Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Dyron Nix. …
- Ensworth made it a Saturday sweep as the girls and boys basketball teams won D-II Class AA state championships at Lipscomb's Allen Arena.
The boys had to work overtime to secure their third straight state championship. The Tigers took a come-from-behind 87-77 overtime win.
Individual play by Briarcrest senior center Austin Nichols and Ensworth senior guard Corn Elder was the best high school basketball has to offer at any level.
Briarcrest and Ensworth met for the second straight year in the D-II Class AA state championship, with Ensworth's boys winning their third consecutive state title.
Briarcrest featured Nichols, a Mr. Basketball who is the most offensively polished big man at the high school level that I have seen in a long time.
Nichols has a great pair of hands, can catch it with one hand, score with his left hand or right and finish in a variety of ways.
Although his parents have a Tennessee background, Nichols has decided to stay home and will play for Memphis. He had 42 points against Ensworth. The rest of his team scored 35 points. Nichols was 17 of 22 from the floor, added 8 of 12 from the free throw line. He grabbed 14 rebounds while blocking three shots.
Ensworth was led once again by Elder, who has signed to play football at UMiami and plans to play basketball for the ‘Canes.
The cat-quick Elder led Ensworth with 41 points on 12 of 28 from the field. He was only 1 of 8 from the 3-point arc, but 16 of 19 from the free throw line.
Ensworth had no answer for Nichols in the first half, but their answer for him in the final two quarters was to deny him the basketball by forcing Briarcrest's more inexperienced guards into turnovers. The Tigers had a 22-6 point advantage off turnovers and in the second half was up 17-1 on second chance points.
The victory gave Ensworth Coach Ricky Bowers his third consecutive state basketball title.
- While all the public school classes hold their state tournaments at MTSU's Murphy Gym, the private schools held their tournaments at Lipscomb University's Allen Arena. Nothing against Lipscomb's gym, but for the girls state championship game to be played at 9 a.m. Saturday and the boys to be played at 11 a.m., takes something away from what a state championship environment should be.
I don't know what the current makeup of the TSSAA's Board of Control is, as it is not listed on their website. I know it used to be filled with members from public schools, none from private schools. If that is still true, Executive Director Bernard Childress should move to correct that.
- My criminal investigator expertise doesn't go past NCIS, but something tells me the Bladerunner, South Africa's Oscar Pistorius, is in deep doo-doo.
If he believes anyone will swallow his story that he thought he was shooting a home invader, color me stunned. I'm pretty sure an invader would not lock himself in a bathroom while Pistorius was shooting through the door, striking his live-in gal pal dead.
- This year's Pepsi Celebration of Champions promises to have several of the most hotly contested categories ever. It is set for Thursday at the Grand Ole Opry House. A reception and silent auction starts at 5:30 p.m. with the awards presentation at 7.
The Sports Person of the Year candidates are more than worthy. In any other year, any one of these candidates would win the award.
You have Cy Young winners R.A. Dickey and David Price. How do you pick one over the other? You have PGA Tour golfer Brandt Snedeker coming off his most successful season since turning pro by winning the Tour Championship, as well as the FedEx Cup and playing in his first Ryder Cup.
Then there is Brian Baker, whose comeback story on the professional tennis circuit, was unbelievable. Given up for dead after a series of injuries, Baker battled back against heavy odds to have the season of his life.
The final candidate is Vandy football coach James Franklin, whose team reached new levels this season.
- Too bad our state department didn't have the foresight to have Dennis Rodman serve as U.S. ambassador to Libya when the consulate at Benghazi was overrun by terrorists, leading to the death of our ambassador and three other Americans.
Rodman has shown his ability to connect with world leaders such as North Korea despot Kim Jong-un.
"He is like his grandfather and father, who are great leaders,'' Rodman announced. "He is an awesome kid, very honest and loves his wife so much.''
Rodman obviously has an uncommon gift to read into people's psyche. Rodman's also an awesome kid. He could be the front-runner for Time Magazine's Man of the Year.
- Back to reality. Timing is everything and Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco's timing was spot on. He has now joined the elite level of NFL quarterbacks, at least when it comes to contracts.
It remains to be seen how the contract will affect Flacco's play. He will be a target for defenses.
- I look for Belmont to win the OVC Tournament at Municipal Auditorium and Florida to win the SEC Tournament at Bridgestone Arena.
Belmont could trip up against Murray State, a more physical, athletic team. Florida is a team that should be healthy by tournament time and the Gators are the class of a very average SEC.
- Our Town lost one of its finest when Don McGehee passed away last week in Mt. Juliet. He was 89 years old.
He was the epitome of a man's man. He served in WWII as a Marine and later was a judo instructor in the Corps. During his life, Don was a popular TV wrestler in the 1950s, known as Robinhood McGehee.
He was a 65-year member of the YMCA and it was at the Downtown YMCA where I first met Don. He worked as a judge, a warden, as Director of Pardons and Parole and was honored in 1963 in Washington, D.C. for his work as Chief Juvenile Officer.
Don was Nashvillian of the Year in 1999 for work in his I Am Somebody program for children in grades 1-4. I would accompany him to some of those programs and his connect with that age group was evident. There was no generation gap with Don. In 1998, President George Bush honored Don in the Points of Life program.
Job well done, Marine.
Contact wkrn.com Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at firstname.lastname@example.org.