Sub-state game in Celina for boys is 2nd in four years, 2nd since 1981


BULLDOG FANS STORM THE COURT after the final buzzer in the 49-48 sub-state win over Temple in Celina back in 2006. A crowd estimated at about 1,850 was on hand and provided deafening support for the Bulldogs, who hosted the game after three straight at Temple in Chattanooga. 


Second time in four years Dawgs, Crusaders meet in Celina

CELINA-Monday night’s home sub-state game against Temple, known as a “sectional” to some, will be only the second hosted on campus by the Bulldog boys team in almost 30 years.

The last one, and first in a quarter-century, was against this same Crusader team back in 2006. 

Before that, the last time a boys’ sub-state game was played in Celina was in 1981, when the Bulldogs lost in the closing seconds to Sale Creek.

The boys’ team “hosted” three more contests in the 1980’s, but all three were played somewhere else due to the TSSAA’s seating capacity rule. 

The Bulldogs hosted a sub-state game at Tennessee Tech’s Hooper Eblen Center in 1984, defeating Jo Byrns in a game officials estimated had a crowd of over 4,000. 

The next two years, the Dawgs, still playing under the Celina High School name, hosted sub-state games at Livingston Academy. In 1985, the CHS boys beat Nashville Christian and in 1986, they defeated Clarksville Academy to earn a third straight trip to the state tournament.


How the HORIZON reported the last sub-state game between the Dawgs and Crusaders

From March 8, 2006 edition

CELINA-Dustin Rich nailed a jumper with 15 seconds left, capping a 13-point comeback by the Clay County Bulldogs over Temple here Monday night and giving CCHS its first state tournament berth in 20 years.

Rich’s jumper put the Dawgs up 49-48, and they survived a last-second shot at the win by the Crusaders to take the sub-state or sectional game. 

Temple had ended the Bulldogs’ past three runs at a state tournament berth in Chattanooga. 

The Bulldogs trailed Temple by ten, 25-15, at halftime and fell behind by 13 in the third quarter before mounting their comeback. 

“These kids just battled, and battled and battled,” said CCHS head coach Rob Edwards after the game. “I told them at halftime that we had been down by 10 or more points in three of our past five games, and that we could go out and do this.”

And do it the Dawgs did. After falling behind by the big margin, they began to whittle away at the lead. It was 35-29 after three, but Temple pulled back out to an eight-point lead midway through the final quarter. 

Three-pointers by Tyler Kerr and Saylor Walden, a bucket by Rich and two free throws by Jon Godwin made it 48-47. A Crusader turnover and a Bulldog timeout with 33 seconds left set the stage for Rich’s winning bucket. 

Rich made the turnaround jumper with 15 seconds left. A last-second Crusader shot was off the mark, and there was a tie ball on the ensuing rebound with just two-tenths of a second left. The Dawgs inbounded the ball, running out the clock, and sending CCHS to a first-round state tournament game next Wednesday in Murfreesboro.