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Blazers fall victim to Jeff County’s quick strike

Douglas Fritz • Updated Feb 24, 2018 at 9:57 PM

DANDRIDGE — Any hopes of Daniel Boone catching Jeff County off guard ended with a first-half Seal-team strike.

Jefferson County guard Nathan Seal teamed up with Darius Allen for a first-quarter blitz the Trailblazers couldn’t recover from, and the Patriots went on to earn a 63-51 win Saturday night in the Region 1-AAA basketball quarterfinals at the Patriots’ gym.

“The two guys we were keying on all week come out and hit five threes in the first quarter,” said Boone head coach Chris Brown. “Very uncharacteristic of us to give up a 25-point first quarter. Then you’re battling back the rest of the way. And we didn’t shoot it well.”

Improving to 22-9 on the season, Jeff County earned a spot in Tuesday’s semifinals against Dobyns-Bennett at 7:45 p.m. The Indians, who have lost to Jeff County twice this season, defeated South Doyle to earn their spot.

It was a season-ending loss for Boone, which finished at 15-14.

ALLEN AND SEAL

Despite foul trouble costing him about a full quarter of action, Seal still put up superb numbers. He finished with 19 points, five assists and four steals.

Meanwhile, Allen was dropping 3-point daggers all night. He finished with 26 points, six treys and six rebounds.

“Obviously they were our focal point, but we just didn’t get it done,” said Brown.

EXPLOSIVE START

Allen and Seal were extraordinarily hard to guard in the first period. They combined for 21 points as Jeff Count built a 25-12 lead.

Allen said the quick start was a product of good practices.

“It was being prepared,” said Allen. “We just came out, shot the ball, and it fell.”

Boone responded with a nice run to cut the Patriots’ lead all the way down to six at 27-21, but that is as close as the Trailblazers got the rest of the game — although Boone did cut the deficit to eight, 55-47, in the fourth quarter.

“Our defensive intensity slacked off, so they started having a little run,” said Allen. “We had to pick the defensive intensity back up. We did that and stopped them.”

HEGLAR AND RIGSBY

Boone didn’t shoot the ball up to its top standards, but Rigsby and Heglar both finished with good numbers.

Rigsby had 18 points while Heglar totaled 11 points, 13 rebounds and two steals.

Jared Lawson chipped in with 10 points, five assists and four rebounds.

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