Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area Sports

February 25, 2014

Lady Jets advance to Region 3AAA title game

CROSSVILLE — The Cumberland County High School Lady Jet  basketball team was clicking on all cylinders Monday night, as they defeated the McMinn County Lady Cherokees 84-54 to advance into tonight's Region 3AAA championship game against the Bradley Central Bearettes and also earned a spot in Saturday's sectional round against either Blackman or Oakland.

This will be Lady Jets' first appearance in the sectional since a 96-29 loss at Riverdale during the 2011-'12 season and sixth overall since 2003-'04.

"This was a team effort tonight. Our offense and defense came together," said Lady Jet Coach Radhika Miller, whose team improved to 28-4 overall, matching the 28 wins posted during the 2004-'05 season.

The Lady Jets were 33 of 65 from the field for 50.8 percent, including four of 11 from three-point range (36.7 percent) and 14 of 19 from the charity stripe for 73.7 percent. Defensively, they held the Lady Cherokees to 19 of 54 from the field or 35.1 percent and 16 of 27 from the free throw line for 59.2 percent with 23 turnovers, including 16 steals. This was the 11th time this season CCHS has scored more than 80 points in a game.

CCHS came out of the starting gate with fire in their eyes, jumping out to an 11-1 lead with a layup by Destiny Carlton on a pass from Gina Dick. After the lay-up, the Jet students hollored, "She's our freshman, she's our freshman."

After three unanswered points by the Lady Cherokees (12-18) to slice the lead to 11-4, another Carlton lay-up triggered a quarter-ending 10-6 run for the Lady Jets to take a 21-7 lead.

Carlton had nine points for the Lady Jets, who were seven of 11 from the field and six of six from the charity stripe, while holding McMinn County to two of 11 with eight turnovers.

District 6AAA Player of the Year Makenzie Iles opened the second quarter with three straight baskets to give CCHS a 27-7 lead, but a bucket by Rachel Simbeck put the Lady Cherokees on the board at 27-9.

Rebekah Teeple's trey on an assist from Carlton started a 21-10 run to give the Lady Jets a commanding 48-19 lead at the break. Iles finished the quarter with 13 points for CCHS, who was 10 of 22 from the field, while holding McMinn County to three of 13 with five turnovers.

In the first half, CCHS had 14 assisted baskets and nine steals which led to several points.

A three-point play by Carlton stretched the CCHS lead to 61-26 with 3:42 remaining in the third quarter, but back to back buckets by Simbeck and Keke Smith cut the gap to 61-30.

A Dick lay-up made the score 63-30, but McMinn County finished the stanza with a 9-6 run to slice the deficit to 66-39.

The Lady Jets cooled from the field, hitting six of 19, and was four of seven from the charity stripe, with three turnovers. McMinn Countty was eight of 19 from the floor with five turnovers.

Iles scored eight points in the fourth quarter, as the Lady Jets built a 82-43 advantage, but Keke Smith scored nine points in a 11-0 run to slice the deficit to 82-54. However, freshman Sydney Clark converted a layup for the final margin of 84-54.

As Miller and assistant coach Leslie Eldridge cleared the bench in the final quarter,  the Jet fans gave them a standing ovation.

Statistical leaders for the Lady Jets were Iles (29 points, 10 rebounds, one assist, two steals), Lindsey Norrod (one rebound), Dick (16 points, four rebounds, three assists, five steals), Alli Hyder (five points, three rebounds, four assists, one steal), Carlton (22 points, seven rebounds, one assist, four steals), Victoria Lee (three rebounds, one steal), Madison McLaughlin (one rebound), Clark (two points), Teeple (six points, six rebounds, one assist, three steals), Klaire Varney (four rebounds) and Courtney Smith (four points, two rebounds, one assist). Skylar VanWinkle, Kelsie Eldridge and Bailey Davis also played.

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