County teams tip off season with jamboree
As is annual tradition, the local prep basketball season started with the county jamboree Monday night at Pigeon Forge High School.
Gatlinburg-Pittman and Sevier County’s boys and girls teams tangled for a quarter each, as did the squads from Pigeon Forge and Seymour.
The teams also showcased their best athletes in the yearly skills contests — free throw shooting, 3-point shootout and slam dunk contest.
Seymour’s girls earned a 12-9 win over the host Lady Tigers of Pigeon Forge in the night’s first action.
Perhaps energized by their home crowd, the Lady Tigers were off to a quick 5-0 lead on a basket by Callie Clabo and a 3-pointer by Mindy Brackins and some careless turnovers from Seymour.
But the Seymour Lady Eagles came storming back with a blistering 10-0 run.
A Kasey Norman 3-ball and pair of inside buckets from Mariah Flynn sparked the run.
“That (run) was good,” Seymour coach Brandi Stalling said. “But the three turnovers to start isn’t.”
Alyssa Mitchell connected on a 3-pointer to get PF back in it at 10-8, but a Flynn offensive rebound put-back sealed the victory for Seymour.
“Once we got settled down and got the nerves out they played pretty good,” Stallings added. “It’s early.”
Seymour’s boys team survived a vicious onslaught from Pigeon Forge’s varsity boys squad, winning a back-and-forth quarter 19-16.
The Tigers pushed the pace early with their five-in-five out, fast-tempo system.
Trading baskets from Anthony Shuler, Ben Vaughan and Kaleb Black for Eagles’ buckets by D.J. Griffin and Matt Dupes, the Tigers trailed 12-10 midway through the period.
But three-pointers from Skyler Gibbons and Kolby Black pushed the hometown Tigers back ahead 16-13 late in the quarter.
Seymour scored four points from the free throw line during a 6-0 run to close out the quarter.
“It’s (only) a quarter,” Seymour coach Brian Jessie said. “It’s good for everybody to get that first night out of the way and get rid of those jitters.”
Sevier County’s girls took an early lead on G-P, thanks to a back-to-back 3-pointers from Taylor Chapman, but the Lady Highlanders were in control from that point.
Using an 8-1 run, G-P took a 12-7 win over the Bearettes, due to strength down low and a tough press.
Back-to-back steal and scores from Haris Price and Micki Werner keyed the G-P flourish, and a last second basket inside from Bethany Sutton added the finishing touches for the Lady Highlanders.
Gatlinburg-Pittman and Sevier County boys played with gusto in their period, battling to a 12-10 Highlanders’ win.
A 3-point bomb from Steffan Schroeder started G-P’s scoring, and after another 3-ball from Clay Leatherwood, the Blue and Gold led 6-2.
Offensive rebound put-backs from Brent Delozier and Devonte Matthews closed the gap to just one at 11-10 minutes later.
G-P turnovers gave Sevier County a chance to take the lead in the final minute, but the missed front-end of a one-and-one and a tough 3-point miss by Logan McCarter at the buzzer gave the victory to Gatlinburg-Pittman