By Ed Greif
After posting 2-1 records in TSSAA Hall of Fame games last week, the Stone Memorial basketball teams traveled to Fentress County to face Clarkrange in non-district action Monday night.
Coach Neil Capps' Panthers improved to 3-1 with a 50-33 win, while John Walker's Lady Panthers fell to 2-2 with a 76-36 setback to the Lady Buffaloes.
"Losing our starting point guard and coming to Clarkrange without him was hard," said Capps. "The three seniors played 32 minutes. We had great contribution off the bench."
Junior point guard Gage Spence was unable to play due to illness.
Senior Tyler Yoder led the Panthers with 27 points, while seniors Luke Matthews and Justin Simmons added six points. Rounding out the scoring were Mason Baucom (three points), Nathainel Sexton (two), Tayler Orme (two) and Collin Russell (three), as all of the Panthers had some playing time.
Yoder scored the Panthers' first seven points of the game for a 7-2 lead, but back-to-back three-pointers by Logan Beaty gave the Buffaloes an 8-7 advantage.
A three-point play by Matthews with 3:53 triggered a 16-0 run to give the Panthers a 23-8 advantage. Consecutive three-point baskets by Simmons, Yoder and Mason Baucum were key in the run.
One of two free throws by Landon Baldwin with 22 seconds in the quarter ended the scoring, with the Panthers leading 23-9.
A layup by Matthews and a trey by Yoder extended the Panther lead to 28-9 with 7:15 left in the half, but the Buffaloes hit seven of eight free throws in an 11-0 run to slice the Panther lead to 28-20 with under two minutes left in the half.
Another Yoder trey helped SMHS finish the half with a 3-1 spurt for a 31-21 lead at the break. SMHS forced six first-half turnovers.
SMHS opened the third quarter with a 8-0 run to take a 39-21 lead with 5:31 left in the stanza, but back-to-back treys by Beaty and Baldwin sliced the deficit to 39-27 with 1:25 remaining. Orme's jumper near the end of the quarter made the score 41-27.
It seemed like an eternity in the fourth quarter before someone scored, as both teams could not convert turnovers into points. Matthews converted a steal into a layup with 3:24 left in the game to stop the scoring drought and help the Panthers outscore the Buffaloes 9-6 for the 50-33 final score.
Clarkrange 76, Lady Panthers 36: Clarkrange placed four players in double figures en route to the victory over SMHS. Kara Meadows, Cheyenne Shaver, Brittany Cooper and Faith Van Ruden tallied 23, 22, 11 and 10 markers, respectively.
Kirsten Potter led the Lady Panthers with 10, followed by Abby Griffin (nine), Bailely Rutledge (six points), Jackie Livesay (three points), Tiffany Cokkinias (two points), Sam Gray (two points), Jordan Thompson (one point) and Lacey Melton (three points). Brittany Brun, Hailey Coudriet, Riley Hunt and Courtney White also played.
With the score tied at 2-2, Shaver buried a trey to jump start the Lady Buffaloes into a 21-5 run to take a 22-7 lead with 3:14 left in the first quarter. A layup by Potter helped the Lady Panthers finish the quarter with a 9-7 run to slice the advantage to 29-14.
Clarkrange was 11 of 19 from the field, while SMHS was seven of 14 with 11 turnovers.
Clarkrange stretched their advantage to 36-27 with under 4:45 left in the half and then finished the half with a 16-0 run for a 54-22 lead at the break. Again, the Lady Buffaloes were hot from the field, nine of 12, while SMHS was three of 11 with seven turnovers. Cokkinias, Potter and Rutledge each had two points for the Lady Panthers.
A 20-6 third-quarter gave the Lady Buffaloes a 74-28 lead, as they buried eight of 10 shots from the field, while holding SMHS to two of 14. Melton and Griffin each buried a trey.
With the TSSAA mercy rule in effect in the final quarter, SMHS outscored the Lady Buffaloes 8-2 to make the final score 76-36. The Lady Panthers were six of 12 from the free throw line, including three of six by Griffin. Gray recorded the only field goal for the Lady Panthers who were one of six from the field with two turnovers.
Lady Panthers will return to action next week, as they play in the Oliver Springs Thanksgiving Tournament Nov. 26, 29 and 30, while the Panthers will travel to Siegel for a pair of games Nov. 29-30.