Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

February 10, 2014

SMHS sweeps Warren County

By Gary Robbins
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — The Stone Memorial basketball teams hosted District 6AAA foe Warren County Friday for senior night, as the seniors led the Lady Panthers to a 62-56 win and the Panthers rolled to an 81-44 victory.

SMHS 62, Warren County 56: "I am extremely proud of our four seniors, and I believe they led our team tonight, especially on defense and the boards. It was a great way for them to go out on senior night and a good district win for us," said Coach John Walker.

SMHS improved to 1-8 in the district, and needed another win at Warren County Monday to advance into fifth place in the district.

The Lady Panthers tipped off the game with an all senior lineup, but dug themselves into a 7-0 hole to the Lady Pioneers, as Brittany Myers hit two three pointers in the fast start.

Abby Griffin came in and hit a lay-up, while Courtney White stole the ball and nailed a trey to cut the lead to 10-5.

Bailey Rutledge stole the ball for another bucket, but Myers hit her third trey of the quarter.

With the score 15-13 in the waning seconds of the quarter, White knocked the ball away from a Warren County player to end the quarter.

Tiffany Cokkinias nailed a trey to start the second period, and Griffin converted a three-point play to give the Lady Panthers third first lead of the game with six minutes left in the half at 16-15.

Griffin heated up and stroked another from downtown to make it 19-15. Kirsten Potter worked the ball inside for a bucket, was fouled and converted the free throw to build the lead to 22-17.

Jordan Thompson converted two free throws for a 24-17 advantage with 3:35 left in the half.

Cokkinias capped a 16-2 run with a steal for a lay-up to make the score 26-17, and Potter scored off an inbounds play to give SMHS a 30-20 at the half.

Griffin and Cokkinias opened the second half with three's, and Potter scored from down low to boost the lead to 38-20.

Bailey Rutledge hit a trey, and Lacey Melton drove into the lane to make the score 44-28.

Warren County closed out the quarter with four points to slice the Lady Panther lead to 44-32.

Myers made a bucket for Warren County, but Griffin converted two free throws to push the lead back to 12 points.

Cokkinias made a bucket to stop a little 5-0 run of Warren County, and Potter hit three, 15 footers and blocked a couple of shots down the stretch on her senior night.

Warren County made it tight as they got it to 56-47 with 2:46 left , before Melton scored in the paint on a nice pass from Griffin. It was 58-53 with 52 seconds left, an Melton was fouled and calmly hit two free throws to make it 60-53. The final score was 62-56.

Statistical leaders were Cokkinias (12 points, two rebounds, four assists, three steals), Thompson (three points,), Potter (11 ponts, four rebounds, one assist), Melton (eight points, eight rebounds, three steals), Griffin (13 points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal), Rutledge (five points, two rebounds, one assist, one steal), White (seven points, two rebounds, five assists, seven steals) and Sidney Early (three points). Riley Hunt also played.

SMHS 81, Warren County 44: Coach Neil Capps honored his five seniors for the first time Friday night against District 6AAA foe Warren County.

"I am happy for our seniors. They may have been thinking of the  half-time festivities in the first half, but they came out in the second half and played well. It was a good district win and we want to be clicking on all cylinders heading into the district tournament this weekend," said Capps.

SMHS started slowly, but finished strong to improve their district mark to 7-2 overall, needing another win over the Pioneers Monday night to be the second seed in the district tournament which begins Thursday at Cookevlile.

Mitch Ball and Frank Heilmeir joined Tyler Yoder, Justin Simmons and  Luke Matthews in the starting line-up, while Brandon Thomas didn't dress due to an injury in a non-related fall.

Ball took advantage of his start, getting a quick trey, but Pioneer Trey Cantrell tied the game at 9-9 with a trey with 3:25 left in the  first quarter.

Yoder and Matthews hooked up to jump start the Panthers, as Yoder slammed one home off a pass from Matthews to delight the good senior night crowd for a 15-14 lead.

Simmons, a Tennessee Wesleyan signee, went to the hole for a 17-14 lead to end the first period.

Treys by Parker Hill and Spence and a coast-to-coast lay-up by Matthews helped stake the Panthers to a 32-25 lead at the half.

The Panthers came out the third quarter all business-like and scored 34 points, 12 more than in the first half combined. Simmons scored 14 points for the Panthers and then took a breather for the final two minutes of the quarter.

Stealing the ball on the press and in bounds play, the Panthers turned the heat up on the Pioneers. Simmons, Matthews and Yoder sparked their team out of the locker room to lead them on a 22-2 run in the first four minutes of the third period.

Simmons inside was strong. Yoder hit 3s and made plays. Matthews was quick, made steals and fed his teamates the ball.

With the score 58-28 with 3:20 left in the third quarter, Matthews hit a trey to blow the game open at 61-30 with 2:36 left in the quarter.

Taylor Orme hit a trey in the closing seconds of the third and Stone had a 66-33 lead to start the fourth. Capps cleared the bench in the fourth quarter and sent the seniors out with the victory.

SMHS was led by Simmons (20), Yoder (18), Spence (9), Matthews  (8), Heilmeier (6), Hill (5), Ball (5), Collin Russell (4), Orme (3) and Chandler VanNatter (3).