Bearettes bounce back with Shootout consolation win
With their starting point guard still awaiting her fate from an injury suffered earlier in the tournament, the Sevier County Bearettes (6-6 overall) overcame the adversity and knocked off Campbell County 54-40 Saturday night to earn third place in the second annual Sevierville Winterfest Shootout.
“That was nice,” Sevier County coach Stacy Marine said of the win. “It gets us going in right direction and maybe get some confidence for these (younger) kids, where they’ve gotten out there and played some valuable minutes now.”
Still, the coach is realistic, especially with the chance that senior Kelsey Wypych’s injury could be serious enough to keep her sidelined for some time.
“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us,” he said. “We’ve got to adjust to playing without Kelsey. You lose your point guard, and that’s always tough. It changes your rotation around, changes who’s doing what. We’ll make that adjustment.
“It’s good we’ve got these Christmas tournaments to get a few games here to get used to how we’re going to have to play now. Hopefully she’ll get to come back.”
The Bearettes — who had beaten the Lady Cougars earlier in the season with a full compliment of players — relied heavily on Taylor Chapman in the rematch, and the senior answered with a team-high 17 points.
The Purple and White also got some big play from their underclassmen.
“They’re just now getting out there and getting some valuable minutes, and getting the learning experience they need to help us out,” Marine said. “We got a little help from everybody tonight. We’ve only got 10 now that are available to play, and all 10 of them got in the game tonight.
“I’ve got a couple of freshmen that are stepping up giving us some valuable minutes — Bri Miniard and Olivia Bailey. I’m expecting them to continue to grow and get better with experience. And my sophomores are coming in and giving us some minutes, too. We’re just going to see what happens.”
The Bearettes will travel to Johnson City after Christmas play four games in Daniel Boone High School’s holiday tournament.
“That will be a great time to get (the young players) some minutes, get them out there and see what we can do before the district schedule rolls back around,” Marine said. “We’ve still got a pretty good starting five there that battles every night, but we’re trying to get some people to come off the bench and help contribute. Hopefully we’ll get better as we go.”
Marine said the trip will also allow the players to forge a greater team bond.
“We always like to take the team and get away, get a little bit of team unity,” he said. “That’s just part of the growing process that we like to do.”