Daniel Boone basketball coach Ryan Arnold told his team they were in for a fight against Tennessee High on Tuesday night.
He wasn’t lying as the Trailblazers avoided a last-second knockout to hold off the Vikings 59-57 in the Big Eight Conference game at Bobby Snyder Gymnasium.
The Trailblazers led the entire contest, but the Vikings’ Adam Mitchell launched a potential game-winning, 3-point shot as the clock ran down.
The shot bounced off the rim and Dillon Reppart knocked away any chance at a rebound as time expired.
“I told the boys before the game that we’re going into a fight. It’s going to be tough and down to the wire” Arnold said. “I’m proud of my guys. We didn’t have a lot of experience coming in(to the season), but we’ve played a tough schedule and I think it’s paid off.”
Boone evened its Big Seven record at 2-2 and improved to 12-8 overall. The Vikings fell to 3-2 and 12-5.
Freshman Holden Hensley led Boone with 17 points, followed by Dillon Reppart and Alex Percell with 10 each. Jacob Keefauver added eight, while on the defensive end, the Trailblazers held Tennessee High’s 6-foot-8 center Chase Branscomb to just six points. He was scoreless from the field, at times triple-teamed in th post.
“Team defense,” Arnold said when asked how they neutralized the big man. “I thought we had him surrounded where they couldn’t throw over the top. We were very, very concerned with him. He’s a heck of a player. He’s so big and he has a soft touch. I was really concerned about him and Mitchell’s toughness.”
It was for good reason.
Mitchell lifted his teammates when they needed him the most, scoring eight of his game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter. His shot at the end looked good when it left his hand to both Arnold and Tennessee High coach Roby Witcher.
Since it didn’t connect, it meant a tough loss for the Vikings, who fell two games behind Science Hill in the league standings.
“We made a couple of runs at them,” Witcher said. “We had some good offensive possessions, but I never felt we got that one stop. We just didn’t get that one stop we needed to get. That number 50 (Hensley) played well and Reppart played well. They made some big shots. Give them credit. They always do a good job and this is a tough place to play.”
Daniel Boone held a 13-12 lead at the end of one quarter and was ahead 26-22 at the half. The ’Blazers managed to stretch the lead out to 10 points in the third quarter before the Vikings rallied.
Boone managed to hang on and a 3-point goal by Holden Hensley at the buzzer gave the ’Blazers a 45-38 advantage heading into the final period.
Six straight points by Tennessee High cut the lead to one, but Boone was able to stay in front from a single point to five points throughout the fourth quarter.
Zak Kitzmiller had 13 points for the Vikings and Caleb Easterling finished with a dozen.
Tennessee High will try to get back on the winning track against Sullivan Central on Friday night. Daniel Boone will head to Dobyns-Bennett for a key league game.
Daniel Boone 56, Tennessee High 48
Guards Autumn Bradshaw and Allison Littleton led the way as the
Lady ’Blazers program defeated the Lady Vikings for the first time in seven years.
Bradshaw scored 19 points and Littleton ended with 13 in the Boone victory. They spearheaded an 11-2 run which turned the game after Tennessee High had taken its only lead at 45-43.
“We didn’t look like we were going to score, but they stole the ball and took it over at the end,” Boone coach Travis Mains said. “We had to grind it out. It was one of those games where we never could put them away. They got momentum and I was kind of scared for a second. Taylor Campbell got some big defensive rebounds and knocked down some free throws and it stemmed the tide for us.”
Daniel Boone (3-1, 14-6) held a slight lead in the first half behind the guard play of Littleton and Bradshaw. Those two combined for 17 points as the Lady ’Blazers took a 30-25 lead into the halftime locker room.
Although Tennessee High (2-3, 6-8) managed to tie the game on three different occasions in the second and third quarters, Boone would each time pull away to a small advantage.
It wasn’t until the Lady Vikings finally took the lead with 4:19 left on a pair of Brea Arrants free throws that Boone was finally able to hit another gear.
“That’s our jobs as seniors,” Bradshaw said. “We had a couple of players have off nights, so we had to be able to pick it up and play as a team.”
Littleton talked about the back-to-back steals and how they impacted the finish.
“Defense and rebounds win games,” Littleton said. “We were like, ‘We really have to buckle down and get a stop.’ We had to get stops and scores.”
Bradshaw added, “When they took the lead, I wasn’t really worried about the score. Our pace of game is up and down. I don’t even look at the scoreboard.”
Taylor Carmichael contributed 11 points in the Boone victory, while Jaclyn Jenkins added eight points and six rebounds. Sheena Johnson had 18 points to lead Tennessee High, and Kelsey Stoops had 11 points, including three baskets behind the 3-point line.
Besides it ending a long drought against the Lady Vikings, the win kept Boone just one game behind Science Hill in the Big Seven Conference race.
“It’s a big win for us,” Mains said. “We just gutted one out tonight.”