By Ed Greif
A large, vocal crowd saw the basketball teams from Stone Memorial High School and Cumberland County High School split the first of their two annual varsity contests Monday night in the CCHS gym.
The Panthers defeated the Jets 64-58, while the Lady Jets won 57-38.
SMHS 64, CCHS 56: The Panthers placed three players in double figures in route to the victory — Gage Spence with 18 points, Brock Rowan 13 points and Justin Simmons with 14 markers. Rounding out the scoring was Tyler Yoder (eight points), Matt Troino (five points), Brandon Thomas (one point) and Luke Matthews (four points), as the Panthers extended their winning streak over the Jets to 11 in a row.
Dylan Qualls led CCHS with 27 points, seven rebounds and one assist, followed by Tayler Houston (16 points, six rebounds). Rounding out the attack were Diego Poore (one rebound, two assists, one steal), J.J. Miller (three points, six rebounds, two assists), Austin Brown (five points, one assist, three steals), Cade Smith (one rebound, one assist, one steal), Logan Parsons (four points, one rebound, one assist, one steal) and Cameron O'Rourke (two points, one rebound, two steals).
Spence scored the Panthers' the first five points, but Houston buried a trey to put the Jets on the scoreboard to slice the lead to 5-3. The two teams finished the quarter with seven points apiece with SMHS taking a 12-10 lead by quarter's end.
Qualls had five points for the Jets, who were four of 11 from the field with two turnovers, while SMHS was five of 18.
There were two ties and seven lead changes in the second quarter with the Panthers taking a 27-25 lead at the break. CCHS was four of nine from the field and six of nine from the charity stripe with three turnovers, while the Panthers were four of 10 from the field and eight turnovers. The Panthers led by as much as three markers in the second quarter, while CCHS' largest lead was one point.
The same pattern continued in the third quarter, as there were 10 ties and lead changes in the first five minutes of the stanza, but back-to-back treys by Rowan and Troino put the Panthers ahead 41-35. Houston buried a trey to slice the lead to 41-37 with 1:36 left.
No one scored in the final 1:36 of the quarter.
The Panthers opened the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run for a 48-37 lead, but CCHS retaliated with its own 7-0 run to slice the margin to 48-44. A Panther 6-0 run swelled the lead to 54-44 with some three minutes left in the contest.
Qualls, who finished the fourth quarter with 11 points, converted a layup to trigger a 12-10 run to make the final score 64-56.
CCHS was 21 of 54 from the field and 10 of 14 from the charity stripe with nine turnovers, while SMHS was 19 of 42 from the field and 13 of 23 from the free throw line with 13 turnovers.
CCHS 57, SMHS 38: Gina Dick poured in 21 points with five rebounds, one assist and two steals, and MaKenzie Iles added 18 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals to help the Lady Jets claim their first win over the Lady Panthers since a 51-32 victory over the Lady Panthers during the 2008-09 campaign.
"We took the ball to the goal. Our team defense was outstanding," said Lady Jet coach Radhika Miller, whose team outrebounded the Lady Panthers 37-28 and forced 25 turnovers.
"They played very hard," said SMHS coach John Walker.
Rounding out the scoring were Alli Hyder (two points, two rebounds, three assists, two steals), Sloane VanWinkle (nine points, three rebounds, one steal), Rebekah Teeple (11 rebounds, five steals), Kassidy Sommer (four points, five rebounds, six steals) and Courtney Smith (four points, four rebounds).
Leading the Lady Panthers were Tiffany Cokkinias (four points, two rebounds, four assists, one steal), Jordan Thompson (four points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal), Emily Bryant (two rebounds), Jacki Livesay (nine points, four rebounds, one steal), Kirsten Potter (seven points, two rebounds), Kerigan Smith, Faith Van Ruden (three points, one rebound, one assist, one steal), Abby Griffin (two points, two steals), Courtney White (four points, five rebounds, two assists, four steals), Sydney Early (three rebounds), Mikayla Kington (five points, five rebounds).
The Lady Jets opened the game with a 6-0 run, but the Lady Panthers finished the quarter with a 5-3 spurt to make the score 9-5. The field goal shooting was horrendous in the first quarter, as CCHS was three of 12 and SMHS was two of 11. The Lady Jets forced eight turnovers, while SMHS forced four turnovers.
Jacki Livesay converted two free throws with 7:47 left in the second quarter to kick start a 9-3 run to give the Lady Panthers a 16-12 lead. Potter had four markers in the spurt, while Faith Van Ruden at three point play.
A layup by Hyder triggered a 15-11 run to tie the game at 27-27 at the break.
CCHS was five of 17 from the field with three turnovers, while SMHS was eight of 14 with three turnovers.
Iles scored four third-quarter points, as the Lady Jets outscored SMHS 16-6 for a 43-33 advantage. CCHS was six of 17 from the field with four turnovers, while holding SMHS to two of seven with eight turnovers.
CCHS opened the final quarter with a 6-0 run for a 49-33 advantage and finished it off with an 8-5 spurt for the victory.
The Lady Jets were 17 of 50 from the field and 19 of 40 from the free throw line, while the Lady Panthers were 13 of 44 from the field and 11 of 15 from the charity.
CCHS traveled to Rhea County Tuesday, while SMHS is idle until after Christmas, when the Panthers will be playing in the Maryville Tournament and the Lady Panthers will travel to Midway.
•Before the varsity games, the SMHS junior varsity swept a pair of games. The Lady Panther junior varsity won 28-27, while the Panthers won 51-46.