By Ed Greif
With cold, blustery conditions outside, the action inside the CCHS gym Tuesday night was hot, as the teams hosted District 6AAA foe Cookeville to open the last half of the league campaign.
The Lady Jets defeated the Lady Cavaliers 74-61 to remain in a first-place tie in the league at 5-1 with White County (5-1), while the Jets lost 59-53 to the Cavaliers (6-1) to fall to 3-3 and fourth in the district, just one game behind White County (4-2).
Lady Jets 74, Cookeville 61: "We just gave up too two many two-on-one situations. When we went to a man-to-man defense that was huge," said Coach Radhika Miller. "Our free throw shooting was huge. We had a better defensive effort, especially in the second half."
CCHS was 20-26 from the charity stripe, including 14 of 14 by Makenzie Iles, who led the Lady Jets with 33 points, two rebounds, one assist and two steals. The Lady Jet defense forced 20 turnovers and held the Cavaliers to 19 of 38 from the field.
Rounding out the scoring for the Lady Jets were Gina Dick (seven points, five rebounds, four steals), Alli Hyder (eight points, one rebound, one assist, four steals), Destiny Carlton (11 points, three rebounds, four assists, one steal), Victoria Lee (two points), Rebekah Teeple (four points, nine boards, three assists, one steal), Klaire Varney (two points, two steals) and Kelsie Eldridge (seven points, six rebounds, two assists, one steal). Skylar VanWinkle also played.
There were three lead changes and two ties in the first quarter before a basket by Victoria Lee gave CCHS a 9-7 advantage; however, the Lady Cavaliers scored nine unanswered points to take a 16-7 late in the first stanza.
A lay-up by Carlton helped CCHS finish the frame with a 4-1 run to slice the lead to 17-13 by quarter's end.
Karagan Turner tallied eight of her 31 points in the first quarter for Cookeville, who was five of eight from the field with five miscues.
Iles, held scoreless in the first quarter, warmed up in the second quarter, scoring 15 of the Lady Jets 24 points to stake her team to a 37-35 lead at the break. The Lady Jets were eight of 14 from the field and six of six from the charity stripe, while holding Cookeville to six of 12 from the field and four of six from the charity stripe with eight turnovers.
Iles continued her torrid play in the third quarter, scoring eight points for the Lady Jets, who were five of nine from the field and seven of eight from the free throw to outscore the Cavaliers 19-10 for a 56-45 advantage by quarter's end.
The Lady Jets outscored the Lady Cavalies 18-16 in the final quarter for a 74-61 lead, despite the visitors starting and ending the quarter with 4-0 runs. Iles had 10 fourth-quarter points for the Lady Jets, who were six of nine from the floor.
Cookeville 59, Jets 53: In the first quarter it was all Alex Dixon's night, as he scored nine of his 14 points for the Jets' points for a 9-5 lead with 3:41 remaining in the quarter, but Cookeville finished the stanza with a 4-0 run to knot the score at 9-9.
The Cavaliers stretched the lead to 14-9 early in the second quarter, but a lay-up by Blake McLaughlin keyed a 6-0 run to give the Jets a 17-16 lead. Tanner Christopher's trey was the go-ahead shot, but the Cavaliers regained the lead to 20-17 with 1:18 left.
Logan Parson's only points of the half came on a three-point play with 48.8 ticks left to tie the score at 20-20; however, a lay-up by Solon Carver give the Cavaliers a 22-20 lead at the break.
Cookeville was nine of 28 from the field and two for two from the charity stripe, while the Jets were eight of 24 from the field and two of two from the free throw line.
A trey by Cade Smith gave the Jets a 23-20 advantage early in the third quarter, but Will Byford caught fire, scoring eight of the Cavs' 10 points in a 10-1 run to take a 32-24 lead with 4:51 left in the period.
Diego Poore's three-point with 4:42 triggered a 14-8 run to slice the lead to 40-38 by quarter's end. The Jet junior scored 12 of the Jets' 14 points, with David Elliott making the other two.
Four points by Elliott and trey by Dixon gave the Jets a 45-42 fourth-quarter, but, again, Byford was the ringleader for the Cavs, scoring seven more points in an 6-3 run to regain the lead at 50-48.
After a trey by Parsons gave CCHS a 51-50 advantage, a trey by Byford triggered a 9-0 run to give the visitors a 59-51 lead with 37 seconds left in the game. A Poore lay-up made it 59-53 with 25.8 left in the game, which turned out to be the winning score.
Leading the way for the Jets were Poore (17 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal), Elliott (six points, two rebounds, three assists), Dixon (14 points, five rebounds, two assists), Christopher (three points), Austin Brown (one rebound), Smith (four points, one rebound, two assists), McLaughlin (two points, four rebounds) and Parsons (six points, four rebounds, one steal). Ty Tabor and Tyler Daugherty also playerd.
Cookeville JV 45, CCHS 35: " We put ourselves in a hole in the third quarter and just couldn't quite pull ourselves out of it," said Coach Blaine Moore.
CCHS led 10-8 after one quarter, but the Cavaliers took a 23-19 lead at the break and outscored CCHS 14-8 in the third quarter for a 37-27 lead. Both teams scored eight point in the final stanza for the final score of 45-35.
Statistical leaders for the Jets were Jordan Graham (two points, one rebound, one steal, five assists), Elliott (two points, four rebounds, four steals two assists), Nolan McLain (13 points, two rebounds, one assist), Brandon Myers (six points, one rebound), Drew Vaden (eight points, one rebound, two steals, one assist), Daugherty (nine points, two steals, one assist) and Tanner Christopher (two points and two assists).
Schedule: CCHS has a big weekend at home with two district foes on the schedule — Friday night against Rhea County and Saturday night vs. White County.