Disappointing loss in Sevierville in Regionals after big win against ‘Toppers
By Christopher ShieldsDavid Crockett Pioneers entered the region tournament playing their best basketball of the season. But a staggering statistic proved the difference between a win and a loss for the peaking Pioneers on Feb. 22 in Sevierville against the Smoky Bears.
Free throws were the difference-maker as Crockett was eliminated from the postseason in the quarterfinals round following a 74-64 loss to Sevier County.
The Smoky Bears went to the line 21 more times than the Pioneers who had just six free throw attempts in the contest.
Sevier County took an early advantage, leading 19-16 after the first eight minutes of the contest. The teams played evenly in the second quarter as the game went to halftime with Crockett trailing 34-31.
The third was Crockett’s worst stanza of the contest as the Smoky Bears stretched their advantage to nine points by the end of the quarter.
But the Pioneers and their sensational sophomore, Patrick Good, came roaring back in the fourth quarter, chipping into the lead and getting as close as one point midway through the final quarter.
It was as close as the Pioneers got as Sevier County and their abundance of trips to the charity stripe eventually extended the lead back to double-digits.
Crockett made a final run in the remaining minute of the contest with two Good three-pointers cutting the Sevier County advantage down to six.
Crockett was forced to foul to prolong the contest, and the Smoky Bears once again returned to the free throw line, where they sealed the game and the season for the Pioneers.
To no one’s surprise, Good finished with a game-high 31 points, including 17 in the final quarter. Dustin Day, who has also been the Pioneers steady scorer, added 17.
The loss ends Crockett’s season with a 22-13 overall record. With Good and Day both returning as juniors next season, the Pioneers should be poised for a big year.
paces Pioneers in win
over Science Hill
Preceding Saturday night’s loss, Crockett finished the conference tournament earlier in the week in the consolation game against Science Hill.
For the second time this season, Crockett came out on top of the Hilltoppers, 71-70.
The Pioneer win seemed unlikely following the contest’s opening quarter where Science Hill race out to a 25-16 lead.
But despite grabbing the early momentum, the Hilltoppers just couldn’t find an answer for Patrick Good who carried his team with a career high 44 points.
After an 11-11 second quarter, Crockett began a comeback in the third, cutting the Science Hill lead down to four points with a quarter to play.
The momentum continued for the Pioneers in the fourth quarter as Crockett wasted little time taking away Science Hill’s lead, 56-55 with six minutes still to go until the horn. The Pioneers didn’t trail again.
They eventually led by as much as 65-57, but the drama came at the very end of regulation for the Pioneers when Science Hill, trailing by just three, started to catch up with seconds remaining.
Crockett refused to give the Hilltoppers a chance at a three-pointer that could send the game to overtime. Instead they sent them to the line.
The strategy worked as Crockett escaped with a one point victory.
The win gave the Pioneers a third-place finish in the conference tournament and set them up to play Sevier County in the region.