By TREY WILLIAMS
Jaycie Jenkins might be the best three-sport athlete in the history of Daniel Boone girls’ athletics.
A conference player of the year in volleyball and softball, Jenkins is well on her way to another first team all-league selection in Big Seven Conference basketball.
She poured in a career-high 38 points in a 66-56 win against Sullivan East on Friday. Seventeen of those came in the third quarter – immediately after East coach Allan Aubrey had urged his players to slow her down in the halftime locker room.
“Jaycie’s a special athlete,” Boone coach Beau Hauldren said. “She’s great at basketball. She’s great at volleyball. She’s great at softball. She’s worked hard for four years. I’m proud of her.”
Jenkins scored 17 points in a 5:58 span of the third quarter, anchoring a 24-1 run that blew open the game.
“I really didn’t feel I had that many (points),” Jenkins said. “My teammates were getting me good passes and good looks, and I was just going for offensive rebounds and being aggressive. …
“Going into the break I feel better about our offense. Our offense is starting to look better. Our motion – we’re working on it every day in practice, just knowing when to go screen, when to go off a screen and how to read your defense.”
Boone hassled what looks to be a pretty good East team, which had talented sophomore point guard Riley Nelson back from an ankle injury for the first time this season, with full-court man-to-man and 1-2-2 press.
“I thought we did a good job of running our full-court pressure,” Hauldren said. “We were able to push. That was part of our game plan. We wanted to get the ball and go.”
Boone (7-5) opens holiday tournament play against host Sevier County on Friday at 11:30 a.m.
The Boone boys (6-3) outlasted East for an entertaining 74-70 victory on a night when Boone assistant Greg Barnett introduced retiring Patriots coach John Dyer with a touching tribute before the game. The ceremony included a rocking chair from Cracker Barrel.
Dyer was appreciative, but would’ve rather had a scouting report on Ayden Begley. The Daniel Boone guard scored 19 points.
The emotional pregame certainly helped inspire East, which came out red-hot from the field.
“Maybe it inspired his kids,” Barnett said. “They shot it well right out of the gate. They kind of took it to us there. They’re gonna rally around John all year long because they know this is the last go-round and they want to make it special for him. …
“It was really nice. I was nervous about doing it. There are a lot of emotions there, because he’s been an integral part of my life. And it’s hard, because now I’ve gotta compete against him and try to help Coach Brown and the boys as best I can.”
Begley helped keep Boone within striking distance at the half (50-42) with 14 first-half points. And his second 3-pointer got the Trailblazers within 52-47 with 6:57 left in the third quarter after Bartley’s tip had stretched the Patriots’ lead back to eight.
“One of the big shots,” Dyer said, “was No. 10 (Begley) making that three.”
Boone also got 19 points from guard Jared Atkins, 16 from forward Cade Norris and 12 from Colby Backus. Begley wouldn’t mind a larger role, but minutes can be relatively hard to come by at times for the balanced ‘Blazers.
“With Ayden, I keep telling him because he gets frustrated a little bit, and we’ve got eight guys that can pretty much start and we’re gonna go by feel,” Brown said. “And you’ve gotta be ready to go when it happens. He can score. He can fill it up. He’s got great confidence. When he sees that ball go in he just takes it to another level. I thought he did that tonight.” Boone travels to Cleveland for a tournament this week, where it’ll open with what figures to be a stiff test from Memphis Fairley.
David Crockett (9-3) got 28 points from sophomore point guard Dawson Wagner in a 101-67 win at Jellico on Friday. Eric Dunbar and Prince Kollie scored 14 points apiece, and Donta Hackler (13), Mack Hensley (11) and Mason Britton (10) also scored in double figures.
Crockett begins play in the Bobcat Classic in Bluffton, S.C. on Thursday.
Halle Scott tallied 19 points and eight rebounds in the Crockett girls’ 63-20 victory at Jellico. Madison Day and Carlie Wilson added 10 and eight points, respectively, and Alyssa Suits and Emma Gouge each scored seven.
The Pioneers, who fell 40-32 at Knox Catholic on Saturday, will open play in Gulf Breeze, Florida on Friday against Casey County (Kentucky).