The Chattanooga Mocs and ETSU Bucs played another classic tournament contest. The two schools have met 16 times in the Ingles Southern Conference Championship presented by General Shale. Chattanooga came close but fell short of the semifinals in a 68-64 loss.

“I thought the guys competed really hard today, and really well,” Coach Lamont Paris shared. “That gave us a great chance to be in position to get done what we came here for. I was really happy about the way they competed above all else.”

David Jean-Baptiste led the Mocs with 17 points including four from three-point range. Ramon Vila added 16, while Kevin Easley paced the effort on the boards with 12. Tray Boyd came off the bench to lead all scorers with 21 for the Bucs. Jeromy Rodriguez chipped in 10 points and 15 boards.

Boyd’s 3pt with 12:11 left in the game put the Bucs up nine, 53-44, and looking to run away with it. The Mocs had other plans. Maurice Commander drilled a three from the corner on a strong Jean-Baptiste drive-and-kick. Next trip down, Jean-Baptiste beat the shot clock with a triple. Seven straight defensive stops and Donovann Toatley’s two free throws and the deficit was a mere point, 53-52 at 8:26.

ETSU went up, Chattanooga came back. Easley’s three at 4:19 and another shot clock topper by Jean-Baptiste got the Mocs within a point in the final minutes. But they could not get over the top.

Paris took pride in the growth the team showed. The way they performed above the growing pains of the season.

“Some of the sacrifices they made as far as shot selection from the weak-side helped,” Paris added. “And some things that our guys at times have struggled with, and remembered to do or have done this season, today they were locked in and focused.

“Above all else I thought that they competed at a really high level and at the end of the day that’s what put us in the situation that we were in.”