By Ed Greif
The Stone Memorial High School (SMHS) basketball teams dodged a predicted ice storm Thursday night, by splitting a pair of District 4AA games with Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) in the SMHS gym, as the Panthers won an overtime thriller 71-69 and the Lady Panthers were beaten 73-45.
Panthers 71, CAK 69: Brock Rowan hit five of six free throws in the overtime to seal the victory.
"This helps us. It is good to see that we can close games, even at home," said Coach Neil Capps in his post-game comments. "But it is going to really propel us when we go into the post-season to be able to win these type of hard-nose games."
The Panthers led by as much as seven points in the first quarter, but Warriors finished the quarter with an 8-7 run to slice the lead to 22-19.
SMHS was eight of 15 from the field with two turnovers, while CAK was nine of 15 with two turnovers.
Rowan had seven points for the Panthers, while Yoder added eight points.
The Panthers saw their lead shrink in the second quarter, as CAK got the basketball in to their big man, 6-5 Brett Kendrick and Nick Campbell.
CAK built a 51-43 lead late in the third quarter, but the Panthers rallied to slice the lead to 52-49 by quarter's end.
Rowan scored eight points in a 10-0 run to open the fourth quarter to take a 59-52 lead, but Oteriah Lee scored five points in a 8-2 run to slice the deficit to 61-60 with 1:33 left in regulation.
Simmons hit four free throws to give the Panthers a 65-60 advantage, but Lee buried two free throws with 18.5 left to cut the gap to 65-52. After Yoder missed the front end of a one and one, CAK worked the offense and gave the ball to Lucas Campbell, who buried a trey at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.
CAK took a 69-67 lead with 1:27 left, but Rowan will convert four of five free throws in a 32.2 seconds for the 71-65 lead.
CAK called time with 22.2 seconds left and worked the ball again, but Campbell's shot was no good.
Leading the Panthers were Gage Spence (one point), Brock Rowan (29), Tyler Yoder (14 points, Brandon Thomas (two points), Justin Simmons (18 points) and Luke Matthews (seven points).
CAK 73, SMHS 45: The Lady Warriors outscored SMHS 28-10 in the first quarter, as they hit 12 of 21 from the field with five turnovers, while the Lady Panthers were four of 13 with eight turnovers, which led to a majority of the CAK points.
Baskets by Faith VanRuden and Jacki Livesay opened the second quarter to slice the lead to 28-15, but a three-point play by Kaycee Whitmer started a 18-7 run to give the Lady Warriors a 46-22 lead at the break.
CAK used a 13-3 run in the third quarter to take a 61-25 lead. Courtney White had the three points for the Lady Panthers. Emily Bryant's two free throws with 2:12 remaining the quarter started an 8-2 run to slice the lead to 63-33 by quarter's end. White had four points in the Lady Panther spurt, while Makayla Kington had two.
SMHS outscored CAK 12-10 in the fourth quarter to make the final margin of 73-45.
Leading SMHS were Tiffany Cokkinias (three points), Jordan Thompson (one point), Emily Bryant (five points), Jacki Livesay (nine points), Kirsten Potter (four points), Kerigan Smith (two points), Faith VanRuden (four points), Abby Griffin (three points), Bailey Rutledge, Courtney White (nine points), Sydney Early and Makalya Kington (five points).