South Side underclassmen focused on getting back to state tournament next year
MURFREESBORO – For the past three seasons, the South Side boys basketball team has been working to return to the floor of Murphy Center to play in the Class AA state tournament.
The Hawks got up here this season, and by the tears in his eyes, that meant the world to South Side senior Bryce McBride.
Those tears came after the Hawks lost to Fulton 61-52 in the Class AA quarterfinals, but McBride has cemented his name with other South Side players who have led the Hawks to the state tournament.
Following the game, McBride passed the torch the younger player like sophomores Josh Anderson and Janias Parram to keep the tradition going.
"There is no where to go but up for them," McBride said "It took me three years to get to state. These sophomores have two more years to try and get back up here, and that is a feeling that I will never get again."
Senior classes are always going to be leaders, but they also always graduate.
This South Side team has no juniors, so the sophomores are ready to take the lessons learned this season from the seniors and lead themselves.
"Bryce taught me a lot like you have to be more mature," Parram said. "He is one of the best seniors in Tennessee. I learned a lot from him."
Anderson and Parram were key as the Hawks led by two in the third quarter.
"We have to get better every time we get in the gym and work out," Anderson said. "This is our goal now. We have to practice hard and do what Coach [DaMonn] tells us to do."
Anderson was the leading scorer in the first half with six of his eight points. Parram scored six points in the second half to go along with two rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block.
"It is always a positive when young players step up to the plate," South Side coach DaMonn Fuller said. "You hope they learn and experience what goes on up here, and then they go back in the preseason to work to get back up here again."
Going from a No. 4 seed in the District 14-AA tournament to one of the top eight teams in Class AA, this group of young players has learned how to fight through adversity.
"This group came out and proved a lot of people wrong," Fuller said. "It always a positive making the state tournament and being the only West Tennessee team still playing."
So what is the goal heading into the 2018-19 season?
"We have to practice hard and play hard," Parram said. "We will get back up here. We are going to get the gold ball next year."
Reach Michael Odom at email@example.com or 731-425-9754. Follow him on Twitter @JSwriterMichael.