Bears score sweep at East; West takes two at Seymour
In games rescheduled because of Friday night’s ice storm, the teams from Sevier County and Seymour high schools played Saturday night.
The Bears and Bearettes scored a sweep at Morristown East, while the Eagles and Lady Eagles suffered a pair of losses to visiting Morristown West.
In Morristown, the Bearettes got a nice performance from sophomore Katlyn Davis, who gunned in four 3-pointers in her team’s 45-42 victory over the Lady Hurricanes (6-15, 2-8 in District 2-AAA).
Sophomore Brittany Tarr also contributed big points inside, netting 14 to lead the Bearettes in scoring.
“It was a good win on the road in a tough environment,” SCHS coach Stacy Marine said.
The victory moves the Bearettes (11-12, 6-5) in good position to make a run for third place in the district this week with critical games against Seymour, Cocke County and Cherokee ahead.
“All of our games next week are big,” Marine said. “The farther you go, the bigger they are. All three of those are huge. It’ll determine how we finish in the district.”
Obviously, the Bearettes would love to win out and finish third in the IMAC standings.
“It’ll be tough, but that’s what we’re shooting for,” the coach said. “We’d like to play well and give ourselves a chance in them.”
Kelsey Wypych had 10 points in the team’s win over East, while Taylor Chapman had seven and Bri Miniard added two.
The Bears (20-3, 9-2) finished their half of the sweep with an overwhelming second-half performance against the Hurricanes (3-19, 1-9).
After playing even with the ’Canes for 16 minutes, 26-26, the Bears dominated.
SCHS outscored East 48-23 over the final two quarters, more than doubling the Hurricanes’ points in the half.
“We were kind of undisciplined the first half, so we sat a few guys, and we were tied a halftime,” SCHS coach Ken Wright said. “At half we talked about giving a better effort, and they came out the second half and gave a lot of passion and effort.
“That was the thing that changed, and we played really well.”
Senior Devin Schmidt scored 20 of his game-high 30 points after intermission.
Jacob Whaley added 11 points and played well in other aspects, too.
“He had a tremendous defensive game, coming up with numerous steals,” Wright said.
Trent Pope came off the bench with eight big points. Cody Underwood was next with seven, followed by Dillon Cate and Logan McCarter with six each. Bailey Fields, Devonte Matthews and Weston Underwood each scored two in the win.
Things weren’t as good for county rival Seymour, which took tough losses from West.
The boys’ 52-46 loss marked the sixth defeat in a row for Coach Brian Jessie’s squad, dating back to the team’s eight-game winning-streak that was snapped Jan. 4 at Cocke County.
All six of the Eagles (13-10, 3-8 in District 2-AAA) losses have come to fellow IMAC teams.
The win propels the Trojans (8-12, 3-7) a half-game above the Eagles in the district standings, knocking Seymour to sixth in the eight-team league.
Seymour led the game early, but West — behind 15 points from Hunter Nics — took control in the second and never looked back.
D.J. Griffin (14 points) and Brandon Dockery (10) were the team’s only double-digit scorers on a night when the Eagles’ offense stuggled mightily.
“We struggled offensive, but I don’t think it affected us too much defensively,” Jessie said. “I thought we played pretty well defensively, but they hit the big shots.
“We’re not playing as good as we can right now, but we’re playing hard. We need a couple shots to go down and get our rhythm back.”
The Lady Eagles’ struggles also continued, as they lost for the sixth time in their past eight games.
Seymour had a rough time containing the conference-leading Lady Trojans (15-7, 9-1 in District 2-AAA), especially Jecca Simerly, the team’s talented 6-1 post.
West rushed out to a 19-8 lead in the first quarter, but Seymour answered in the second, closing the gap to 25-21 by half.
But Seymour scored just 12 second-half points, two less than the Lady Trojans had in the third alone.
Seymour couldn’t buy a basket in the second half, with even free throws proving inordinantly difficult. The Lady Eagles missed 13 of 17 of their second-half attempts from the stripe and finished just 5-of-18 in the game.
Kasey Norman was the Lady Eagles only scorer in double-figures. She had 10.
Seymour’s girls (14-10, 7-4) are still in third place in the IMAC, but they’re three losses behind West and Cocke County, both of which have just one conference loss.
The Lady Eagles’ game with Sevier County tonight in Sevierville will be of the utmost importance, as whichever team wins will have a leg-up to finish third in the district.
The Bearettes, currently in fourth place, are just one game behind Seymour, but a win tonight would give them the season sweep over the Lady Eagles and vault them past the Blue and Gold in the standings.