Pigeon Forge's season ends in loss to Fulton

Feb. 25, 2014 @ 12:38 AM

 This loss to Fulton hurt the most.

“We thought we could take them this time,” said Pigeon Forge’s Callie Clabo. “Sometimes life doesn’t go your way.”

Clabo and the Tigers did their best to fight through a cold shooting night, but Pigeon Forge fell to the Falcons for the third straight time on Monday, 58-47.

The loss ends the Tigers’ season, knocking them from the Region 2-AA tournament a win short of the final.

“We’re not the biggest, not the most athletic,” said Pigeon Forge coach Paul Reagan. “But I say we have as much heart as anybody. I thought you saw that. We had a great talk in the locker room and Rebecca Baker said it best, ‘We may have lost on the scoreboard but we didn’t lose because we fought.’”

Reagan pointed to senior Mikayla Trombley’s 17-point night despite being sick as evidence of that. Rebecca Baker had 11 points while Callie Clabo added nine.

The Tigers (18-9) weren’t dismayed by some of their biggest offensive struggles of the season, rallying from 17 down in the second half to cut the lead to as little as eight points. But the offensive firepower just wasn’t there down the stretch.

“We struggled so much offensively,” Reagan said. “But give Fulton a lot of credit for that. They’re so long and so athletic. We struggled on the outside.”

Pigeon Forge had just one field goal the entire second quarter. It took them five minutes to get their next one. Scoring was so tough that Reagan once called from the bench, asking, “Does anyone want to score?”

Trombley responded with a 4-0 mini-run but it wasn’t until the fourth that the Tigers made it interesting. Still down 13, Clabo knocked down two 3-pointers and Trombley got to the basket twice to cut the deficit to eight points.

“I just told myself, ‘I need to do it for the team because we need points, we need scoring,’ ” Clabo said. “We all just stepped up and did what we needed to do.”

But the Falcons (26-5) had the response, holding serve down the stretch for the win. KeKe McKinney led Fulton with 15 points. It was a familiar result for the Tigers after the Falcons bumped them down to the No. 2 seed in District 3-AA on the final day of the regular season and then bounced them from district tournament in the semifinals.

This time, the loss ended Pigeon Forge’s season.

“They rebound so well and they make opportune shots,” Reagan said. “They’ve been handling it better than they did earlier. Their freshmen have grown up. Their legit good and they’re going to be a tough out for anybody.”