Led by the point scoring duo of Joe Bob Charles and Wheeler Lancey, the Gilmer High School Bobcats boys’ basketball team won its third straight Tip-Off Tournament title, going undefeated in the process. The tournament, featuring three schools from North Georgia, Gilmer, Pickens High School, and Fannin County High School, the host this year, and Copper Basin of Tennessee.
Gilmer started the tournament out against the Pickens Dragons. Things were close early on, and it looked like Gilmer could be in trouble when Charles exited early in the second quarter with three fouls.
However, the Bobcats began to pull away, despite Charles’ absence from the floor. Bailey Allen, Lancey, Corey Waters, and Taner Reece all stepped up in Charles’ absence. At halftime, the “Cats” led 31-19.
The smooth moves by Gilmer and the great ball movement led to points, while the fast paced defense created problems for Pickens. The “Cats” took game one of the tournament with a score of 63-46.
Day two proved to be more of the same from the Gilmer as the “Cats” took on the Copper Basin Cougars. The highlight play of the game came in the second quarter when senior Taner Reece blocked a shot so hard legend has it the ball landed in Hiawassee. At halftime, the Cougars was doing its best to hang close, trailing the “Cats” by nine, 36-25.
Charles was able to draw fouls with ease in this game, attempting 15 free throws. When the final buzzer sounded, Gilmer won 63-49. Charles scored a whopping 37 points in the game, Reece followed with 10, and Lancey with nine.
The final game of the tournament was against the hosting Rebels. This was the closest of the three games, but the second half was low scoring for the “Cats” making the final score of the game closer than it the gameplay itself.
The “Usual Suspects” stole the show again. Charles scored easy, Lancey was hitting threes, floaters, and making passes like no other, and Reece was being aggressive and dominant in the paint, scoring and grabbing rebounds at a high rate.
This paired with the great play of Waters and others helped the Bobcats win the game 56-44.
The Title-Winning Bobcats had three players named to the All-Tournament Team. To nobody’s surprise, Charles, Lancey, and Reece were the players who received the honors.
Charles averaged 28 points per game over the tournament. The Young Harris commit looks to lead the Bobcats and continue the hot play when Gilmer plays host to Gordon Central on Tuesday December 3rd.