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Crockett sinks South behind zone defense; Lady Pioneers rally

Tanner Cook • Jan 3, 2020 at 11:57 PM

JONESBOROUGH — A pesky zone defense played a key role for David Crockett in Friday night’s nonconference boys basketball game against Sullivan South.

Down nine points going into the fourth quarter, South closed the gap and took a three-point lead with 5:15 left. However, the Pioneers responded and claimed a 50-47 win.

Dawson Wagner led a trio of Pioneers (11-5) in double figures with 14 points. Mason Britton had 12 and Mack Hensley had 11.

Ben Diamond posted a game-high 18 for the Rebels (13-2), who dropped to 1-2 against the Pioneers this season.

“When you play a team of that caliber — and they’re probably second best in the area to Science Hill — they’re tough to play,” Crockett coach Cody Connell said. “We didn’t get out of the zone this time and that was really what we emphasized. If they shoot us out of it, then so be it.”

After falling behind 41-38, the Pioneers reeled off seven straight points. The Rebels missed two wide-open 3-pointers that would have given them back the lead late in the game.

“For four minutes, that was the only time we showed up the whole game,” South coach Michael McMeans said. “It’s embarrassing for us as coaches because they weren’t ready to play. Crockett played harder and they got every 50-50 ball. They wanted it more.

“It was almost like it was an inconvenience for them to be here tonight. I’m not going to sugarcoat it for them. I told them that we have to have someone that wants to control the locker room. The coaches can’t want it more than the players and that’s what’s happening right now.”

Each team shot poorly and finished the game under 30% from the field. Britton proved to be the only outside threat for Crockett and hit three shots from 3-point range.

During a 10-0 run that gained them their first lead, the Rebels forced a number of Crockett turnovers. But South almost immediately gave it back with its own turnovers.

“Ben and Cole did not have good shooting nights and I told them that it was going to be a dogfight,” McMeans said. “If we’re going to accomplish the goals we want to, we’ll have to go on the road and win. Tonight was a test to come in here and beat one of the best teams in the area — and we didn’t do it.”

LADY PIONEERS STORM BACK TO WIN

The Lady Pioneers rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit and stunned the Lady Rebels 53-51.

South led 43-36 lead going into the fourth period before Crockett put together a 7-0 run. Crockett’s Halle Scott tied the game on a layup with 5:46 left to play.

The Lady Pioneers (10-7) then took their first lead with 3:18 left, going up 46-43 on a Zoe Sanders 3-pointer from the left wing.

The Lady Rebels (6-5) had two chances to tie the game in the final five seconds. Her team down 53-51 following a missed Crockett free throw, Alex Harris brought the ball up the court but was trapped into a traveling violation.

Then with 1.3 seconds left, Crockett was set to inbound the ball but threw it away into the backcourt without anyone touching it, giving the Lady Rebels another chance.

South inbounded the ball in front of its own bench. The ball went to Nicole Troutman in the lane, but her shot rolled off the rim.

Emma Gouge had a game-high 15 points to lead David Crockett while Scott threw in 10 big points.

Harris and Allie Jordan each scored 12 for South.

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