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Lady Pioneers advance in tourney despite Atlee's 19-point effort for Falcons

Douglas Fritz • Feb 18, 2020 at 11:29 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Adversity hasn’t been able to derail the David Crockett girls’ basketball season.

The Lady Pioneers, playing under their third head coach since the beginning of February, got a terrific double-double effort from Emma Gouge and battled tooth and nail for a 46-45 victory over Volunteer on Tuesday in the District 1-AAA tournament.

Crockett (14-16) ended a six-game losing streak and earned a berth in the region. The Lady Pioneers will play top-seeded Science Hill at 4 p.m. in Friday’s semifinals

It was a tough season-ending loss for Volunteer (15-14), which received a standout performance from Atlee Dean. Dean led all scorers with 19 points.

Crockett’s Tony Gordon was relieved of his coaching duties prior to the Science Hill game on Feb. 4, and Lacie York was interim coach for that contest. Boys coach Cody Connell began double duty Feb. 7 against Daniel Boone, taking over as the Lady Pioneers’ interim coach.

“Every game these girls have played hard,” Connell said. “You can’t look at them and say they’ve given up or they’ve quit. They haven’t. They’ve played extremely hard. They just haven’t made easy shots. But they put it together tonight. You could tell they wanted to win.”

Gouge was a key factor, finishing with 13 points and 15 rebounds in a dominant effort in the paint. Mackenzie Baldwin also came up big, totaling 10 points and nine rebounds. Alyssa Suits added seven points, four assists and four rebounds.

The Lady Pioneers didn’t allow a field goal in the first quarter and exited with a 14-3 advantage. Things changed in the second quarter, and the Lady Falcons trailed only 23-17 at the break.

Volunteer cut the deficit to 38-36 in the fourth and again to two, 40-38, in the final minutes. But the Lady Falcons couldn’t get over the hump.

Kenady Knittel added 11 points for Volunteer.


In a game that was already slipping away, any hope Daniel Boone had of keeping its season alive pretty much ended with 2:56 left in the fourth quarter.

With the Trailblazers (14-12) trailing by seven points, a fast break led to a foul, a player technical, a bench technical and a fan ejection. Tennessee High turned it into a six-point possession and held on for a 64-58 District 1-AAA win.

The Vikings (22-9) secured a berth in the region. They advanced to play Science Hill in the district semifinals Friday at 5:30 p.m.

“This is a really difficult pressure game for seniors, and our guys responded well,” said Tennessee High coach Roby Witcher.

Boone played a solid game in the first half and went into the locker room with a 33-28 advantage. But the Vikings started the third quarter with a 10-4 run to take the lead, and the ’Blazers never found solid footing the rest of the way.

Boone coach Chris Brown said the quarter was the difference in the

season-ending loss.

“We missed some shots and stopped attacking the paint,” Brown said. “They were able to make some plays on the other end and we were outscored 19-6.”

The score was 56-49 with three minutes left in the fourth when Mchale Bright came up with a steal. He was fouled going to the basket. After a trio of whistles and order was restored, the Vikings made 5 of 6 free throws. They made another foul shot after getting the ball back following the free throws. The six-point possession matched the margin of victory.

Tennessee High got 19 points and double-digit rebounds from Nolan Wishon. Bright had a big second half, scoring 13 of his 19 points. Cole McBrayer added 11 points.

Jared Atkins and Cade Norris each totaled 18 points for Boone. Atkins hit four 3-pointers. Chase McGonigle added 10 points.

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