Jarrod Taylor

East Nashville’s quest for the program’s first-ever state championship was extended on Tuesday as the Eagles (31-3) defeated Summertown (27-7) 70-52 in the first round of the TSSAA Class 2A state tournament. 

The dynamic backcourt duo of Jaylen Jones and Jarrod Taylor put on a show for the fans at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro.

Jones finished with a triple-double in the win with 16 points and team-highs with 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Jones completed his triple-double with a no-look pass to Taylor in the fourth quarter. The junior point guard shot 6 of 13 from the field and swiped a team-best four steals.

Taylor, a Class 2A Mr. Basketball finalist, led East Nashville in scoring with 23 points on 9 of 16 shooting to go along with three rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block. 

Junior Jordan Crawford also added 16 points (on 7-12 shooting), two rebounds, three assists and two steals. 

The Eagles only led by eight at halftime, but a 12-5 run at the beginning of the third quarter started to put the game out of reach for Summertown.

East Nashville finds itself back in the state semifinals, as it was in 2019. The Eagles fell 66-55 to state runner-up Knoxville Fulton that year. In 2020, they qualified for the state tournament, but it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last season, the Eagles fell just short of the state tournament with a sectional round loss.

East Nashville has yet to win a state title, losing in the championship game previously in 2011 and 2014. Now, the Eagles are one win away from playing in their third state championship game.

East Nashville will face Power Center (20-4) on Thursday at 3:45 p.m. in the Murphy Center on the campus of MTSU.