G-P girls throttle Carter; boys drop heartbreaker
Dec. 12, 2012 @ 10:40 PM
STRAWBERRY PLAINS —
The Gatlinburg-Pittman basketball squads hit the road on Tuesday night, splitting a pair at District 3-AA rival Knoxville Carter.
The visiting Lady Highlanders took a big 56-10 victory over the Lady Green Hornets, while the G-P boys dropped a 58-57 heartbreaker in the nightcap at Jim Williams Gymnasium.
The final 37.4 seconds of Tuesday night’s one-point G-P loss at Carter was an emotional roller coaster of events.
Trailing 58-57 with 2.8 seconds on the clock, sure shooting G-P senior Davis Soehn had a chance to win the game with a 1-and-1 from the charity stripe.
Soehn’s first shot rattled inside the cylinder and then out again, however, and a jump ball on the missed shot gave Carter possession under the G-P goal with 1.8 seconds on the clock.
Carter’s Tucker Green attempted to fire a long inbound pass to a streaking teammate down court, but the pass sailed too high and hit a ceiling rafter, giving the Highlanders possession and a second chance to win it at the end with that same 1.8 seconds on the clock.
The G-P inbound pass went to long-shooting senior Clay Leatherwood, but tight Carter defense forced a fade-away 3-point attempt that missed its mark at the buzzer, securing the one-point Green Hornet victory.
“We had a lot of chances to win the game,” said a disappointed G-P coach A.J. Bennett. “We fought hard at the end, but we just came up a play short.”
The G-P boys got off to a quick start and held on for a 15-11 lead by the end of the first quarter as junior Riley Trotter hit for five points, along with junior Thomas Mackey’s four points and junior Clay Leatherwood’s trey in the first.
Carter grabbed its first lead of the game, however, when John Woodruff hit a pair of charity shots to make it 17-15 with 6:04 in the half.
The Green Hornets built their second-quarter lead to as many 10 points, 29-19, when Jordan Bowden sniped a trey with 2:43.
G-P senior Blade Durbin cut it to the halftime score, 34-27, with a fastbreak layup with 48 seconds.
“We started out really well,” said Bennett. “But going into the second quarter, we lost all the 50-50 balls.
“On the road especially, you’ve got to get every loose ball and just play as hard as you can. We took some plays off.”
Durbin had a big third quarter, scoring eight of his 15 total points in the period, including game-tying rebounds and putbacks at the 4:53 and 3:05 marks, knotting it at 36s and 40s respectively.
G-P finally managed to regain the lead when junior Christian Maloney cut to the basket and took a nice dish from Durbin for a layup and a 42-40 edge with 1:57 in the third.
But Carter’s Tucker Green answered with a trey and a drive to the basket for a 45-42 Green Hornet lead with 21 seconds in the third.
Durbin cut it to 45-44 with 4.5 seconds on a pair from the stripe, but Bowden answered with a buzzer-beating 3 from the corner to make it 48-44 Carter heading into the fourth.
The Hornets managed to maintain their small lead until Durbin hit a cherry picking layup that turned into an and-1 play with 43 seconds, knotting it at 57.
Carter’s Charles Mitchell ended up hitting the game winner on 1-of-2 from the charity stripe with 37.4 seconds, making it the eventual final.
Leatherwood and Durbin led the Highlanders with 15 points apiece, junior Riley Trotter came up big with 13 points, Soehn and junior Thomas Mackey finished with five each, and juniors Steffan Schroeder and Maloney had a deuce apiece in the loss.
Bowden led Carter and all scorers with 16 points, Mitchell added 12, Woodruff had 10, Green had nine, Shaun Winton had seven and Patrick Blake had four in the win.
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The G-P girls (9-2 overall, 3-0 in District 3-AA) had no problem handling district rival Knoxville Carter (1-7, 0-2) on Tuesday night despite missing injured junior Hunter Price and standout sophomore guard Haris Price, who is expected to be back in the starting lineup when the Lady Highlanders host district rival Fulton on Friday night.
But on Tuesday night, freshman point guard Kyndall Owens stepped up to help lead the Blue and Gold to a 46-point win over the Lady Green Hornets.
“I thought my young girls did a good job of stepping up, because neither Haris or Hunter got to dress due to injuries,” said G-P coach Katie Parton. “Kyndall Owens did a nice job stepping up and being our point guard.”
Sophomore Bethany Sutton is used to getting minutes, but on Tuesday she moved from post to guard to help fill Hunter Price’s role.
“Bethany got hot and knocked down some 3-pointers and did a good job for us (in a new position),” said Parton. “But overall, I thought it was a good team win, and everybody stepped up and did their part.”
Despite a slow start offensively, the Lady Highlanders managed a 9-4 edge by the end of the first quarter.
When Sutton drained a trey with 4:55 in the second, G-P had its first double-digit lead of the night, 16-4 en route to a 21-6 lead at the break.
When junior Micki Werner made a steal and took it coast-to-coast for a layup with 5:25 in the third, G-P had its first 20-point lead of the night, 27-6.
Werner also gave the Lady Highlanders their first 30-point lead, 37-6, with a fastbreak layup with 3:28 in the third.
And when sophomore post Dannie Luczak hit a layup with 11 seconds in the third, G-P led by 40-points, 48-8 en route to the 46-point final.
G-P senior Karsen Sims along with Sutton led all scorers with 16 points apiece, Luczak and Werner added eight each, and freshman Julia Maloney and sophomore Sydney Perry finished with four apiece in the win.
Olivia Carmichael led Carter with six points, and Bethany Fowler and Haley Andrews added a deuce apiece in the loss.
G-P next hosts district rival Fulton on Friday night, while the Carter squads next travel to Knox Central on Monday.