Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

February 3, 2014

Lady Panthers lose to Rhea Co., White Co.

By Gary Robbins
Chronicle contributor

CROSSVILLE — The Stone Memorial Lady Panther basketball team traveled off the mountain twice over the weekend to face the White County Warriorettes Friday and to Evensville Saturday to face the Rhea County Lady Eagles in District 6AAA games and came home with two losses to fall to 0-7 in the district  and 9-15 overall.

White County 70, SMHS 39: There was an emotional start to the game, as a moment of silence was held for a former female athlete and current teacher in White County who passed away earlier in the week.

Kirsten Potter got the first points of the game on a 10-footer after a White County turnover, but it didn't take long for the Warriorettes to heat up on a three-pointer by Kelsey Roberts and another by Lauren Foster for an 11-4 lead.

Bella Taylor scored off a turnover and Alex Lewis came off the bench to score four points in a row for a 17-6 lead.

Abby Griffin nailed a trey to cut into the lead to 17-9 at the end of the quarter.

Bailey Rutledge hit another three for SMHS to start the second period. Tiffany Cokkinias stole the ball, was fouled on the play, andt hit one of two free throws, and later scored another bucket to slice the deficit to 17-13.

The second period started off good for SMHS, but bad things continued to plague them, as they were outscored 23-9. Lacey Melton tried to start another SMHS run, but her score was quickley answered with a Warriorette field goal.

With 32 seconds left, an intentional foul was called on Melton, giving White County two free throws and the ball, to add four points to their lead (40-13) at the half.

White County had hit five three pointers in the second period, which would be a theme Friday night, big three point buckets. As the third period started, Courtney White sparked the Lady Panthers with a steal and a lay up, and then hit a 15 footer, but Taylor quickly answered to push the lead back up to 23 (47-24). The lead got up to 30 with 2:37 to go in the third quarter.

In the final period, White County and Stone both cleared their benches, giving some underclassmen a chance to play.

Statistical leaders for the Lady Panthers were Cokkinias (four point, three rebounds, three assists, five steals), Jordan Thompson (one steal), Potter (six points, one rebound, one steal), Melton (five points, two rebounds, two assists), Riley Hunt (two rebounds, one steal), Griffin (six points, one rebound, one assist, one steal), Rutledge (seven points), White (six points, four steals), Sidney Early (one rebound), Brittany Brun (three rebounds), Sam Gray (one point) and Hailey Coudriet (four points, two rebounds). Jenna Beaty also played.

Rhea County 57, SMHS 40: Rhea County welcome SMHS to their new facilities, as both teams were coming off Friday night losses — Rhea County at Cumberland and SMHS at White County.

Rutledge hit two free throws to get within four points at the 1:37 mark at 12-8. Rhea County was able to break the press and score a three by Megan Revis, who led all scorers on the night with 19.

Melton was fouled with 12 seconds to go in the first, but was unable to convert, which would be a shadow of the evening for the Lady Panthers who were 4 of 10 in the first from the charity stripe and seven of 24 for the game. The first period ended with Rhea County leading 17-8.

In the previous three games, the second quarter has been problematic, as they dig themselves in holes which they can't recover. Rhea County outscored SMHS in the second quarter 14-9..

Cokkinias made a steal and was fouled on the drive, but was unable to connect, as Stone's free throws woes continued. Melton hit bucket to cut it to 17-10.

Potter scored inside for Stone to keep it close at 23-14 with 3:58 to go in the half. Jessie Wallace of the Lady Golden Eagles continued her hitting from outside.

White continued to make hustle plays. She got a steal for a lay-up for Stone only to see Wallace answer back for a 31-18 lead at the break.

Stone was six of 20 at the free throw line and missed oppurtunities to make it close.

The Lady Panthers came out in the third and continued to battle. Griffin and Cokkinias both hit treys to get within eight.  As was the case all evening, Amber Levi answered with a three to push it back to 34-23 Rhea County. After a White steal and lay-up and Rutledge bucket, the score was 37-27.

Rutledge hit a three and Griffin scored to get the Lady Panthers within five at 37-32 with 2:25 to go in the third. Levi refused to let the run continue as she nailed another three. Julie Brown hit two free throws and, once again, Rhea County's lead was 10 at 42-32. Cokkinias hit a three with 1:30 to go to close it to seven, but the Lady Golden Eagles went on a 7-0 run as Levi scored all seven to close out the 3rd and make the lead 49-35. Rhea County had 18 in the period and Levi had 13 of the 18.

Both teams came out to start the final period, and went two minutes without scoring. Griffin hit another three, but it was too little, to late, and Rhea County closed out the game with a 57-40 victory.

Statistical leaders were Cokkinias (six points, two rebounds, three assists, two steals), Thompson (three points, one assist), Potter (three points, two rebounds, one steal), Melton (five points, five rebounds, one steal), Hunt (one rebound), Griffin (eight points, two rebounds, two steals), Rutledge (nine points, one rebound, one steal) and Early (one rebound, one steal). Brun, Gray, Coudriet and Beaty also played.

Schedule: The Lady Panthers have three home contests this week — CCHS tonight, Warren County Friday and Clarkrange Saturday.