dupre and sent him to the free throw line for two shots with 6.4 showing on the clock. Dupre went 1-of-2 and put the Sweatbees back up three points. The Stars got the rebound off the second free throw that missed, quickly went down court and had a good look at a potential game tying 3-pointer, but the shot rimmed out and DCS got the win. 

Sweatbee scorers included Davis (12), Pendergrass (11), Dupre (9), Akin (6), Sam Stumbo (3), Dawson Mickel (2) and Landon Stewart (1).

On Monday, the Sweatbees cruised past the Athens Middle School Cougars 51-27 in the opening round to reach the semifinal game.

Next up for the Sweatbees is the TMSAA AA Sectional Tournament, which will be held at Anderson County High School, beginning Saturday, Feb. 1. Since the Sweatbees finished first, they’ll enter the tourney as a No. 1 seed and received an opening round bye. Their first game will be on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 5 p.m., and they will face the Jefferson Middle School Eagles.