Balanced Blazers Roll Past Caldwell County Into Regional Semifinals


The University Heights Academy Blazers are headed back to the regional semifinals for the first time since their regional championship season in 2021. Four Blazers scored in double figures as UHA rolled past the Caldwell County Tigers 81-60 in Wednesday night’s second regional quarterfinal game.

After struggling a bit to find a rhythm in the early going, the Blazers hit their stride in the second half and once they did, the Tigers had trouble finding enough firepower to keep up.

Quinton Quarles and Kyler Baker got the Blazers going as UHA took a quick 4-0 lead. But the Tigers came right back behind the efforts of Carter Whittington, Luke Parker, and Demaurius Thompson to pick up five quick points of their own to take their first lead of the game at 5-4.

A strong stretch of minutes for Baker helped to ignite a 7-0 Blazer run to claim an 11-5 lead. The University Heights lead was 16-11 after the opening quarter.

One of the loudest cheers of the entire night came during the middle of the first quarter when Tylin George returned to the court for the first time since he suffered a broken collarbone against Christian County back on January 26. Not long after entering the game, George knocked down his first three-pointer of the night.

JayDarius Wilson, who had a very quiet opening quarter, made a bit more noise for the Tigers in the second. With Wilson becoming more assertive down in the lane, Caldwell County came battling back as the quarter got started and would end up catching the Blazers at 18-18. The game would also be tied at 21-21 and 23-23, but the Tigers could not quite get to the lead.

University Heights finished the first half with an 8-2 spurt that was capped off by a Quinton Quarles three just ahead of the halftime horn. The Blazers headed off to the locker room with a 31-25 and in apparent possession of the momentum.

The Tigers’ JayDarius Wilson reached a career milestone in the first half. With his fourth point of the game during the second quarter, Wilson reached 1,000 for his career.

Caldwell County was hanging around due to their rebounding and controlling the tempo. The Tigers outrebounded the Blazers 20-19 in the first half and their control of the flow of play appeared to have UHA off-stride for much of the half.

The momentum from Quarles buzzer-beater three did carry over to the start of the second half for University Heights. After a basket from JayDarius Wilson cut the lead to 31-27, the Blazers found another gear. With the defense provding the juice, UHA ripped off an 11-0 run to get the lead into double digits for the first time at 42-27. That 15 point margin is where things would stand when the quarter ended as UHA held a 53-38 lead.

The Blazers also had another one of those momentum plays to end the third. It appeared Caldwell County was headed for a layup just ahead of the buzzer when Tylin George closed fast and rejected Carter Whittington’s shot just before the horn.

Both offenses cranked it up in the final quarter, but the problem for Caldwell County at that point was that the Tigers needed stops and points, but the points were flowing free for both teams. UHA scored 28 points in the first six minutes of the 4th quarter as the Blazers extended the lead to 81-58 when the starters were pulled with two minutes left in the contest.

Elijah Walton officially put a seal on the win with a pair of highlight reel dunks and a one-handed put-in off a lob pass.

Walton led the Blazers for the night with 20 points and 7 rebounds. Kyler Baker finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds. Gavin Grubbs added 15 points while Quinton Quarles finished with 12.

JayDarius Wilson had a big second half and led Caldwell County with 21 points, 15 of them coming after the break. He also had 7 rebounds. Demaurius Thompson added 9 points and 7 rebounds for the Tigers.

With the win, the Blazers improve to 24-6 on the season and advance on to Monday night’s first regional semifinal game, where they will take on Henderson County, who picked up a a 66-49 win over Trigg County in Wednesday night’s first game.

Caldwell County sees its season come to an end with a record of 19-14.

CCHS  —  11   14   13   22  –  60
UHA   —  16   15   22   28  –  81

Caldwell County – Wilson 21, Thompson 9, Car. Whittington 8, Col. Whittington 8, Lander 8, Parker 4, Wall 2

University Heights – Walton 20, Baker 16, Grubbs 15, Quarles 12, George 9, Hauret 7, Northington 3

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