“He’s following a lineage of Gavin Myers, Robert Gray, Tyler Tidmore, and more of those guys who are going to be in the gym more than anybody,” Tidmore said. “He lifts us during the game with effort, too.”
That was never more evident than Monday night’s Class 1A, Area 14 tournament championship game at Cedar Bluff.
Moore did a little bit of everything against the Tigers. He netted a game-high 21 points, including a 9-of-11 effort from the free-throw line. He also grabbed six rebounds in helping the No. 9 Panthers earn a 58-50 victory to capture the area championship.
Moore was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player for his effort. The soft-spoken Moore credits his teammates for getting him the open looks he’s accustomed to having.
“My team put me in position to be MVP,” he said. “A lot of people like Davey Posey, C.J. Jones, Daniel Bradford and Shon McElrath, that’s why I believe I got MVP. People started spacing out on them, and I had some holes open up.”
Moore was the catalyst who got things going for the Panthers (21-6). He scored 10 of his points in the first quarter against the Tigers (16-14), which Collinsville led 19-14.
When Cedar Bluff began to apply more pressure on Moore in the second quarter, he made his presence felt at the free-throw line. He sank 4 of 6 free throws in the quarter, helping the Panthers maintain their five-point cushion at halftime at 29-24.
When Moore began to cool down in the third quarter, McElrath began to heat up. He scored all 13 of his points in the second half. McElrath also posted 12 rebounds, had a crucial steal at mid court and converted a layup on the other end in the fourth quarter.
The play exemplified what Cedar Bluff coach Joe Carpenter was trying to get the Tigers to prevent from happening to them.
“They took it to us,” he said. “They trapped us. They forced us into the situations we were in. We didn’t have much of an answer for it. We tried to be prepared for it, but we weren’t as prepared as Collinsville was. It was just us not playing smart basketball.
“I’m surprised the score was as close as it was. It was a tribute to the hustle and team defense Collinsville displayed tonight. When it all boils down to it, they wanted it more than we wanted it. They deserve it.”
After trailing 45-38 at the end of the third quarter, the Tigers rallied to cut the Panther lead to 45-43 on a bucket by Rihied Harris with 6:16 to go in the fourth. However, the Panthers outscored Cedar Bluff 13-7 the rest of the way for the final – including a 9-of-10 free-throw performance in the quarter.
Junior forward DeAngelo Hardy led Cedar Bluff with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Harris added 13 points and four steals. Evan McBurnett finished with 12 points, five rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot.
Hardy and Harris were selected to the all-tournament team for their efforts.
Posey posted 10 points and eight boards for Collinsville. Posey, along with McElrath and Moore, were all-tournament selections from Collinsville. Valley Head’s Gage Jones rounded out the all-tournament selections.
Collinsville will now host Area 15 runner-up Athens Bible (7-17) on Friday. Cedar Bluff will travel to Area 15 winner and seventh-ranked Skyline (19-9). Skyline defeated Athens Bible in other tournament final action on Monday 53-40.