No. 2 Fulton mauls Lady Tigers for spot in 3-AA championship
Their season isn’t over yet, but the No. 3-seeded Pigeon Forge Lady Tigers might have felt that way after taking a 60-42 District 3-AA Tournament semifinals walloping from the No. 2 Fulton Lady Falcons on Saturday afternoon at Jack A. Parton Gymnasium in Gatlinburg.
“It was ugly,” said Pigeon Forge coach Paul Reagan. “I give Fulton credit, because they’re a heck of a team.”
After losing a couple of heartbreakers to Fulton during the regular season (51-47 and 59-56), the Lady Tigers expected a better showing.
“The season is not over, but this one hurts pretty bad,” said Reagan. “It was close early, but it wasn’t close late. Both the other games were close to the end, but this one wasn’t, and it’s very disappointing.”
After battling the Lady Falcons (18-5) to a 9-9 stalemate by the end of the first, Saturday’s semifinal contest started to slip away from the Lady Tigers (17-9) in the second frame.
Fulton outscored Pigeon Forge 17-7 in the second to build a 26-16 lead at the half.
Freshman Sarah Hill gave the Lady Tigers a brief 11-9 lead when she took it in for a layup with 7:48 in the half, but Fulton’s Moneisha Thomas and Victoria Griffin connected with treys on back-to-back possessions, giving the Lady Falcons a 15-11 edge with 5:19.
Pigeon Forge junior Mikayla Trombley bombed a 3-pointer from the top of the key to cut it to 15-14 with 4:38 until intermission, but the Lady Falcons answered with a 11-2 run to finish the half.
The Lady Tigers lost a bit more ground to start the second half and trailed 42-30 heading into the fourth, but it could have been worse if not for three-unanswered Pigeon Forge field goals by Trombley, senior Mindy Brackins and junior Callie Clabo to end the third frame.
Pigeon Forge junior Clarissa Crowley made a nice power move to the hoop to start the fourth, cutting it to 42-32 with 7:42 in regulation, but that’s as good as it would get for the Lady Tigers the rest of the night.
Brackins and Trombley led Pigeon Forge with 11 points apiece, sophomore Rebecca Baker — who left the court in the final minute of regulation after banging her head on the floor — had six, freshman Sarah Hill had five, Crowley had four, Clabo had three, and senior Katie Shields had a deuce in the loss.
Jayda Johnson led Fulton and all scorers with 19 points, Thomas and Tyanna Castle 14 apiece, Griffin had 11, and Elicia Faulkner had a deuce in the win.
Both Pigeon Forge and Fulton already secured a berth into the upcoming region tournament by making it to Saturday’s district tourney semi-finals.
Fulton will play in Monday’s 7:30 p.m. district tourney championship against the winner of No. 1 Gatlinburg-Pittman vs. No. 4 Austin-East.
The Lady Tigers will play the consolation contest at 6 p.m. Monday against the loser of G-P vs. A-E.