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Blackman High School Boys’ Basketball Head Coach Barry Wortman on reaching 600-win milestone

By MTN Sports Reporter: Christian Skelton

MURFREESBORO, Tenn.- After a thrilling double overtime victory on the road at Rockvale last Thursday night, Blackman High School Boys’ Basketball Head Coach Barry Wortman gave the credit to everyone but himself.  

“We had a ton of guys step up tonight and really make shining moment plays when we needed them to,” said Wortman.  

Wortman recently reached the milestone of 600 career wins coaching. This was achieved in the middle of Wortman’s 14th season leading the Blaze, having led them to eight state tournament appearances, and one state championship coming in 2014. Much like after the victory on Thursday, Wortman gave the glory to his players.  

“I didn’t have a rebound, steal or assist in any of those 600 wins, it was all about the players. It’s a player driven record if you ask me,” said Wortman.  

One of the best players on this current Blaze team is Jr. guard Garrison Eady. Eady made one of the crucial plays in the victory over Rockvale as he hit a game-tying three as the overtime buzzer sounded to send the game to a second overtime.  

“It actually wasn’t even the play that was drawn up, but my big man couldn’t get into it in time, so I just told him to give it right back to me. I saw the defender come over, so I split the floor and took my shot,” said Eady.  

Eady has been a leader for this team all season and talked about what it meant to be a part of the team that got Wortman to that milestone.  

“It was an awesome feeling because Coach is a really good coach, and we have a really good relationship. I know how much that meant to him which is why it meant a lot to all of us,” said Eady.  

One of the main things Wortman is most known for in the region is his tournament success. Not only has Wortman led the Blaze to the state tournament 8 of his 13 completed seasons at Blackman, but he’s also led them to the sectional round 11 times.  

“We’ve had our fair share of games where we’ve just been really good, but we’ve also had a lot of games where guys have just risen to the occasion and I think that’s a byproduct of players that are tough, committed and not afraid of the moment,” said Wortman.  

Connecting with high school players in today’s game can be much harder than it used to be with the way today’s generation is, but Wortman hasn’t found that to be the case.  

I’ve found that guys in this era are more committed, love ball, and have as much passion as any era I’ve coached even going back to the 90s and 2000s,” said Wortman.  

He also added that his favorite type of players to coach over the years have been ones that match his competitive mindset.  

“I’m sort of like Bob Huggins where even though I’m demanding and challenge guys I really don’t mind if guys bark back if they’re passionate and handle it the right way I like guys that will come back at me in the heat of the moment,” said Wortman.  

Wortman and the Blaze are currently in the last week of the regular season and are 12-10 on the year. They will begin postseason play with the district tournament next week.  


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