Senior forward Jenny Snyder helped Daniel Boone advance to the Region 1-AAA tournament in style.
Snyder scored 16 points, giving her exactly 1,000 for her career, in the host Lady Trailblazers’ 64-52 win against Sullivan South in a District 1-AAA opener Monday at Snyder Gym.
Boone (16-11), the No. 5 seed, will play top-seeded Science Hill in the semifinals Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Lady Hilltoppers (27-3), nationally ranked and No. 2 in the state, defeated David Crockett, 105-30, in Monday’s nightcap.
Boone and South, which ended the season at 17-11, split their regular-season series. The Lady ‘Blazers, with spirited first-year coach Travis Mains often starting fans’ chants of ‘defense,’ built a 31-17 halftime lead.
Ali Littleton (16 points) scored the game’s first five points and Carey Jones made it 7-0 some 2 1/2 minutes in.
“If you come out and make that first punch you’ve got a chance to do something good,” Mains said.
The Lady Rebels were as close as seven points (44-37 on Brayden Hutchins’ two foul shots with 1:13 left in the third quarter, but Snyder beat the buzzer with a weak-side put-back to give Boone a nine-point lead at the end of the period.
Snyder scored six points in the fourth quarter, include 4-of-4 foul shooting. She made all eight of her free throw attempts, the last of which gave Boone a 61-47 lead and Snyder a 1,000 career points with 1:12 remaining.
“I didn’t know I had it until I got to the bench,” a smiling Snyder said.
Aside from Snyder, free throws were an adventure for Daniel Boone, which missed 22 of 43 attempts.
“We could’ve done this speech about 10 minutes ago if we’d made our free throws,” said Mains, who added that his team will be shooting free throws at 7:15 this morning.
South got 16 and 12 points, respectively, from Brayden Hutchins and post Kayla Tipton. Mains is a former South assistant, and didn’t relish the opportunity to eliminate Josh Tate’s Lady Rebels.
“It stinks,” Mains said. “I coached over at South three or four years and me and Tate are pretty good buddies. It’s hard to send your buddy home. …
“We’re trying to keep doing what Coach (Tim) Campbell did here. We’ve got good kids. They work hard and they put a lot of time into it, so I wasn’t shocked that we got to the region.”
Freshman Jaclyn Jenkins scored nine points for Boone. Autumn Bradshaw added eight. Littleton had five steals.
Morgan Seymore, Courtney McKenzie and Taylor Crawford scored eight points apiece for South.
“We knew it was gonna be a hard game coming over here and playing Boone,” Tate said. “They’re hot right now. They’re playing really well. …
“I thought the first half we were flat. We didn’t have a lot of spirit, a lot of will. And that’s why I challenged them at halftime. And they did come out and show a little bit the second half; it just wasn’t enough.”
Ten days removed from a 104-10 defeat of David Crockett that caused much conversation, Science Hill opened on a 48-2 in the district rematch.
Junior 6-foot post Gabby Lyon opened the game with a three-point play and finished the game with 23 points. Junior point guard Tianna Tarter and sophomore wing Keisha Gregory scored 14 points apiece. Gregory made four 3-pointers, all in the opening 12:20.
“Keisha has those nights, and tonight was a good night for her,” Science Hill coach Darrell Barnwell said. “She continues to improve every time she goes out. She takes those shots when she’s open and it’s nice to see a good percentage of them down. …
“It’s tournament time and we’ve gotta start getting sharp. Even in the second quarter, I thought there were stretches where we weren’t very sharp. We had some turnovers there and didn’t shoot the ball quite as well. It’s time for us to start putting everything together, and I thought, overall, under the circumstances with everything that’s been going on, I thought our kids did a good job mentally being focused for what we needed to do and played hard.”
Senior Emanda Reid scored 10 points for Science Hill. Shy Copney scored all nine of her points in the first half and fellow Shae Smith scored seven of her nine in the first half. Senior Enjelica Reid also scored nine points.
Crockett, which was led by Madison Grindstaff’s seven points, played Science Hill within 29-20 for a nine-minute span beginning with 5:44 left in the first half.
“They did a much better job this time than last time,” Barnwell said. “Last time they would pick up their dribble. They did a good job of keeping their dribble, so we’re not in good positions to cut them off and we’re reaching a little bit more.”
Lady Pioneers coach Will Conley returned the praise.
“They’re a really good team because they work at it,” Conley said. “In the summertime they’re in the gym. I’m from Johnson City so I know most … of their parents. They’re gym rats. And you know, in order to have a good team like that, that’s where your girls have to be. He’s got a really good group of girls and a good team – talented, very talented.”
Heather Scalf and Kaley Persinger scored six points apiece for Crockett (3-28).
“We’ve got three wins but I don’t feel like that,” Conley said. “These girls have gotten better. We’ve inched up on the gap … and I’m proud of that, but we’ve got to work harder. … I love and respect each and every one of them, you know, they’ve just got to come play hard every day.”