Behind the interior game of 6-foot-7 seniors Nolan Wishon and Blake Fauver, Tennessee High managed to claim a 60-58 victory over the Trailblazers in the Big 7 Conference opener for both basketball teams.
Boone (4-3, 0-1) certainly had its chances to pick up a Big 7 road win, but the Trailblazers ultimately had no answer for Tennessee High's inside power.
“We knew they were going to pound it inside, and I think we got a little worn down in there,” said Boone coach Chris Brown. “Big Red (Wishon) does a great job using his body and when we allowed him to pin us deep, we're in trouble.”
Wishon led a balanced THS attack with 15 points. Cole McBrayer scored 14 for the Vikings (7-1, 1-0), Fauver added 13 and Brayden Henard kicked in 12.
“In our conference this year it's going to be one of those things where you've got to win all your home games and hopefully knock off a couple guys on the road,” longtime THS coach Roby Witcher said. “I don't know who's not going to be good in our conference this year.”
With the Vikings leading 58-55, Boone equaled the count immediately after a Trailblazer timeout when Jared Adkins quickly and boldly stroked a 3-point jumper from 23 feet with 37 seconds left in the game.
“My kids aren't scared, and I don't want them to be,” Brown said.
THS, after nearly giving it up on a 10-second count, then grabbed the ultimate advantage when spinning senior McHale Bright took his man off the dribble and scored on a short jumper well inside the lane with 5.5 left to play.
“We just wanted to spread the floor,” said Witcher, whose critical timeout prevented a 10-second call on the Vikings. "After the timeout we wanted to drive it to the bucket and score or get fouled, with the worse case being that we'd have to go overtime.
“When Wishon came back in the second half (after sitting out the last five minutes of the first half with two fouls), we had the two bigs and McHale pounding the inside, and that eventually put us over the top.”
BOONE LEADS AT HALF
The Trailblazers, who received a game-high 17 points from Cade Norris and 10 from Adkins, shot it well and led 31-26 at intermission before THS rallied.
“We got a little hesitant at the start of the third quarter against their zone,” Brown said. "We got a little timid, and we committed a few big turnovers there.
“But we battled on the road in a conference game and gave ourselves a chance to win. Hopefully we will learn from this.”
Daniel Boone 61, Tennessee High 28
The Lady Trailblazers opened their Big 7 slate, running out to a 35-15 advantage at halftime and cruising from there.
Boone (3-3, 1-0) upped its lead to 51-24 by the end of the third period and were able to empty their bench.
Jaycie Jenkins, a 5-foot-11 senior, led Boone with 18 points. Madi Runnels scored 10 points to lend support, while teammates Kayla Gibson and McKenna Dietz scored nine each.
The Vikings (3-4, 0-1) were led by the 15-point game of junior Riley Fritts.