Offensive woes sink Lady 'Blazers

Jeff Birchfield • Feb 21, 2014 at 10:07 PM

DANDRIDGE — Daniel Boone girls basketball coach Travis Mains felt his Lady Trailblazers played good enough defense to beat Jefferson County.

The problem was the Lady ’Blazers weren’t able to execute often enough on the offense end.

Struggling against the Lady Patriots switching defenses from a man-to-man to a particularly tough-to-penetrate 2-3 zone, Boone lost 50-33 Friday night in the Region 1-AAA quarterfinal at Jefferson County.

“They kept us out of rhythm,” Boone coach Travis Mains said after his team finished the season 19-14. “I thought we were prepared, but we didn’t play a good game tonight. We picked a bad game to not finish and not get any offensive rebounds. They beat us 40-20 on the boards and that was a telling stat for us all year. If we don’t rebound, we have a problem winning. It was a tough night.”

Another big problem was going scoreless during an eight-minute plus stretch from the end of the second quarter through the middle of the third. The Lady Patriots (20-10) outscored the Lady ’Blazers 15-0 during that time to turn a 14-13 deficit into a 28-14 lead.

Jefferson County coach Rick Sinard made adjustments with a conscious effort to keep Boone’s guards from getting to the basket.

“With a team like that, we knew they were scrappy and did the dribble-drive,” Jefferson County coach Rick Sinard said. “We wanted to switch it up and thought we could contain them a little better in the zone, although I also thought the man-to-man did well tonight.”

Early on, Katelyn Cox gave Jefferson County all kinds of fits driving to the basket. She scored 10 of Boone’s first 14 points to give them the early lead.

After getting behind, however, the Lady ’Blazers faced an uphill struggle.

It was made more difficult by the play of Jefferson County’s talented freshman Alexandra Alder, who ended with a dozen points.

“Number 23 was special tonight,” Mains said about Alder. “We had problems guarding her and keeping her in front of us. She broke us down at times. We were keying on No. 3 (Tori Griffith) and 21 (Autumn Dodson), and I thought we did a good job on them. We held them to 50 points, but you can’t score 33 points and expect to win.”

Down by 14 points in the second half, the Daniel Boone girls showed some fight. They made a run to cut the deficit to just eight points early in the fourth quarter.

They couldn’t sustain it, however, and the senior Dodson made 8 of 10 free throws in the second half to finish with a game-high 18 points. Adding to Boone’s problems, the Lady Patriots’ freshman starter Makaila Woolard ended with 11 points.

Boone was led in scoring by Cox who finished with 12 points, followed by Taylor Carmichael with eight points and Autumn Bradshaw with five points.

It was the final game for a trio of seniors — Cox, Bradshaw and point guard Allison Littleton — for whom Mains was grateful for their contributions throughout the season.

“We had three solid seniors that didn’t have their best games, but they mean a lot to our program,” Mains said. “Katelyn Cox came out early and started playing for us, but they packed that zone in and we could never adjust.”

Jefferson County will play Dobyns-Bennett (21-9) next in the semifinal round.

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