Daniel Boone basketball teams suffered from the first-half blues on Tuesday night at Bobby Snyder Gymnasium.
Down 13-12 late in the first quarter, Tennessee High went on a 21-3 run to take a 65-48 victory over the Trailblazers in the Big Eight Conference opener for both schools.
In an earlier girls’ game between the teams picked No. 2 and No. 3 in the Big Eight coaches’ preseason poll, Tennessee High scored the game’s first 24 points and rolled to a 69-49 win over the Lady ’Blazers.
The boys’ game was competitive in the early stages, but the Vikings (6-1) stayed well in control after making their big run. Brennan Crandell led the efforts with a 17-point performance.
It was textbook defensive effort for Tennessee High, which has a stated goal of limiting teams to less than 40 percent shooting and 50 points per game.
“We’re looking for under 50, and right now we’re averaging 42 per game,” Tennessee High coach Roby Witcher said. “We’re averaging 64 per game offensively, so we’re up on offense and shutting people down on defense.
“We’ve got the makings of a very good basketball team. I’m pleased with our progress so far even though we have some work to do.”
Brennan Crandell was the high scorer for the Vikings with 17 points, which included four shots behind the 3-point line. Point guard Brett Golackey, who also had four 3-pointers, and Austin Delp each finished with 14 points.
Ryan Gaitor paced Daniel Boone with 22 points, keeping the ’Blazers within 20 points for most of the second half. He was the lone Boone player in double figures as Stanley Valentine was the next high scorer with six points.
Boone (2-4) hit 18 of 47 from the field, but the most frustrating statistic to Trailblazers coach Ryan Arnold was a 35-21 rebounding advantage for Tennessee High. It included Daniel Boone grabbing just four offensive rebounds, all by Valentine.
“We’ve got to have help knocking down shots and we had only four offensive rebounds, and one kid had all of those,” Arnold said. “That can’t happen because we’re not shooting a great percentage and we have to crash the boards.
“We’re going to be all right offensively, but we’ve got to have a better effort rebounding. Everybody who plays should be able to get in there and get at least one rebound.”
Tennessee High and Daniel Boone will take part in a Big Eight-Three Rivers Conference shootout this weekend. The Vikings will play Sullivan East on Friday night, while the ’Blazers will face Unicoi County.
The teams will then switch opponents for Saturday games.
Tennessee High (girls) 69
Daniel Boone 49
The Lady Vikings (5-0) stormed out of the gate with the game’s first 24 points to easily beat the Lady ’Blazers (2-2).
The score was 31-4 after one quarter and 40-16 at the end of a first half, which Boone committed 19 turnovers.
Ashlee Mitchell scored Tennessee High’s first eight points and ended with a stat line of 18 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals.
“I was really attacking the basket and then getting the ball to the open shooter,” Mitchell said. “I was surprised by the start, but we were really hyped and wanted to play good. We did a good job.”
Chloe Neil ended with 12 points, all on shots beyond the 3-point arc, while Keely Easterling added 10. Holding a 20-8 advantage on the offensive boards to go along with the turnovers, the Lady Vikings had 28 more shot attempts than Boone.
“We told our kids before the game this is the third-place team and we have to set the tone early,” Tennessee High head coach Barry Wade said. “We wanted to show everyone we think we’re still in the top two.”
Jordan Bacon led Boone with 14 points. Jenny Snyder contributed 10 points and seven rebounds, and Natalie Sheffey also ended with 10 points.