By TREY WILLIAMS
The Daniel Boone boys basketball team jumped into the Big Seven Conference win column with back-to-back victories last week.
The Trailblazers (2-6, 9-9) defeated Volunteer 73-60 in Bobby Snyder Gym on Tuesday and avenged a home loss to Cherokee with a 57-49 victory in Rogersville on Friday night.
Boone Coach Chris Brown had to miss the initial meeting with the Chiefs, as did point guard Caleb Head due to quarantine for coronavirus.
Cherokee transfer Breiydon Gilliam had 15 points and nine rebounds, including four on the offensive end, in his Rogersville return. Head had nine points and eight rebounds.
“Any time you get your guards to rebound like that,” Brown said, “it’s usually a good night.”
Head had 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds against Volunteer on Tuesday. Jackson Jenkins tallied four assists.
Playing back-to-back nights, Boone lost to Tennessee High on Wednesday.
“I thought we played extremely unselfish and shared the ball well against Volunteer,” Brown said. “We had 20 assists as a team, were patient and made the extra pass versus their zone. I thought we took a step back the following night versus Tennessee High. We did not stop penetration and Tennessee High was able to get into the teeth of our defense which caused us to break down.
“I was pleased with our response Friday night going on the road and picking up a victory. Defensively we were much better and I thought we rebounded the ball well.”
Boone was scheduled to visit Tennessee High on Tuesday and host league-leading Science Hill on Friday.
“We have another difficult week ahead, playing at Tennessee High on Tuesday and then hosting Science Hill Friday,” Brown said. “With two weeks left in the season, our goal is to be more consistent in those habits that make us successful. Every game is critical as we try and position ourselves in a good spot for the tournament. We have focused on doing a better job taking care of the basketball and being smart and efficient on offense.”
David Crockett’s boys rallied to defeat Volunteer, 54-49, on Senior Night at Crockett thanks to seniors Ayden Begley and Mason Britton.
Begley gave the Pioneers the lead with 1:19 left when he intercepted an inbounds pass from side frontcourt and finished a transition drive with a difficult whirling lay-up with his off hand.
“That was big-time (by Begley),” Crockett coach Cody Connell said.
Begley made both ends of a one-and-one to extend the lead to 52-49 with 25.8 seconds to go, and Britton also made each end of the bonus to conclude the scoring with 12.9 seconds left.
Britton finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Begley had 10 points and eight rebounds. Seniors Colton Estep (14 points, seven rebounds) and Johnny Loyd also contributed significantly.
“Our seniors stepped up,” Connell said. “Mason played a heck of a ballgame. That’s just the kind of kid he is. He’s gonna show up every ballgame. He had two guys on him toward the end.
“We got that senior leadership tonight. Colton Estep got us going. Johnny gave us good minutes tonight.”
It was the fourth straight win for the Pioneers (5-3, 10-8), who won 60-46 at Cherokee on Tuesday. Crockett is scheduled to host Tennessee High on Wednesday.
Crockett’s girls also shined on Senior Night, defeating Volunteer, 60-39. The Pioneers held Volunteer to two points for a nine-plus minute stretch and outrebounded the Falcons, 41-16.
Mackenzie Baldwin had 18 points and 13 rebounds and Emma Gouge tallied 11 points, four assists and three blocked shots for the Pioneers (6-2, 10-5), who won their fifth straight game and sixth out of seven overall since losing 48-44 at Volunteer on Dec. 28.
“These girls really wanted this one,” first-year Crockett coach Thomas Gouge said. “We went to Volunteer and played really bad. They got us there at their place, and we’ve been waiting for this one for a while. These girls, especially these seniors, really wanted this one tonight.
“Defense is our thing. We’ve won five straight games, and it’s been on defense.”
Volunteer coach Tyrone Smith appreciates Gouge’s game, but isn’t entirely sorry that she’s a senior.
“Emma Gouge is definitely a coach’s player,” Smith said. “She’s hard-nosed. She plays hard for her team, dives on the floor. I’ve been a fan of her for a long time. It’s crazy, I’ve seen her since her freshman year, and now she’s about to graduate.”
The Daniel Boone girls (0-15) nearly scratched the win column at Cherokee on Friday. Cassidy Richmond scored eight points in the Trailblazers’ 34-31 loss.