By Gary Robbins
The Stone Memorial basketball teams continued an important stretch of District 6AAA games Friday night, as they dropped both game to the homestanding Cavaliers. The Lady Panthers were beaten 48-37, while the Panthers lost 58-56 in overtime.
Cookeville 48, Lady Panthers 37: The Lady Panthers, who previously lost at home to the Lady Cavaliers, came out ready to play.
Lacey Melton opened the game by converting a three-point play for their only lead of the game. Karagan Turner answered with a bucket to start a 12-5 run, but Tiffany Cokkinias drilled a trey to slice the lead to 12-8.
Bailey Rutledge converted another three-point play to slice the deficit to three points, followed by Courtney White's trey to tie the game at 14-14 to end the first period.
Alison Odom opened the second period with a trey; however, White stole the ball for a lay-up to slice the lead to one point, until Odom hit another trey for the Lady Cavs, who hit three in the quarter.
Sydney Marek was a force inside for the Lady Cavaliers, as she took a rebound off a free throw for a cheap bucket, as Cookeville was well on their way to the victory.
Cookeville raced to a 10-point lead and missed the final shot of the half to take a 29-19 lead at the break.
Turner opened the second half with a three-point play, but the Lady Panhters got some good looks at the three; however, SMHS was unable to connect to get close.
Myrek dominated the paint, and through the third quarter, went to the free throw line, hitting nine of 11, to push her team's lead to 40-23.
Marek opened the fourth quarter with back-to-back hoops as they continued to feed her the ball.
Cokkinias hit two free throws to get within 14 with 3:20 left, and Stone edged closer, but wouldn't have enough time as the final score was 48-37 to fall to 0-5 in the district and 9-12 overall.
Statistical leaders for the Lady Panthers were Cokkinias (seven points, two rebounds, three assists, four steals), Jordan Thompson (two rebounds, two assists, one steal), Kirsten Potter (six points, seven rebounds, one steal), Melton (seven points, two rebounds), Abby Griffin (five points, three rebounds, one steal), Rutledge (three points, three rebounds, one steal) and White (seven points, one rebound, one assist, two steals). Riley Hunt, Sidney Early, Sam Gray, Hailey Coudriet, Jenna Beaty and Brittany Brun also played.
Cookeville 58, SMHS 56: Seniors Tyler Yoder and Luke Matthews, both headed to Bryan College next year, each buried treys in the opening period to help SMHS take a 14-13 advantage.
The two teams seemed to be feeling each other out in what would be a close game all evening.
Matthews took it strong to the hole and Parker Hill hit a three to put Stone in front 21-20. Yoder hit a trey, and Matthews answered a Cookeville basket to knot it at 26.
Coach Kevin Bray of Cookevile was content to run down the clock and try for the last shot of the half. A defensive deflection by Stone's Gage Spence made their last shot a desperation and the score would be tied 26 at the half.
The third period had a lot of excitement, as Yoder had a break away two-hand slam to bring the large Stone faithful to their feet. Yoder had an offensive rebound and put it back for the lead at 32, while Justin Simmons picked up his third foul midway through the third in what would be a key down the stretch.
Cookeville's Mason Bates' three-point play gave the Cavaliers a 39-36 lead to end the third quarter.
Matthews buried a big three-pointer to open the fourth quarter to tie the game at 39-39. Justin Simmons went strong down low for the basket to give Stone the lead 41-39. Bates hit a three, and Jadon Richmond made a hoop to push Cookeville ahead 44-41. Simmons got the old fashioned three-point play to tie it again at 44 with 5:35 left in regulation.
Will Buford of Cookeville hit a three, and John Payne banked in a three to forge Cookeville up by six with 4:10 left. The 6-0 run came after a questionable foul called on Stone's Brandon Thomas. Stone had two threes rattle out and after a Matthews bucket still trailed by four with two minutes remaining.
Parker Hill hit a huge three to get within one and then Cookeville turned it over to give Stone the ball. Coach Neil Capps took a time out but the Panthers turned it over. Simmons fouled out.
Cookeville missed both free throws, with the Panthers getting the rebound and then called timeout with 33 seconds left. After the timeout, Matthews drilled a trey to put his team up 52-50 with 12 seconds left.
After a Cavalier timeout, they missed a shot, but Matthews forced a jump ball, but Cookeville regained the basketball. Bray used his final timeout to set up a play, which would be a lob on the inbounds to John Payne. The shot rolled around and finally went in sending the game to overtime.
In overtime points were at a premium. Yoder tied the game with 29 seconds left, but Buford converted two free throws for two of his eight points to give the Cavs a two-point lead with 17 seconds left in the overtime.
Yoder shot under much pressure, but couldn't get it to fall.
Leading scorers for the Panthers were Matthews (19), Thomas (12), Yoder (12), Simmons (7) and Hill (6). Spence also played.
SMHS and Cookeville now share the district lead at 4-1, followed by White County (3-2), CCHS (3-2), Warren County (1-4) and Rhea County (0-5).
SMHS travels to Rhea County tonight, hosts Lancaster Christian Thursday for homecoming and visits White County Friday night.