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Jaylen Jones (left), Taylor Groves (right)

The third time was the charm for East Nashville.

For the first time in school history, East Nashville Magnet High School has a gold ball to display in its trophy case after the Eagles (32-3) dominated Milan 72-55 in the TSSAA Class 2A state championship game Saturday at the Murphy Center on the campus of MTSU.

It was the ninth straight win for the Eagles, who lost just three games all year to Tennessee Prep, DII-AA state tournament team CPA and 4A state tourney team Cane Ridge.

East Nashville’s 1-2 punch of Jarrod Taylor and Jaylen Jones carried the team to wins over Summertown and Power Center en route to the championship game. 

Jones had a game-high 20 points while adding seven assists, five rebounds and three steals. It was the latest in a series of impressive performances from the three-star junior, who also had a triple double in East Nashville’s quarterfinal win over Summertown. He was named tournament MVP after averaging 14.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and seven assists per game.

“I was on him all year about being more aggressive offensively, shooting,” East Nashville coach Avery Patton said. “But he felt suited to distribute to his own teammates. But when we needed him today to score, he scored.”

In addition to Jones’ impressive performance, Taylor chipped in 16 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals. The 2A Mr. Basketball finalist averaged 19.3 points per game in the tournament, including a 23-point outing against Summertown.

The Eagles also got contributions from Jacolby Summers, who added 11 points, and Michael Armstrong, who had 10. East Nashville shot 55 percent from the field and 56 percent from 3-point range.

Taylor, Armstrong, Jordan Crawford and Cullen Cleaves were all named to the All-Tournament team.

East Robertson wins first hoops title since 1989

It had been 33 years since East Robertson last celebrated a state basketball championship.

That changed on Saturday after the Indians (27-6) topped Peabody 67-42 in the TSSAA Class 1A state championship at the Murphy Center on the campus of MTSU.

The East Robertson defense stifled Peabody (21-10), holding the Golden Tide to their lowest scoring output of the season with 11 turnovers and a lowly field goal percentage of just 30.

The win punctuated an epic season turnaround for the Indians, who started 5-5 but won 22 of their final 23 games, including a District 8A championship win over Trousdale County and a sectional win over Van Buren County.

It was also a bit of redemption for Taylor Groves, who was on the 2019-20 East Robertson team that went 23-10, won the District 9A and Region 5A championships, and made it to the Class 1A state tournament.

“It’s something I wanted to do for the community, my coaches and my teammates,” said Taylor Groves, a two-sport star and Ole Miss commit. “To be able to come out on top, it feels amazing.”

Groves scored a game-high 24 points and added eight rebounds, five assists and a steal, while his cousin Elijah Groves added 18 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals. Jordan Barnard chipped in 11 points.

Taylor Groves was named 1A tournament MVP, while his brother Shaun Groves plus cousin Elijah Groves and Barnard were named to the All-Tournament team.

Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @MGsports_