Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

February 18, 2013

Panthers battle Alcoa for District 4AA crown

Staff writer

CROSSVILLE — The Stone Memorial Panthers will be playing Alcoa tonight for the District 4AA Tournament championship, while the Lady Panthers played for third place Monday against Loudon in their final appearance in the district.

SMHS 32, Kingston 16: After defeating Kingston 32-16 Saturday night, Coach Neil Capps' team will play Alcoa 65-63 winners over Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) in the championship game tonight

"Alcoa is a very good and talented team. They play hard and physical," said Capps, whose team is making its second straight appearance into the title game and third  appearance in four seasons. SMHS and Alcoa split their two regular season games, as SMHS won 99-71 at home and lost 64-60 in Alcoa.

Capps' squad led 3-2 after one quarter, as Yellow Jacket Coach Colt Narramore slowed down the tempo.

"It wasn't pleasing to the fans. It was a good plan by Coach Narramore. Our kids were frustrated, but they fought through it. I was tickled to death with their effort," said Capps.

The Panthers stretched the lead to 12-7 at the break and 19-9 after three quarters. A 13-7 fourth quarter made the final margin 32-16.

Leading scorers were Gage Spence (four points), Brock Rowan (13 points), Tyler Yoder (eight points) and Justin Simmons (seven points).

SMHS will host either Gibbs or Carter Saturday at 7 p.m. in the opening round of the Region 2AA Tournament.

Alcoa 70, SMHS 63: After playing for third place against Loudon in the district tournament Monday night, the Lady Panthers will travel to either Knox Fulton or Gatlinburg-Pittman  Friday night for the opening round of the Region 2AA Tournament. The winner moves to Knox Carter for the semifinals next week.

SMHS led the Lady Tornadoes 21-16 after the first quarter Saturday night, but Alcoa outscored SMHS 14-9 in the second quarter for the game at 30-30 at the break.

A 17-6 third quarter gave Alcoa a 47-36 lead, but SMHS exploded for a 27-23 fourth quarter to make the final margin 70-63.

Faith VanRuden led the Lady Panthers with 23 points, five rebound, three assists and three steals, followed by Tiffany Cokkinias (one point, two rebounds, four assists, five steals), Jordan Thompson (three rebounds), Emily Bryant (two rebounds, one steal), Jacki Livesay (14 points, two rebounds), Kirsten Potter (seven points, 11 rebounds, one steal), Abby Griffin (five points, one steal), Courtney White (nine points, four rebounds, three steals), Sidney Early (two points, one rebound, one steal) and Makayla Kington (two points, four rebounds).

The Lady Panthers were 16 of 49 from the field and 28 of 37 from the free throw line with 34 rebounds, seven assists, 15 steals and 16 turnovers.

SMHS 52, Kingston 45: Faith VanRuden tallied 27 points, including 11 of 12 from the free throw line, with four rebounds, one assist and one steal, to lead the Lady Panthers to their victory over fourth-seed Kingston in the opening round of the tournament last Thursday at Kingston.

The victory also earned the Lady Panthers to a berth in the Region 2AA Tournament Friday night against either at Knox Fulton or Gatlinburg-Pittman, with the winner advancing next week into the sem-finals at Knox Carter.

Rounding out the Lady Panther scoring were Tiffany Cokkinias (two points, three rebounds, four assists, three steals), Jordan Thompson, Emily Bryant (three points, one rebound, one assist, one steal), Jacki Livesay (two points, one rebound, one assist, five steals), Kirsten Potter (two points, one rebound, one steal), Abby Griffin (three points, one assist), Coutney White (six points, 10 rebounds, one assist, two steals), Sidney Early (three points, four rebounds, two steals) and Makayla Kington (four points, five steals).

The Lady Panthers led 13-10 after one quarter, but took control of the game in the second quarter, holding the Lady Jackets scoreless, to take a 25-10 lead at the break. SMHS scored 12 markers in the second quarter.

Kingston outscored  SMHS 17-12 in the third quarter to slice the deficit to 37-27, and then won the fourth quarter 18-15 to take the final score 52-45.