Bearettes advance to 2-AAA semifinals
The Sevier County Bearettes earned a 47-40 win over Jefferson County Wednesday night to lockup a spot in the District 2-AAA semifinals, and, just as importantly, a place in the Region 1-AAA tournament next week.
The Bearettes (15-15 overall) fought a nip-and-tuck battle with the Lady Patriots (13-16) for 32 minutes in the teams’ quarterfinal matchup, but clutch free throw shooting late keyed a 13-7 run in the game’s final six minutes to ensure an SC victory.
“It feels good to win this one tonight, it puts you in region. Great win tonight, we played hard, and did what we had to do to pull it out,” SCHS head coach Stacy Marine said.
The teams were back and forth for the first three quarter, but Marine’s Bearettes took control in the final stanza.
Sophomore Brittany Tarr, who was limited to seven points in the first three quarters, equaled that in the last eight minutes, scoring on offensive rebound put-backs, post moves and free throws.
“They did a good job putting (Autumn) Dodson on her (early),” Marine said. “Dodson is a little smaller, but she’s super-quick, and she’s strong in there. They gave Brittany some fits at times, they aggravated her in there a little bit.
“But Brittany shows up when you least expect it on the boards sometimes, and I thought she did that tonight, and we got her the ball a couple times (late).”
In addition, senior Kelsey Wypych, who didn’t score in the first three quarters, was money in the clutch, hitting 6-of-6 from the line down the stretch.
“(Kelsey was clutch) and she’s got to be,” Marine said. “We put her in those situations time and time again, and she’s one of the best free throw shooters around. We put her there for a reason.”
Sophomore Rachel Cole also had a great night for the Bearettes, scoring in double-figures for the first time since the holidays.
“She knocked down a three, scored 11 points — we only scored 47, so somebody coming off the bench scoring 11 for you, that’s huge,” Marine said. “That definitely helped us out tonight and gave us what we needed from the bench. Any points you get coming off the bench are a plus.”
Sevier County also got nine points from senior Taylor Chapman, the hero of Monday night’s game, three from sophomore Katelyn Davis and two from fellow sophomore Brooklyn Fox.
Dodson’s 13 paced the Lady Pats.
The Bearettes squad will move on to face regular-season district champ Cocke County on Friday at 5:30.
“We’ve got a chance,” Marine said. “All we’ve got to do is believe, and come out and play hard like we have the the last 2-3 games, and we’ve got a shot to compete in this thing.
“We’re going to enjoy this tonight, but we’ve got to get back to work tomorrow.
“Come Friday we’ve got to be ready for Cocke County, the No. 1 team in the district.”