This week’s player of the week is Luke Adams. Luke was a vital part in the David Crockett Baseball Team’s victory over Sullivan South. Check back next week to see the following Andrew Johnson Bank Player of the Week.
This week’s player of the week is Luke Adams. Luke was a vital part in the David Crockett Baseball Team’s victory over Sullivan South. Check back next week to see the following Andrew Johnson Bank Player of the Week.
By MARINA WATERS
David Crockett High School volleyball player Gabby Rambo will soon be trading hardwood for sand.
Rambo signed to play beach ball at Tusculum College on Thursday, March 7. Rambo, who is the first Crockett athlete to ever sign to play beach volleyball, said her decision to choose sand volleyball over court volleyball stems from her desire to be challenged.
“It’s a lot different. One thing is you can’t jump as high,” Rambo said, laughing. “You have to work on communicating with your partner more. In sand volleyball, it’s different because you have to be an all-around player, so playing every position on the court, I had to take that skill and put it on the sand volleyball court. It’s just more challenging I thought than court volleyball. That’s why I wanted to go into that instead.”
Rambo will be new to the program, but the program will also be new to Tusculum as it starts its inaugural season. The hard work and summer tournaments will be all too familiar for the Crockett senior, however.
For the beach volleyball signee, it all started with a backyard court her dad created with poles and concrete-filled tires back before she had attended public school. Rambo was homeschooled from third grade through eighth grade and started playing for the Washington County School System a few years after TSSAA changed its regulations, allowing homeschooled athletes to participate in school sports.
“I didn’t have a gym at the time, especially when I was homeschooled,” She said.
“I remember going out and practicing everyday working on my jump serve and hitting. It was nice having my brother, Jacob, setting me balls to hit. We still go out there on the same net and just have fun.”
Since then, Rambo has played in numerous outdoor tournaments throughout the summer at places like Wetlands and Tusculum, where she was first introduced to the Tusculum coach. Now, she said she’s looking forward to pushing herself, bonding with her future sand volleyball partner and putting in the extra physical effort beach volleyball requires in her next chapter.
“I think the traveling and just showing my skills on a different playing field (is something to look forward to),” Rambo said. “It’s harder to jump, run, and takes all your muscle strength and cardio to perform tasks that would be easier on the court. I’m also very excited because the team seems very family based and close. The coaches there, they just welcomed me. I’m very excited about working with them.”
She may be headed to the sand, but Rambo said her time at Crockett will stick with her. She said above all, she’ll miss her girls on the court after a senior season full of team bonding.
“I’ve really enjoyed my senior year,” Rambo said. “I feel like we’ve gotten really close. We’ve had a lot of good memories on this team. Everyone has been very supportive and it’s just been a good experience for my senior year.”
By TREY WILLIAMS
After being picked to finish sixth in the Big Seven Conference, David Crockett’s baseball team opened the league schedule by defeating preseason favorite Tennessee High on Monday at Todd Houston Field in Bristol.
Senior left-handed pitcher Luke Adams (1-1) allowed two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings and sophomore catcher Dakota Stout went 4-for-5 with two runs and an RBI for Crockett in the conference debut of first-year coach Spencer Street. The former Daniel Boone assistant was particularly impressed with Adams, who doesn’t let a lack of overpowering velocity keep him from pitching inside and didn’t let shaky Pioneers defense in the first inning affect his attitude.
“He’s had to compete for everything he’s ever gotten,” Street said. “He’s always kind of been an undersized guy, you know, ‘you don’t throw hard enough’ or ‘you don’t have a good enough this.’ He loves to compete and he loves these guys.
“He’s been a leader in the clubhouse all offseason. He works his tail off in the weight room. If you need somebody to get something done, you can trust him to get it done. And that shows when he’s out on the mound. He’s there for his teammates. He didn’t hit the panic button and he continued to throw strikes, which is something we had to have tonight.”
Adams allowed five hits, walked four and hit two batters while throwing 120 pitches.
“We’re a good team,” Adams said. “We came out a little sloppy, but I knew we were gonna hit. So I just had to keep throwing strikes. My team was behind me the whole way.”
Grady Cash was 3-for-4 with three runs and two RBIs and Cade Larkins went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and three RBIs. Cody Wheeley was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI and Johnny Loyd had a two-run double.
Stout, a left-handed batting sophomore catcher hitting seventh in the lineup, delivered four line-drive hits.
“As a sophomore, to step up and do that, was (impressive),” Street said. “We kind of know what we’re gonna get with our top five or six. We really feel confident with those guys. … With Adams and Quillen and Cash and Larkins and Wheeley, you know, that’s a dangerous five guys.”
Center fielder Micah Robinson made two impressive catches.
“Micah can go get it,” Street said. “He can flat-out pick ‘em up and put ‘em down.”
Crockett went 9-22 last season. So a taste of success isn’t expected to fill the Pioneers with complacency.
“We’ve got a long way to go,” Adams said, “before we can prove people wrong.”
Daniel Boone Softball
Daniel Boone’s softball team opened the season in dramatic fashion, winning 6-1 in extra innings at David Crockett last week.
Nickolette Ferguson’s grand slam capped a five-run eighth for the Trailblazers. Megan Ackerman struck out 11 en route to the complete-game victory and went 3-for-5 with two go-ahead RBI singles.
“Megan threw a great game against Crockett, striking out 11 and giving up five hits and not walking anybody,” Boone coach Jeremy Jenkins said.
The ‘Blazers went 5-2 this past weekend at the Mary Vowell tournament in Franklin and reached the championship game, where it lost 9-8 to Creekwood. Freshman Brylee Mesusan was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and three stolen bases in the championship.
Boone had defeated Creekwood, 2-0, in pool play. Ackerman pitched a three-hit shutout and went 2-for-2 with two doubles.
Another freshman, Camryn Sarvis, went 3-for-3 with two home runs in a 12-0 victory against Dobyns-Bennett.
Daniel Boone Baseball
After opening the Big Seven schedule by splitting a pair of games with perennial power Dobyns-Bennett last week, Daniel Boone’s baseball team improved to 2-1 in the league with a 17-2 five-inning victory against Volunteer on Monday.
Hunter Adams struck out 13 while pitching a three-hitter and Colby Backus drove in five runs for the Trailblazers (2-1, 4-2).
Rob Hoover’s ‘Blazers defeated Sullivan South, 8-3, and Morristown East, 8-2, on Saturday in Morristown. Center fielder Brody Goodman stole three bases against South in support of Chase Chandler’s victory. Ryne Haney got the victory against Morristown East.
By MARINA WATERS
The crowd in the David Crockett High School library saw Breanna O’Shields commit to playing volleyball at Brevard College in North Carolina on Thursday, March 7, but for the high school senior, it was more like she was seeing her dream become a reality.
“It was amazing,” O’Shields said, thinking back to her signing day. “It was like everything I worked for my whole life was finally coming into reality. It’s not just like a dream anymore. I finally got there.”
O’Shields also considered The University of the Cumberlands, Emory & Henry College and Carson-Newman. However, the David Crockett volleyball captain felt an excitement she couldn’t quite let go of after her first visit at Brevard.
“When I went and visited, I got to have lunch with the coaches and a couple of the players,” She said. “I felt like that’s what really kind of made me chose there because everyone was just so welcoming and they were so excited about their school.
“They were all just so happy and enthusiastic and I just wanted to be where they were.”
Though choosing the right college for her athletic and academic career was at the top of the list (O’Shields said she plans to become an accountant), the Crockett senior has always dreamed of pursuing the sport that has helped her grow as an athlete and as a person since the very beginning.
“I feel like volleyball is not just a sport,” O’Shields said. “I’ve been really athletic and in middle school I played three different sports, but I feel like volleyball helps me throughout life as well. I feel like it helps me come out of my shell and talk to more people. Especially being the captain this year, it’s helped me learn leadership.
“I want to be an accountant and hopefully I’ll be in a big position where I’ll have to work with a lot of other people and I feel like volleyball really helps prepare me for those areas in my life.”
In looking back on the outside hitter’s high school career, O’Shields said the group of girls she bonded with throughout her senior year made her final season as a Pioneer one she’ll never forget.
“This was the best team I’ve ever had,” She said. “We had a bond on and off the court. I think that’s what kept me going, especially this year.
“Senior year you’re just kind of over it and you kind of just want a break from everything, but I really think my team is what really kept me going. I’m definitely going to miss this group of girls I had this season.”
This week’s player of the week is Daniel Boone Basketball’s Bayleigh Carmichel. Bayleigh has been a leader on the court for the Trailblazers this season. Check back next week for the following Andrew Johnson Bank Player of the Week.
By TREY WILLIAMS
David Crockett’s baseball program will be managed by its third head coach in as many seasons this year. And although it’s almost certainly not gonna lead to the type of success that the same scenario produced in football with first-year coach Hayden Chandley this past season, the Pioneers dugout has also imported some Daniel Boone flavor.
Crockett first-year coach Spencer Street, who has taken over for Nick Lingerfelt after a 9-22 season, spent the past four seasons assisting Daniel Boone coach Rob Hoover.
Street said Hoover is a sharp baseball mind, but taught him as much about the game of life.
“Coach Hoover really doesn’t talk a lot of baseball when we talk now,” Street said. “We talk two or three times every couple of weeks and we really don’t talk much baseball. We kind of ask how each other’s doing and all that.
“Rob’s just so much more than a baseball coach. He’s somebody that I try to mold my character by, and how he teaches and how he goes about discipline and the expectations that he has.”
Hoover is a passionate competitor, but keeps it all in perspective.
“Every coach in this conference is super competitive and nobody settles for anything less than trying to get that regional berth and advance and being at the top of the conference,” Street said. “But with Coach Hoover it’s so much more than the wins and losses. He’s got over 225 wins or something like that, and that would be the last thing he would talk about. He’ll talk about his experiences with the guys and the relationships that he’s built.
“And I don’t think other people will talk about the games that he’s won – the guys who played for him. It’s just how good of a guy he is and how you can depend on him. And I’m sure they’ll be right there this year.”
Hoover is high on Street. He looks forward to the uncommon managerial matchup for Musket ball.
“Spencer is an incredible young coach who balances great knowledge of the game with having great relationships with his players,” Hoover said. “He is no doubt going to be really successful. He played a huge role for us at Daniel Boone with his energy, passion, and his ability to teach the game. It will be a challenge to beat his team.”
Street’s experienced many styles and philosophies. He had the rare opportunity to play for the same coach, Bernie Young, in high school (class of 2005 at Science Hill) and college (Milligan). Young won a state championship at Science Hill in 1998.
“I love Coach Young,” said Street who played for Young as a sophomore at Science Hill during Young’s final season in 2003 and as a freshman at Milligan College during Young’s final season in 2006. “He gave me a shot as a young guy to be around it and see how things are done. Being able to watch him run a practice and how he handled things on the field was definitely a blessing for sure.”
Street said he also learned a lot playing in college for Nathan Meade and at Science Hill under Andy Wallen. Street’s coaching career began under current Science Hill coach Ryan Edwards before spending four years in middle school at Ridgeview and Sulphur Springs.
Street won’t be expected to win like Chandley was during his debut. But Crockett did improve as the season went along under Lingerfelt, who also enhanced practice facilities, offices and locker rooms.
“The coaches’ office and the varsity locker room were completely remodeled,” Street said, “and it’s a place these guys like to be and like to hang out. And that’s just a testament to Nick having a good eye for that and being able to get the job done. And these guys are proud of their facilities. He’s a quality guy and he did a lot for this program.”
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a high-energy athletic director like Josh Kite, a former Chuckey-Doak ace who pitched at East Tennessee State and for five years in the minors for Cleveland and Detroit affiliates.
“Josh is a baseball guy,” Street said. “He’ll tell you that. He’s willing to go to bat for us. He’s so proud of all the athletics here and how far they’ve come.”
So is Street, who got sidetracked bragging on the jobs done by Chandley, basketball coach John Good, girls basketball coach Tony Gordon and reigning conference and district champion softball coach Carla Weems.
“For me, being brought into that and able to see what expectations are and how things are carried out with all the other programs, you know, it really kind of lights a fire under me and my staff,” Street said. “You almost – you don’t want to let them down. They work so hard.”
Street works hard too, though it’s a labor of love.
“Baseball’s my first love,” he said. “I love this game. This is a great opportunity. It kind of came out of nowhere. It’s definitely a blessing, and I feel a calling to be here and be part of this community and to see how much they care about David Crockett High School. And it’s such a good group of kids.
“I stop and talk to my wife about it and I just kind of smile and laugh. I couldn’t have come into a better situation at any place. The Lord blessed me getting me here.”
By TREY WILLIAMS
Daniel Boone senior Isabella Badon had major surgeries on her hip and shoulder prior to her senior season, but the three-time state champion’s spirit was always strong while trying to pin down a four-peat.
And sure enough, the irrepressible Badon overcame extreme adversity to win her fourth straight state title on Feb. 16.
Badon (28-5) edged Elizabethton’s Tyesha Thomas, 3-2, for the title in what was selected as the tournament’s most outstanding match.
Thomas defeated Badon three times during the season, which was understandable. Badon was coming off surgeries for torn labrums in her hip and shoulder. She also had a torn biceps tendon, bone chips and torn cartilage. She had six screws put in her hip and four more in her shoulder.
Badon wasn’t allowed to run all summer. She couldn’t get on a mat until early November and wasn’t allowed to start wrestling until December, at which point she had mono.
“At least mono helped me lose weight,” she said with a chuckle.
Boone coach Matt Montgomery marveled at Badon’s resolve.
“I have never had the honor of coaching someone with so much grit and perseverance,” Montgomery said. “She is the epitome of what it means to be a champion.”
Granted, even Badon was worried about being able to return to the top of the mountain. Matter of fact, she wasn’t certain she’d wrestle again after last year’s season-ending hip dislocation.
“During practice I would be like, ‘Coach, I don’t think I’m gonna make it. I don’t think I’m gonna be that good whenever I get back onto that mat,’” she said. “And every time he said, ‘You might not be there fully, but you’ll be able to win it.’ And he was right. I wasn’t back fully, but I was able to win it.”
Montgomery was invaluable in Badon’s recovery.
“He helped me a lot whenever I first got hurt and I ended up wrestling in the national duals and then having the surgery,” Badon said. “After last season, I just sat on the mat and cried because I did not think I’d ever wrestle again. It was very bad. I’m not sure that he didn’t feel the same thing, but he was always very confident and he would say, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll be able to wrestle again.’ …
“This year we would go running around 6 a.m. before I had to go to school – and we would do them whenever it was cold, too.”
Badon finished her career with 105 wins, 11 losses and four state titles.
“Isabella has truly reaped what she sewed,” Montgomery said. “She has tremendous work ethic. Ever since I have known her she has gone above and beyond in order to reach her goals. She has morning practices and practices after practices. She lifts daily after practice and always finds extra practices in other rooms on weekends. She is her own worst critic. She continuously watches video of herself wrestling and works to fix mistakes and improve on her technique. She is super coachable and applies everything that is taught to her on the mat.
“Last December, Bella tore her labrum in her shoulder while wrestling. She was told that she could have surgery then but would be out for the rest of the season. She chose to endure the pain and finish out the season. Later in January of that same season, she tore the labrum in her hip and injured some ligaments in her knee. I thought at this time her season and maybe even her career were over. But three weeks later she limped onto the mat and won her third straight state championship.”
Badon also enthusiastically credits coaches Cassidy Ferrell, Michael Scott, Anthony Hagee and Junior Hernandez for helping in her development, as well as the inspiration and instruction from her father (Doug) and brother (Hunter).
“My brother’s the whole reason I started wrestling,” Badon said. “He’s seven years older than me and when I was young I would watch him wrestle and he would dominate on the mat. I thought he was so awesome and I still think he’s so amazing, and want to be as good as him.”
Badon plans to wrestle in college at Presbyterian, Lyon (Arkansas) or Gammon (Pennsylvania). She hopes to wrestle in the Olympics as well. And after this season, it’d be difficult to count her out.
Even the optimistic, passionate Badon was skeptical about getting a fourth title.
“Every time that I did it was amazing,” she said, “but this time was like the most amazing.”
This week’s player of the week is David Crockett’s Avery Kibelbek. Avery has been a leader on the mat this season and ended her season with a state championship. Check back next week to see the following Andrew Johnson Bank Player of the Week.
From STAFF REPORTS
CHUCKEY – The South Central Elementary Baseball Team recently spent the day with two baseball players, Hector Lujan of the Twins organization and Reed Hayes of the Oriels organization.
The two players participated in a coaching clinic for the South Central Wildcat team. The players and coaches were excited for the opportunity to get some big league tips from players who have made it to the majors.
“This was a rare opportunity for middle school students to get coached and ask questions of these two amazing players.” SCES Head Baseball Coach Dearstone said.
Jordan Byrd, one of the eighth grade students hoping to be the starting pitcher for the Wildcats this year, said, “The big league pitchers were very helpful. They showed us how to take care of our arms and showed us the fundamentals of pitching and the sport.”
This month, Lujan and Hayes will head off to spring training.
From STAFF REPORTS
The Daniel Boone Track and Field Teams had 11 student-athletes compete in seven events at the State Indoor Championships in Nashville Friday, Feb. 22 and Saturday, Feb. 23, and came away with a State Tittle, a State Runner-up status, three school records and 14 All-State Performances.
Jeremiah Sullivan won the state title in the 25-pound weight throw for the second consecutive year with a throw of 57’, 8.5”. He also placed third in the shot put with a personal best and new indoor school record of 47’, 1.25”.
The boys distance medley relay team made up of Matt Huff, Ray Simmons, Austin Galloway and Max Austin. That team placed second in 10:58.3.
The girls team made up of Patricia Chellah, Abbie Hopson, Grace Sheldon and Judy Chellah placed 6th in the Distance Medley Relay in a new school record of 13:04.58 and sixth in the 4×400 Relay in 4:23.71.
Devin McKenna set a new indoor school record of 12’, 5.5” in the pole vault.
Katie Cutshall also competed in the girls pole vault.
The Boys Team scored 24 points which placed them fourth in the team standings out of 46 scoring teams and over 50 schools total.
By Trey Williams
The Daniel Boone basketball teams each advanced to the regional tournament before suffering season-ending losses the past week.
Boone’s boys upset second-seeded Tennessee High in the District 1-AAA tournament consolation game to draw another No. 2 seed – Morristown East – in the Region 1-AAA quarterfinals.
Senior Chad Heglar and sophomore Cade Norris scored 21 and 20 points, respectively, in the impressive win against Tennessee High. The Trailblazers’ Marshall Golden (18), Jared Atkins (14) and Judah Hilton (10) also scored in double figures.
Heglar (23), Hilton (18) and Atkins (11) scored in double figures in the elimination loss to Morristown East. Heglar, who is being recruited by a number of colleges, concluded his career with 1,409 points, 496 rebounds, 208 assists, 122 steals and 104 blocked shots.
“I am extremely proud of our senior class – Chad Heglar, Derek Percell, Marshall Golden, Judah Hilton, Robbie Storen, and Logan Rivers,” Boone coach Chris Brown said. “Logan joined us this year after not playing his first three years as he concentrated on football and baseball. He provided leadership and was our emotional leader in the locker room. Robbie joined us his sophomore year and the others were members of our program since arriving as ninth graders.
“One of the greatest aspects of coaching is watching players develop and improve. All of these individuals have done that. They worked hard and put in a tremendous amount of time to get better. That’s a testament to each of them.”
Boone certainly had its moments in a season when the Trailblazers had to replace two of their top three scorers in Eric “Doc” Rigsby and Jared Lawson and finished 13-14. The 6-foot-4 Heglar scored 95 points in three games, including his 1,000th during a 51-point performance in a quarterfinal win against South-Doyle, while leading Boone to the program’s first Hardee’s Classic championship. And Heglar had 25 point and 12 rebounds when the ‘Blazers returned to David Crockett seven weeks later to defeat the Pioneers, 76-66, and avenge a home loss.
And Heglar had 25 points and nine rebounds when Boone got a coveted 62-54 win against Science Hill in Bobby Snyder Gymnasium on Jan. 25 – a game when senior point guard Derek Percell made invaluable contributions.
“As always, it’s difficult to end the season on a loss,” Brown said, “but I thought we had a positive year finishing third in the district tournament and making our fourth straight regional appearance. We had big wins against Science Hill and Tennessee High and I thought we played extremely well late in the year and tournament time. As we look to continue to build, I look forward to the challenge of developing our younger players and preparing for next season. I’d like to thank all our seniors for the positive impact they have had on me and our program at Daniel Boone High School.”
The Lady Trailblazers got within a win of the sectional round thanks to a gratifying 33-30 triumph at Morristown West in the regional quarterfinals, but couldn’t solve Science Hill in the semifinals. The Lady Hilltoppers defeat Boone for the fourth straight time with a 68-55 victory Monday at Boone.
Madi Runnels and Jaycie Jenkins scored 10 points apiece and senior Trevecca Nazarene signee Bayleigh
Carmichel added seven as first-year coach Beau Hauldren’s ousted Johnny Galyon’s well-coached Trojans.
“Morristown West is a tough place to play,” Hauldren said. There’s no doubt about that. We battled through. We didn’t play good, but at the end of the day we won. It was a great win. We were the underdog. We the three seed and they were the two seed – and they won the conference down there.”
Boone had no answer for junior Alasia Smith (27 points, 11 rebounds) in the elimination loss to Science Hill.
“Smith just dominated us on the glass,” Hauldren said. “The difference in the game was the glass. They just killed the boards.”
Jenkins scored 21 points and Carmichel added 16. Runnels scored 10 points.
Boone went 23-11 this season despite losing Macy Culbertson (Belmont), Sydney Pearce (Carson-Newman) and Emily Sizemore from last year’s state tournament team. But the competitive Hauldren noted an 0-6 mark against Science Hill and Dobyns-Bennett. Three of those losses were by five points or less.
“I’ve gotta figure out a way to beat Science Hill and Dobyns-Bennett,” Hauldren said.
The Lady ‘Blazers had five seniors – Carmichel, Olivia Miller, Emma Sanders, Jonna Casey and Grace Carroll.
“I told ‘em after the game that change is not easy for anybody,” Hauldren said. “Last April they didn’t know who their coach was gonna be and I got hired. I told ‘em I was grateful for the way they accepted myself and my coaching staff. They really bought into what we were trying to do, especially the seniors. Obviously, they’d had a lot of success the last three years.
“They’ve done a good job and they’ve been great people in the community and the school. They’ve been good leaders for this program.”
Hauldren found his debut campaign to be educational and gratifying.
“I’ve enjoyed it,” he said. “I’ve got great assistant coaches and I’ve got a community that supports us through the good and the bad.”
This week’s player of the week is David Crockett High School basketball’s Emma Gouge. Emma was instrumental in Crockett’s recent match up against Cherokee. Check back next week to see the following Andrew Johnson Bank Player of the Week.
By TREY WILLIAMS
The Daniel Boone boys and girls basketball teams clinched regional berths during the District 1-AAA tournaments, which was where the David Crockett teams’ seasons ended.
Boone’s boys secured their fourth straight regional appearance under coach Chris Brown with an 86-62 win against Cherokee on Thursday at Bobby Snyder Gymnasium.
“As competitive as our league (Big Seven Conference) is, any time you earn a regional berth it’s an accomplishment,” Brown said. “Making it with a group of guys, many of which were playing their first significant varsity minutes this year, is a testament to our players and program. The guys have worked extremely hard, learned their roles and bought into the philosophy of what we expect.”
Judah Hilton scored 21 points and Chad Heglar and Marshall Golden scored 20 apiece against Cherokee. Golden made six of Boone’s eight 3-pointers and Hilton accounted for the other two. Heglar and Hilton each tallied five assists.
“The unselfishness was evident in that win versus Cherokee,” Brown said. “We had 20 assists and had three players score 20-plus points. Ball movement and body movement were efficient and we got positive contributions from a bunch of guys.
“Chad had nine rebounds and five assists to go with his 20. Marshall Golden hit six 3-pointers and Judah Hilton was attacking the rim. Derek Percell continued to give us solid minutes running the point and Cade Norris continues to make plays and get better each time he’s on the floor.”
Boone lost in the semifinals to top-seeded Dobyns-Bennett on Saturday, and must travel to Sevier County or Morristown East this coming Saturday for its first round matchup in the Region 1-AAA tournament.
“We know the road gets tougher,” Brown said. “But we look forward to the challenge ahead as I’m extremely proud of this group.”
The Lady Trailblazers (22-10) finished third in the district tournament. They beat Tennessee High 46-23 on Wednesday to clinch the regional berth before losing 62-58 in an impressive semifinal showing against Science Hill, which went on to win the championship handily against Dobyns-Bennett.
Daniel Boone defeated Cherokee, 56-49, in the third-place game Monday. It will visit Morristown West on Friday at 7 p.m.
Boone’s lackluster showing against Cherokee was understandable. The ‘Blazers, who had won the past two district tournaments, had the ball trailing by two points in the closing seconds but couldn’t score when it most mattered against Science Hill.
“We played so hard and battled,” said Boone coach Beau Hauldren. “Science Hill just won a good game.”
Madi Runnels scored a team-high 18 points against the Hilltoppers. Bayleigh Carmichel and Jaycie Jenkins added 17 and 10, respectively.
The David Crockett boys ended the season with an 8-20 record after a 70-46 district tournament loss at Science Hill on Thursday.
Junior guard Eric Dunbar scored seven of his 12 points in a 1:43 stretch early in the third quarter to help the Pioneers get within eight points twice. But the ‘Toppers wrapped up the third quarter – and essentially the game – on an 11-0 run to take a 53-32 lead.
Junior Donta Hackler scored a team-high 14 points for the Pioneers, who lose seniors John Kollie, Mark Seidler and Atley Scott.
“I’ve known John and Mark since I was in the fifth grade,” said Hackler, who also played football with Kollie and Seidler. “It’s gonna suck without them being out there on the field and on the court, but we’ve gotta move on.”
Good’s sixth year at Crockett produced his most inexperienced roster and his most challenging campaign.
“We started the year with a bunch of kids that’d never scored a high school point, never had a high school rebound or never made an assist,” Good said. “And they came to practice and they competed and they were fun to coach. But we had growing pains and that’s tough. Nobody wants to learn that way. But I thought each and every day they came to practice to (work). It just didn’t show on our record how they were committed to each other and everything.
“Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug. That’s just the way it is.”
The Lady Pioneers’ season came to an end with a 42-37 loss at Cherokee in the first round of the district tournament. Sophomores Emma Gouge and MacKenzie Baldwin scored 11 and eight points, respectively.
Crockett won nine games in its first season under Tony Gordon. The four league wins doubled the combined total of the previous three seasons, and the nine victories were the most since 2014-15 when Marty Story advanced the Lady Pioneers to the region for the first time in 18 years thanks, in part, to Gordon’s daughter Kasey, who was a senior that season.
The boys tournament concludes Tuesday night.
2019 District 1-AAA All-Tournament girls team:
MVP – Alasia Smith (Science Hill)
Jeila Greenlee (Science Hill)
Symantha Fugate (Science Hill)
Yana Hill (Science Hill)
Courtney Whitson (Dobyns-Bennett)
Ta-Tianna White (Dobyns-Bennett)
Jaden Potts (Dobyns-Bennett)
Jaycie Jenkins (Daniel Boone)
Bayleigh Carmichel (Daniel Boone)
Harper Russell (Cherokee).
By TREY WILLIAMS
The David Crockett girls basketball team will take the court on the eve of Valentine’s Day without anyone questioning its heart.
The reeling Pioneers had lost three straight, including blowout losses to Big Seven Conference co-leaders Dobyns-Bennett and Science Hill, and were six days removed from a gut-wrenching double-overtime loss to Tennessee High when they found themselves trailing 35-23 at Cherokee early in the fourth quarter of their regular-season league finale on Feb. 5.
However, instead of mailing it in down the stretch, Crockett’s young team earned another stamp of approval from passionate first-year coach Tony Gordon. The Pioneers ended the game on an unreal 15-1 run and left Rogersville with a stunning 38-36 victory.
Sophomore Mackenzie Baldwin’s last-second put-back capped the triumph. Freshman Emily Trivette (13 points) and sophomore Emma Gouge (nine points, nine rebounds) helped make Baldwin’s dramatic follow up possible.
And for their trouble, the Pioneers (8-17) will get to return to Cherokee (17-10) on Feb. 13 when a District 1-AAA tournament first round game doubles as the teams’ season rubber match. The winner secures a regional berth.
Gordon said at the beginning of the season a regional berth should be within reach, and that’s obviously the case now despite losing experienced junior guard Karina Palomino to an ACL tear sustained during the season.
“Regardless, my team has embraced the change in culture and is hungry to take the next step in the development of our program,” Gordon said. “Our team is hungry and determined to become a team that can be a source of pride for our community.”
Cherokee won the first meeting 46-41 at Crockett on Jan. 11. Harper Russell scored six points in a one-second span of the fourth quarter thanks, in part, to a technical foul to help the Chiefs rally for the win. Russell didn’t play down the stretch of Crockett’s satisfying rematch, but is expected back on Wednesday.
“Both teams match up well, very similar in size and style,” Gordon said. “We have to find ways to score in order to be successful. I’m very confident in our defense. That’s been the most consistent aspect of our game.”
Gouge is leading the Pioneers with around 13 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Baldwin is leading the team in rebounds.
“In year one, they have exceeded expectations,” Gordon said. “The best is in front of us.”
The David Crockett boys (7-19), seeded sixth in the District 1-AAA tournament, will try to break through against Science Hill (14-15) when they visit the Hilltoppers for a first round tournament game on Thursday at 7 p.m.
The Pioneers lost 77-52 at Science Hill on Feb. 1 after opening the game on an 11-4 run. Juniors Mack Hensley (16 points) and Donta Hackler (14) scored in double figures, as did Mason Britton (10).
Crockett lost the first meeting of the season against the ‘Toppers 72-64 at Crockett. Hackler piled up 23 points in that one. Hensley (13) and hard-nosed senior John Kollie (10) also scored in double figures.
The Hilltoppers’ front line gave Crockett fits in both games. Senior forward Drew Morrison, a 5-foot-10, 230-pounder, tallied 12 of his 13 points in the final 11:49 of the first meeting and led Science Hill with 17 points in the rematch. Frontcourt mates Jake Matherne and Hunter Phillips have also had double-digit scoring performances against the Pioneers.
“We have to limit their inside touches,” Crockett coach John Good said. “(We) can’t turn it over,l need to put some pressure on their defense by running the floor.”
Crockett concluded the regular season with a 59-52 win at Unicoi County on Friday. Britton (13 points), Hensley (11) and Hackler ( 11) each scored in double figures in the victory.
Hensley is leading the Pioneers with 14 points per game. Britton’s averaging a team-high five rebounds per game and freshman point guard Dawson Wagner is leading the team with five assists per game.
The third-seeded Daniel Boone (19-9) girls will play for a regional berth when they host seventh-seeded Tennessee High on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Junior Jaycie Jenkins scored her 1,000th career point when the Trailblazers concluded the regular season with a 59-36 home win against Tennessee High on Senior Night this past Friday. Jenkins was shooting two free throws and sitting on 999 career points with 1:04 remaining. She made both free throws and the game was stopped to recognize her.
Senior Bayleigh Carmichel, who scored her 1,000th point on Dec. 4 and has signed with Trevecca Nazarene, was pleased to see the other half of Boone’s formidable duo reach a milestone during her final regular season game.
“It was very fitting,” Carmichel said. “I was happy for her, because I had no idea. In the third quarter they said she needed seven more and I was like, ‘Get her the ball.’”
The fourth-seeded Daniel Boone boys (11-12) will host Cherokee (9-18) on Thursday at 7 p.m. to try and secure a regional berth. The Chiefs are playing well of late. They lost in overtime at home to Science Hill on Friday and defeated second-place Tennessee High 67-47 on Jan. 25.
Boone lost 63-49 to Tennessee High at home on Friday. Judah Hilton and Chad Heglar led Boone with 10 and nine points, respectively.
This week’s player of the week is Daniel Boone High School Basketball’s Jaycie Jenkins. Jaycie has led the Lady Traiblazers on the hardwood this season and recently scored her 1000th point. Check back next week for the following Andrew Johnson Bank Player of the Week.
From STAFF REPORTS
Sulphur Springs Elementary School has a lot to celebrate.
The Sulphur Springs Girls Basketball Team earned its first conference championship this season.
The Lady Gamecocks were also season runner-ups and Area 4 Single A Champions. For the first time in program history, the team also made it to state sectionals and finished in the top 16 teams for Tennessee’s Class A. The team topped off its season with a 27-3 record.
The boys team also earned a conference championship this season.
The Gamecocks were also season runner ups and Area 4 Single A runner-ups. The team was also the Class A Sectional runner-ups.
By TREY WILLIAMS
On Friday in Kingsport, Daniel Boone’s girls basketball team held Dobyns-Bennett to 11 points in the first half and held Indians career scoring leader Courtney Whitson to 12 points in the game.
But the Jaycie Jenkins-less Trailblazers couldn’t score the upset.
Boone led for 29 minutes despite being without Jenkins, a versatile junior forward that was home with the flu. The ‘Blazers, however, couldn’t finish despite 23 points from combo guard Bayleigh Carmichel, and lost 43-40 in the Big Seven Conference matchup.
Boone fell to 6-4 in the league and 16-9 overall after nearly upsetting the Indians (9-1, 22-5). The Trailblazers had the ball trailing by one with some 25 seconds remaining and set a ball screen for Carmichel. But the Indians drew a charge and made one of two free throws shortly thereafter to essentially seal it.
“Obviously, Jaycie’s a big piece to the puzzle,” first-year Boone coach Beau Hauldren said. “Jaycie handles the ball against pressure, and (replacing her) was kind of a collective thing, I guess. Bayleigh kind of took charge there. Kayla Gibson did a good job handling the ball. We had to learn how to play a little bit without Jaycie, which hopefully it’ll help us here come tournament time.
“Other girls had to step up. I thought our defense played well, especially in the first half. They had 11 points at halftime. Whitson ended the game with 12, which is pretty good. But if Whitson only scores 12 you should probably win the game – maybe.”
Carmichel was 7-for-7 at the foul line and made both of Boone’s 3-pointers.
Hauldren is getting more and more comfortable with Makenna Dietz and Olivia Miller, the latter of whom began her career at Science Hill. Improved decision making with experience is helping her gain trust.
“As far as being a ballplayer, Olivia has all the tools,” Hauldren said. “She’s big. She’s strong. She can handle the ball. She finishes pretty good around the rim.”
Hauldren is still in search of what he’d deem a breakthrough win.
“You play Oak Ridge tough,” Hauldren said. “You play Morristown West tough. You go down and play Bradley Central tough. You play D-B tough. We led (D-B) until about three minutes. You play Science Hill tough.
“We’ve gotta get over the hump. Hopefully we can do that in the tournament.”
Carmichel is leading Boone with 15.2 points per game. She’s shooting 78 percent at the foul line.
Jenkins is averaging 14.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 3.8 assists per game.
The Daniel Boone boys (5-5, 10-11) fell 73-40 to the league-leading Indians (9-1, 23-3).
Sophomore forward Cade Norris led Boone with eight points and Judah Hilton added six. Leading scorer Chad Heglar was held to five points. Heglar did have nine assists and six rebounds.
Daniel Boone will host Tennessee High on Friday for Senior Night.
Tennessee High spoiled David Crockett’s Senior Night for the Pioneers boys and girls on Wednesday.
The Pioneers boys lost 69-56. The Vikings’ Christian Webb paced a balanced attack with 16 points.
The Vikings got eight points from junior wing McHale Bright, who transferred from David Crockett when his mother Kim took over at Tennessee High after last season. Bright scored all of his points in the initial 9:56. Seeing his mother’s team prevail in double overtime had him even more excited about his homecoming.
Crockett whittled a double-digit lead to give points at the end of three quarters. But the rally fizzled out.
“We cut it to five there, but then we couldn’t score,” Pioneers coach John Good said. “They just imposed their will on us in the fourth quarter – and they really did the whole game. They kept us at a distance the whole game.”
Donta Hackler scored 17 points for the Pioneers (3-8, 6-17). Mason Britton scored 13 points, including four 3-pointers.
Mack Hensley is leading Crockett in scoring (14.5 ppg). Britton is the leading rebounder (5.3 rpg) and freshman point guard Dawson Wagner leads the team in assists (4.8 apg). Eric Dunbar is shooting 80 percent at the foul line.
Tennessee High’s girls got their first league win with a 48-47 double-overtime decision over Crockett (3-8, 7-16).
LynLeigh Rhodes scored all eight of Tennessee High’s points after regulation, leading the Vikings to their first Big Seven Conference win of the season
MacKenzie Baldwin scored a team-high 17 points for Crockett. Emily Trivette (12) and Halle Scott (10) also scored in double figures.
“This one hurts bad,” Crockett coach Tony Gordon said. “This will be a hard one to get over. When you have a chance to touch a win and you’re not getting many, you need to go ahead and grab it.”
Emma Gouge, who was saddled with foul trouble and eventually fouled out against Tennessee High, is leading Crockett with 12.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Mackenzie Baldwin is averaging 7.8 rebounds.
The Pioneers teams will visit Unicoi County on Friday.
By Trey Williams
David Crockett all-time leading scorer Patrick Good is still scoring in record fashion.
The East Tennessee State red-shirt sophomore set a Buccaneers record while making 11 3-pointers during a 35-point performance in ETSU’s 91-69 victory at Western Carolina on Saturday. Good made 9 of his first 10 attempts from behind the arc and finished 11-for-17, breaking a record of 10 set by Courtney Pigram on Feb. 28, 2009 against Mercer.
Many of Good’s family members were on hand for the special night, including his father, David Crockett head coach John Good, mother Tracy, brother C.J. (a Crockett assistant), sister Johneshia and niece Sadie.
“I mean hitting those first three I hit, and then for my teammates to keep finding me, it was just a special moment,” Good said. “But then to actually do that and my family in attendance, it just validated everything.”
Good scored 2,716 points in three seasons at David Crockett after playing as a freshman at Science Hill. He also set a school record in assists (780) and led the Pioneers to the program’s only state tournament berth as a senior in 2015-16.
Good made 10 treys in a game at David Crockett. Those came on a night he scored 44 points in a 98-93 loss to top-ranked Providence Day (Charlotte) – a team that included Tennessee’s Grant Williams, Devon Dotson (Kansas) and Isaac Johnson, who played with Good at Appalachian State.
In fact, the Providence Day performance very well could be the primary factor in Good initially signing with Appalachian State. Good said Mountaineers assistant Jason Allison was in attendance, and App State coach Jim Fox later said Good’s performance against Providence Day put him on his radar.
Good averaged 22.6 minutes per game as a freshman at App, where he scored seven points per game and shot 41 percent from 3-point range. But he wasn’t happy.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Good said. “Everything that I learned at App State I don’t regret – the relationships and playing for Coach Fox and being able to be on my own for a year and mature as a young man. And to be able to come back home and play in front of my family every single night and in front of these fans and being able to be home, it just makes everything so much more rewarding. …
“They make as many games as they can within reason, and I try to make just as many Crockett games if we’re not traveling. I try to go and support them just because of the family support that I’ve had at a young age.”
Good said he’s thankful to be playing for ETSU and competitive coach Steve Forbes, whose impressive passion for basketball is enhanced by exceptional “people” skills.
“I think the relationship that I have personally with him off the court,” Good said, “makes it easy to play for him on the court.”
Forbes echoed that sentiment in a separate telephone interview.
“Since the day he decided to come to East Tennessee State he’s been unbelievable to coach,” Forbes said. “He’s the best communicator we have on the team. He’s the best team guy. He’s the leader of the team. And that doesn’t surprise me, because of where he’s come from – from his parents, his upbringing and he’s a coach’s kid.”
Good raised his stock in Forbes’ eyes while playing for David Crockett in the 2015 Arby’s Classic – a tournament that included the Pioneers’ first of two “upsets” that season against Tee Higgins-led Oak Ridge.
Good recalled the epic Arby’s triumph and a sectional win at Oak Ridge in the rematch while watching Higgins help Clemson’s football team win the national championship earlier this month. Good said he is thankful for a high school career that allowed him to play for his father with teammates such as Brendan Coleman, Josh Releford, Ian Martin and Dustin Day while helping Crockett punch the unprecedented state tournament ticket.
“It was a blessing just being able to do that and share that moment with my family and the community of Jonesborough and just being able to make the first state appearance ever,” Good said. “And being able to go on the road and do it (at Oak Ridge) just made it sweeter. I go back through my phone just to look at the pictures and stuff from it. All the hard work we put into it got us a moment that we’ll never forget.”
This week’s player of the week is Daniel Boone High School’s Kayla Gibson. Kayla has been a leader on the hardwood for the Lady ‘Blazers this season. Check back next week to see the following Andrew Johnson Bank Player of the Week.
By Trey Williams
The Daniel Boone boys basketball team appears to be peaking at the right time.
The Trailblazers got 25 points and nine rebounds from 6-foot-4 senior wing Chad Heglar and what coach Chris Brown regarded as a career game from senior point guard Derek Percell in a 62-54 win against Science Hill on Friday at Bobby Snyder Gym.
Emory & Henry College was in attendance to watch Heglar, who also has interest from Milligan College, Montreat and Berea. He didn’t disappoint, making three of Boone’s four 3-pointers and going 13-for-15 at the foul line.
“This helps us a lot, because we know we’re one of the upper teams in this conference and this puts us in third place,” Heglar said. “So this makes us feel good about going into the district. It raises our confidence when we beat this team, because we know it’s always gonna be a battle.”
Heglar plays with a lot of confidence and isn’t opposed to verbal gamesmanship, and his swagger can be infectious.
“When Chad goes, we go,” Percell said. “He likes to get in people’s heads, but it gets him going and it gets us going. We feed off of him.”
Boone coach Chris Brown was happy to be home after a taxing six-game road swing.
“We were dialed in,” Brown said. “We have been playing better and I think that we are gaining confidence. That six-game road trip had some tough games. You’re at Mo (Morristown) East, you’re at Tennessee High and you’re at Gate City.
“I think the Crockett win on the road was huge. We battled Gate City on a back-to-back Saturday night. Had a five-point lead there and battled and things didn’t go our way toward the end.”
Key contributors against Science Hill included Judah Hilton (eight points, five rebounds) and sophomore forward Cade Norris, the latter of whom scored 11 points on 3-for-4 field goal shooting and 5-for-6 foul shooting.
The victory moved Boone (5-4, 10-10) into a third-place tie with the Hilltoppers, who had beaten the Trailblazers by seven points in the teams’ previous meeting in December.
“They got us by seven at their place and we knew we had to come back and fight hard to get this win,” Percell said. “We had the crowd behind us tonight and it was a whole-team effort.”
Percell delivered some flashy finishes and crowd-pleasing assists. The ball-handling whiz scored eight points and led the ‘Blazers with three assists and three steals. He didn’t commit a turnover.
“I thought this was Derek’s best high school basketball game in his career,” Brown said. “Him and Judah, you know, to see their development – those guys have been in the program – as a coach, those are things you love to see with guys that just hang in there till they get their opportunity and take advantage of their opportunity and make plays, and both of those guys did that tonight.”
Boone will visit Big Seven Conference-leading Dobyns-Bennett on Friday.
The Lady ‘Blazers made it interesting late before falling 54-49 to Science Hill. Bayleigh Carmichel scored 20 points and Madi Runnels added 15.
Boone (5-3, 18-8) trailed 53-39 after Daniel Boone transfer Symantha Fugate made a put-back with 2:07 remaining for the Hilltoppers (8-1, 21-3).
But Boone rallied and could’ve cut it to 54-52 with nine seconds left if Kayla Gibson’s pull-up 3-pointer from the left wing had dropped after she grabbed a steal near mid-court.
“We were able to cut it there to five,” Boone coach Beau Hauldren said. “I think that’s gonna help us in the long run as far as end-of-game situations like that and doing certain things when we’re supposed to do it. … I don’t think we played our best, but I thought we played hard.
“Madi played well. She kept us in it in the first half. She was able to get to the basket, had some steals, made some layups. And, of course, Bayleigh ends up getting 20 points for us while getting a lot of attention. She got a lot of those at the free throw line. She did well attacking.”
David Crockett’s boys (3-6, 6-16) won at home against Volunteer (68-54) and lost at Dobyns-Bennett (84-52) last week. Mack Hensley scored 20 points and freshman point guard Dawson Wagner added 13 in the win against Volunteer, which hired David Crockett Hall of Fame coach Mike Poe prior to this season. Poe took Crockett to its first sectional game in 1990.
The Crockett girls also split games with Volunteer and D-B, defeating the Falcons, 54-48, in Jonesborough before falling 67-23 on Friday in Kingsport. Emma Gouge and Emily Trivette scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, in the win against Volunteer.
David Crockett is scheduled to visit Science Hill on Friday.