Lady 'Blazers pull away late to beat Unicoi

Jeff Birchfield • Dec 26, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Daniel Boone used a 16-3 run to start the fourth quarter to pull away from Unicoi County and win 65-54 in Wednesday’s nightcap of the Johnson City Honda Invitational girls’ basketball tournament at Bobby Snyder Gymnasium.

Tightly contested up to that time, freshman Jaclyn Jenkins made a huge impact with eight points for the homestanding Lady ‘Blazers during the decisive stretch.

“She was huge off the bench,” Boone head coach Travis Mains said. “She scored a couple of baskets and then the momentum builds. You press and then you have a 10 or 11 point run and that is the ballgame. That about a two-minute stretch, that was the ballgame.”

Jenny Snyder led the Lady ‘Blazers (7-6) with 16 points. Jenkins ended with a dozen points and Allison Littleton scored 10.

Daniel Boone led 16-13 at the end of one quarter, only to see Unicoi County pull ahead 26-25 at the half.

Boone threatened to pull away a couple of times in the third quarter, but both times Unicoi rallied to close the gap. The Lady ‘Blazers led by just one (43-42) before being able to put distance between themselves and the Lady Devils with the fourth-quarter run.

“Unicoi is going to play hard, going to play tough,” Mains said. “We ran 10 or 11 kids at them and we were bigger inside too, so they kind of wore down at the end.”

Emily Edwards had 15 points to lead Unicoi County (6-6). Tiffany Laughren with 13 and Whitley True with 10 also reached double figures.

For Boone, it was a nice reward after a long day of hosting tournament action.

“We’ve been here all day long, and it’s nice to get a win,” Mains said. “We have a great opportunity tomorrow and a great opportunity to get some momentum for our season.”

Hampton 66

Sullivan South 59

Dorothy Dugger racked up 32 points in the tournament’s opening game, leading the Lady Bulldogs (11-3) from 12 points down to beat the Lady Rebels (10-3).

The 5-6 senior guard took it upon herself when Hampton was struggling to make shots.

“Whenever we’re not scoring well, I have to take it into consideration that I need to be more aggressive on offense,” Dugger said. “We’re a strong minded team and we are able overcome a lot.”

Dugger had 13 points in the first half, helping Hampton slice the deficit to 34-28 at the break.

“She held us in there early,” Hampton head coach Leon Tolley said. “We were dangling by a thread. I thought if we could ever get over the hump that we might be able to do it. We overcame a sluggish start and beat a pretty good team.”

Danielle Guinn added an 11-point effort for Hampton.

Kayla Tipton had 17 points and 15 rebounds to lead South. Victoria Williams also scored 17 points, while the Lady Rebels got 10 points apiece from Courtney McKenzie and Brayden Hutchins.

Cherokee 50

Sullivan East 49

Patty Taylor scored 18 points, and East missed a half-court shot at the buzzer as the Lady Chiefs held on for the win.

Kasey Fleenor ended with 10 points for Cherokee, which led 13-8 at the end of one quarter and 30-28 at the half.

Tori James tallied 10 points and Brittany Scott added eight for the Lady Patriots (11-5), who missed four attempts at go-ahead baskets in the final minute.

Johnson County 52

Greenback 31

The Lady Longhorns (3-10) raced to an early 22-3 lead and pulled away again in the fourth quarter to defeat the Lady Cherokees.

After Greenback made a run to close within five points late in the third quarter, Sarah Swift and Brooke Brown combined to score Johnson County’s final 18 points.

Swift ended with a game-high 30 points and Brown finished with 15 points. The two were a potent combination throughout the game -- Swift scoring on backdoor cuts and Brown making the assists.

“It’s one of our best plays, and if it’s working on teams, we try to just keep running it,” Swift said. “We were talking before the game how we had to have chemistry and had to play like that. Brooke and I are really good friends, so we have that chemistry anyway. It all worked out.”

Meghan Russell scored eight points to lead the Lady Cherokees, who were held to just two points in the final quarter.

It provided a change of fortune for the Lady Longhorns, who have lost eight games by six points or less.

“We needed someone to put the team on her back and step up,” Johnson County coach Todd Whittimore said. “We’ve lost so many close ones lately, and Sarah did such an awesome job. She scored 30 and she did everything we asked.”

Seymour 47

Sullivan Central 32

Kasey Norman, Victoria Nelson and Mariah Flynn also scored eight points to lead the Lady Eagles over the Lady Cougars (2-12).

Central trailed just 23-20 at the intermission, but was held to just 12 points in the second half. Heather Norris was the game’s leading scorer with 10 points for the Lady Cougars.

Dobyns-Bennett 57

Gate City, Va. 48

The Morrisette sisters combined for 41 points to lead Dobyns-Bennett over Gate City 57-48 in the opening round of the Johnson City Honda Invitational girls’ basketball tournament at Daniel Boone High School.

Sasha Morrisette scored a team-high 23 points and sister Cyndee added 18 points in the Lady Indians’ victory over the Lady Devils.

Jordan Gose had 30 points for Gate City, which rallied from a 19-point deficit in the third quarter to only trail by five late in the game.

Sevier County 54

David Crockett 40

The Smoky Bears rolled out to an early 10-point lead and stayed in front the rest of the way against the Lady Pioneers. Crockett kept it close throughout the first half, down just 26-17 at the break.

“They play hard. I can’t fault them for that,” Crockett head coach Will Conley said. “It’s just the consistency. It’s not the effort. It’s just we have to be more consistent over four quarters. It’s doing the little things right now.”

Brooklyn Fox and Brittany Tarr each scored 14 points for Sevier County, while Taylor Chapman contributed 13 points.

Madison Grindstaff and Hannah Stephens led David Crockett (1-9) with eight points apiece.

Smith County 52

Unaka 42

Callie Hackett scored 11 of Smith County’s 15 points in the third quarter to help the Lady Owls pull away from the Lady Rangers (8-6).

Hackett ended with 20 points, one point behind teammate Casey Gregory who had eight points in the final period and 21 points overall.

Brandi Ensor paced Unaka’s efforts with 19 points. Kassie Winters was next on the list with eight points.

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