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Pioneers ambushed early, wind up losing to South

Tanner Cook • Updated Dec 3, 2019 at 10:46 PM

KINGSPORT — A change of venue proved to be unkind for David Crockett in a Tuesday evening non-conference basketball contest as the Pioneers paid a visit to Sullivan South.

The Rebels came out on fire, going up 15-1 early on and never trailed in the game, winning 66-56.

“When we come out so well and we’re hitting everything and passing the ball, the fact that we almost blew an 18-point lead makes it frustrating,” South head coach Michael McMeans said. “It’s tough to guard us when we start out like that. However, we have some mental lapses and we get too comfortable. They’re too good of a team to not come back on us.”

The Pioneers were just 3-for-27 from 3-point range and couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn to start out. However, after switching defenses to a zone in the second quarter, the Pioneers were able to get back in the game and trail by only four (32-28) at halftime.

Gannon Chase had a game-high 19 points for the Rebels while Cole Layne had 14 and Cam Necessary had 10.

Dawson Wagner led Crcokett with 15 points and Donta Hackler heads 14. Prince Kollie chipped in 13 while Mack Hensley finished with 11.

However, that was all of Crockett’s offense as the team produced just one bench point all night.

“We got down 18 at one point early in the second quarter and my guys battled,” Crockett head coach Cody Connell said. “I came in excited at halftime, but you have to hand it to South. They’re a good basketball team.”

The Pioneers did a good job of taking care of the ball, only turning it over nine times while forcing 19 turnovers themselves.

The Rebels were an abysmal 3-for-10 in the second quarter with seven points and eight turnovers. Most of them were trying to make the extra pass when it was unnecessary or just throwing the ball to the wrong person altogether.

“It’s frustrating sometimes, but it’s a good win,” McMeans said.

South also played most of the night without senior leader and point guard Ben Diamond, who got into foul trouble early in the first half and had to sit. He finished the night with nine points — most of them on free throws — and South played much better in the second half when he was in the game.

“It’s an encouraging thing to do that,” McMeans said. “We grew up some when that happened and you never know because foul trouble could play a factor down the road.

Girls

Sullivan South 64, David Crockett 47

McKenzie Littleton had a big night for the Lady Rebels, pouring in 22 points and making all four of her three-point attempts.

Alex Harris and Chloe Nelson each pitched in 10 for Sullivan South as well.

The Lady Pioneers had a horrible start to the game, mustering just four points and committing six turnovers in the opening period.

Emily Trivette led Crockett with 16 points while Halle Scott had 12 and Mackenzie Baldwin each totaled 11. The Lady Pioneers had 19 turnovers on the night, but frustrated South and got back in the game by forcing 21 turnovers themselves.

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