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.”