Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

February 18, 2014

Lady Jets, Panthers play for district crowns

By Ed Greif
Sports editor

CROSSVILLE — The CCHS Lady Jets and the Stone Memorial Panthers will be playing for District 6AAA championships Wednesday night at Cookeville High School, while the CCHS Jets played for third place in the weather-delayed tournament.

The second seed Lady Jets will be playing top seed White County at 6 p.m., after defeating Rhea County 74-70 in the semi-finals Monday night, while the Panthers beat White County 65-51. The Jets lost to Cookeville 68-57 in another semi-final.

The Lady Jets and Panthers will host Region 3AAA games Friday and Saturday evenings, respectively, while the Jets will be on the road Saturday night to open region play. Region action returns to Cookevile Feb. 24 with the girls semi-finals.

Lady Jets 74, Rhea Countty 70: "The keys for tonight's win were hittting our free throw, our defense and the team being together," said Lady Jet coach Radhika Miller, whose team improved to 25-4 on the season and will host either Walker Valley or Cleveland Friday at 7 p.m. in the region opener.

Walker Valley defeated Cleveland 52-44 in the District 5AAA consolation game Monday at East Hamilton High School. CCHS defeated Cleveland twice during the regular season.

There were four lead changes and three ties in the first quarter, before the Lady Jets took a 13-9 lead on a jumper by Gina Dick. A layup by Rhea County's Megan Revis triggered an 8-2 run to give the Lady Eagles a 17-15 advantage by quarter's end.

Destiny Cartlon had six points for the Lady Jets, who were nine of 14 from the field and one of two from free throw line with two turnovers, while Rhea County was seven of 13 from the field and three of five from the charity stripe with one turnover.

There were 10 lead changes in the second quarter, before a putback basket by Katie Loden triggered a 5-0 run for a 35-31 lead with 2:12 left in the half. Two baskets by Makenzie Iles and three-pointers by Gina Dick and Klaire Varney helped the Lady Jets finish the half with a 10-6 run to knot the score at 41-41 at intermission.

CCHS was 10 of 19 from the field and two of two from the free throw line with one turnover, while holding the Lady Eagles to nine of 14 from the floor and three of four from the free throw line.

There were 12 lead changes and ties in the third quarter, as the two teams exchanged points all the way through, before Varney bombed a trey in the final seconds for a 59-58 lead. CCHS was six of 12 from the field and three of six from the charity stripe with three turnovers, while Rhea County was six of nine from the field and four of four from the charity stripe with five turnovers.

Iles had seven points for the Lady Jets in the third stanza.

Dick's jumper gave the Lady Jets a 61-58 early in the final quarter, but seven unanswered points by Julie Brown gave the Lady Eagles a 65-61 lead with some five minutes left in the game.

The Lady Jets regained the lead at 68-66 with 3:14 left in the game. Miller went to a patience offense with forced Rhea County to start fouling. The Lady Jets converted six of six free throws in the final 1:05 to finish the game with a 6-4 run to claim the victory.

Leading the way for the Lady Jets were Iles (21 points, three rebounds, one steal), Dick (13 points, nine rebounds, three assists, one steal), Alli Hyder (three points, two rebounds, one assist, one steal), Carlton (16 points, three rebounds, two assists and four steals), Victoria Lee (four points, thre rebounds, one steal), Rebekah Teeple (two points, six rebounds, two assists), Varney (11 points, four rebounds, two assists) and Courtney Smith (four points, five rebounds). Kelsey Eldridge and Skylar VanWinkle also played.

SMHS 65, White County 51: "We played a little different defense tonight. We didn't allow to shoot the threes and get confortable in their offense. They are a great shooting team and wanted them to beat us in any other except by shooting the threes," said Panther coach Neil Capps whose team improved to 23-6 and will host either Bradley Central or Ooltewah in the region opener Saturday at 7 p.m.

Bradley Central played Ooltewah in the consolation game at East Hamilton High School Tuesday night, while Walker Valley played Cleveland for the championship. White County will travel to either Walker Valley or Cleveland.

Luke Matthews trey gave the Panthers an early 7-4 advantage, but a lay-up by Zach Stephens triggered a 6-0 run for a 10-7 lead with 2:45 left in the first quarter. White County finished the quarter with a 4-2 spurt for a 14-9 lead.

Matthews had five points for the Panthers, who were four of 12 from the field with three turnovers.

Another Stephens' lay-up gave the Warriors an 18-13 lead, but a trey by Gage Spence triggered a 17-6 run to give SMHS a 30-24 advantage at the break.

Matthews and Justin Simmons each had five second-quarter points for the Panthers, who were eight of 14 from the field with one turnover.

Simmons scored eight third quarter points to held the Panthers outscore the Warriors 20-15 for a 50-39 advantage. Yoder added six points.

The Panther defense held the Warriors to six of nine from the field, and zero for one from long range. The Warriors hit 18 treys in their meeting at White County in the latter part of the season.

White County sliced the Panther lead to 51-44 with 4:38 left on the first of two free throws by Allen Newport; however, Simmons scored the next five point for the points, including a slam dunk on a pass from Matthews, to start a 14-7  run to make the final margin 65-51.

SMHS was four of nine from the field and seven of nine from the free throw line in the final quarter to take the victory, while White County was three of 14 from the field with three turnovers.

Leading the way for the Panthers were Spence (11 points, two rebounds, three asissts, two steals), Yoder (13 points, eight rebounds, one assist, two steals), Brandon Thomas (six points, three rebounds), Simmons (19 points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals), Matthews (14 points, two rebounds, three assists, two steals) and Collin Russell (two points, two rebounds). Taylor Orme (one rebound), Mitch Ball (four rebounds) and Parker Hill also played.

Cookeville 68, Jets 57: Cumberland County took an 8-6 early lead on a Diego Poore trey, but Trey Buntrun scored the Cavaliers next nine points for a 15-8 lead after one quarter.

The Cavaliers were seven of 18 from the field with two turnovers, while the Jets were three of 10 with five turnovers.

Poore was hotter than a firecracker in the second quarter, scoring 12 points, to help the Jets outscore the Cavaliers 21-14 to tie the game at 29-29 at the break. Parsons added five points for the Jets, who were six of eight from the field and six of six from the charity stripe with two turnovers. David Elliott was four of four from the free throw line.

Cookeville opened the second half with a 4-0 run to stretch the lead to 33-29 and then finished the quarter with an 11-9 run to swell the lead to 44-38.

Poore had five points for the Jets, who were five of 13 from the field, while Cookeville was five of eight from the floor and five of six from the charity stripe.

Free throws were a big issue in the final quarter, as the Cavaliers converted 13 of 16 to outscore the Jets 24-19 to advance into Wednesday's championship game against the SMHS Panthers.

The Jets, who were seven of 11 from the field and four of five from the charity stripe, trailed by as much as 10 markers in the final quarter; however, rallied within four points 59-55 on a trey by Blake McLaughlin with 47.8 seconds left. Cookeville converted eight of 10 free throws in the final 47.8 to seal the victory.

Leading the Jets were Poore (26 points, two rebounds, three assists), Elliott (five points, seven rebounds), Alex Dixon (one rebound, two assists), Tyler Daugherty (one rebound, one assist, one steal), Cade Smith (two points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal), McLaughlin (seven points, two rebounds), Parsons (10 points, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal) and Ty Tabor (five points, one rebound).

CCHS played White County for third place of the district tournament Tuesday night, and will travel to either Walker Valley or Cleveland Saturday night for the opening round of the Region 3AAA Tournament.