Eagles take 3rd at Gibbs tournaments
The Seymour Eagles and Lady Eagles both finished their respective Thanksgiving plates with solid third-place finishes at the Kroger Thanksgiving Classic hoops tournament.
The Seymour Lady Eagles toppled the homestanding Gibbs Lady Eagles Saturday evening to capture third place, while the boys knocked out District 2-AAA rival Cocke County to earn the win the boys consolation game.
The Blue and Gold girls (4-2), forced into the consolation game with a 43-41 loss to Farragut Friday night, used a huge 35-18 first half to propel themselves to a 68-33 lambasting of the Gibbs girls (1-3).
Junior post Mariah Flynn led the way for the Lady Eagles, scoring a game-high 19 points.
Gibbs’ Brittany Cavalaris scored nearly as many, with 18, but her teammates didn’t come through the way Flynn’s did.
Victoria Nelson (10 points), Lexi Justus (8) and Reid Ballard (8) also proved viable scoring options for Seymour, while Caroline Ford (7), Mikayla Harris (5), Payton King (4), Maria Widener (3), Cheyenne King (2) and Hannah Schrimpsher (2) also found the net for the Eagles.
The Lady Eagles outscored Gibbs in each of the game’s four quarters, including a tone-setting 16-4 first period.
Leading the game 49-25 heading into the fourth, Seymour outscored Gibbs 19-8 in the final quarter of play.
On the boys’ side of the ledger, Seymour downed the Cocke County Fighting Cocks 64-59 to claim their third-place finish.
The victory came on the heels of a tough 72-40 loss to eventual tournament runner-up Powell in the second round.
“Anytime you can bounce back from a tough loss is always positive,” Seymour coach Brian Jessie said. “We came out with a lot more energy on Saturday. I was really disappointed with our energy on Friday.
“When you’re sick, and we had a lot of people sick, you’ve still got to give good energy is you’re able to play,” he continued. “Powell handed it to us. And we learned from that, played another good team, and responded.
“We’ve just got a little (stomach) bug running through. (But) we showed a little bit of character and toughness there on Saturday’s game. We learned from Friday’s game we can’t feel sorry for ourselves, because no one else will.”
With players still suffering the effects of a stomach bug a day later, the team went out and defeated IMAC-rival Cocke County.
“They bounced back Saturday and learned from the experience and we were proud of them,” Jessie said. “We got a little bit of a lead early, but we never could extend it.”
Senior guard Peyton Lee, who’s been the team’s leading scorer, drained a three to open the game, only to come down land on an opponent’s foot on defense and turn his ankle.
His apparent replacement, Ethan Parks, was relegated to the bench due to illness in the second half.
Stepping up was sophomore Braxton Dockery, who poured in 10 points in limited minutes.
“(He) came through and played really well,” Jessie said.
Point guard Jake McBrayer also played exceptionally, scoring a career-high 17.
“It was his best game fo the year,” Jessie said. “He’s playing really well. We saw flashes of it last year with Logan (Jenkins) being hurt.
Last year’s back-up point guard, Nick Walker decided to concentrate on baseball, and (McBrayer) has jumped on the opportunity and played really well.
“It’s early, but it did show signs of growth and maturity.”
Seymour opened the tournament with a 64-61 victory over a good Wartburg team in the opening round last Tuesday.
The two teams won’t play again until Friday night, when District 2-AAA and area-rival South-Doyle comes calling for the teams’ first games in IMAC play.