Sevier County hustles its way past David Crockett
How’d you stop a guy who dropped 40 on you two months ago?
You outscore him.
“My gosh, what can you say about Patrick Good? All the accolades he deserves,” said Sevier County coach Ken Wright. “He hit some incredible shots. We were just lucky we were able to keep scoring.”
Score the Smoky Bears did. Sevier County had five guys in double figures just four days after scoring 31 in the District 2-AAA final. It was enough to hold off David Crocket and Good’s 31 points in a 74-64 region quarterfinal victory on Saturday. The Bears (21-9) move into the Region 1-AAA semifinals for the second straight year where they’ll face Dobyns-Bennett on Tuesday.
Jacob Whaley led them there, finishing with 19 points. Bailey Fields poured in 14, including six from the foul line in the fourth, while Cody Underwood and Austin Pope had 12 points each. Jesse Adams chipped in with 10.
That laundry list of scorers was almost as long as the number of big plays Wright rattled off after the game. It was second-chance points and extra-effort plays that helped Sevier County jump ahead of the Pioneers (21-13) with an 11-4 run in the third and stay ahead in the fourth.
“We played with a lot of heart tonight,” Whaley said. “We got after it, got after the ball. The 50-50 plays are big. We make those plays, we win the game.”
One of the biggest plays came straight out of a volleyball game. Things were tense in the fourth when Good, who had nine 3s in Sevier County’s December win over David Crockett, scored 11 points in the first four minutes of the period to cut the lead to 55-54. An Adams bucket made it a 3-point game before Pope, chasing a loose ball near midcourt, alertly popped it into the sky and out of the reach of Good. A wide-open Whaley got a layup down the floor and the Pioneers would never get closer than four points the rest of the night.
“Oh man, it’s just instincts,” Pope said. “The ball’s going out of bounds. I just had to hustle.”
The Bears worked just as hard to snag loose balls earlier in the night. Sevier County was up 34-31 at the half thanks in part to a 6-0 run late in the second quarter when an Adams rebound helped Bailey Fields get to the line twice on the same possession. Adams had his own putback to cap the spurt.
The Bears took control in the third off a pair of 3s from Underwood and three points off of offensive rebounds from Adams and Fields. That was the meat of the run that pushed the lead to eight points.
“We just got out of position,” said Pioneers coach John Good. “We did some things that we hadn’t been doing all year. We didn’t rotate and just left them wide open.”
Those 3s from Underwood forced the defense to switch from trapping Whaley, who had 10 of his 19 in the fourth. That helped the Bears produce enough points to counter Good and Dustin Day, who finished with 19 points.
Now, Sevier County moves on to face Dobyns-Bennett in the region tournament for the fifth straight year.
“We’ll see what we can do against them,” Whaley said. “They’re tough. They play very physical and they’re very quick and athletic.”