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.