Sevier County boys basketball 51, Morristown East 33

Sevier County used a strong defensive second half to take down Morristown East in the 2AAA consolation game on Monday night.

The Smoky Bears held the Hurricanes to nine second-half points after leading 25-24 at the half.

Sevier County lacks true size down low and has struggled with big men at times this season, and in the first half Morristown East’s 6-foot-9 post Braden Ilic scored 10 points.

The Hurricanes were without star guard Micah Simpson, and the Smoky Bears defensive pressure in the second half proved the be the difference as they didn’t allow the ball to be entered into the post and forced Ilic out onto the wing.

“We put good pressure on them. They have the big kid who had 10 on us in the first half, and he didn’t score in the second half,” Sevier County head coach Ken Wright said. “The main difference was that we pressured their guard in the second half and made it tough for him to get the ball on the inside.”

The trio of Jonathan Zhao, Tyler Wilson and Donovan Miller led Sevier County with 16, 14 and 11 points, respectively. Danny Stanton added four points.

Miller was named to the 2AAA all-tournament team, while Danny Stanton was named to the district’s first team for his performance in the regular season and Zhao was named the district’s player of the year by a unanimous vote.

“Donovan has been a quiet assassin for us. He goes unnoticed a lot, but he doesn’t go unnoticed by the coaching staff,” Wright said. “Matter of fact, he is our best three-point shooter. It was a well deserved honor. For Danny and Jonathan, it was a year-long thing for them selected by the coaches... I thought they were well deserved. They have been our leading scorers all year and came to play most nights.”

The Smoky Bears go to District 1 No. 2 seed Science Hill in Johnson City on Saturday night at 7 for a do-or-die game in the region tournament.

“They are a power. Everybody in Tennessee knows about Science Hill and we are no stranger,” Wright said. “They are a tough out. They always have good players, and this year they shoot the ball really well from what I understand.”

Union County 48, Pigeon Forge girls basketball 34The Lady Tigers struggled offensively on Monday night in the 3AA consolation game.

Union County jumped out to a 17-5 lead early, and though Pigeon Forge picked it up in the second quarter scoring 14 points, they allowed Union County to score 16 and extend their lead to 33-19 at halftime.

Much of the game happened in the second half as both teams didn’t put the ball in the bucket at an efficient rate, and the Lady Tigers were never able to pose a real threat.

“We couldn’t get anything going offensively. They had a few girls hit some shots and we had to change our defense,” Pigeon Forge head coach Emory Cain said. “In the second half, we held them to 15 points, but we could never get going offensively.”

In the third quarter, Pigeon Forge had a chance to cut the lead to seven, but a missed lay up on a fast break summarized their entire night in one play.

Cain thought that his team wasn’t super patient looking for good shots on offense and when they did get open looks they missed them.

“I thought we played really well against Gatlinburg-Pittman (in the semifinals) and to back it up with a game where we didn’t play really well, it is going to be tough to refocus,” Cain said. “The good thing is we aren’t completely out yet. If you have games left, then you have hope.”

Sarah Teaster led the way with 10 points for Pigeon Forge, while Halle Hensley had eight and Ana Naas scored seven.

The Lady Tigers advance to the region tournament where they will play at either Fulton or Alcoa.