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Lady Pioneers’ loss can’t negate the wins

By TREY WILLIAMS H&T Correspondent

The David Crockett girls basketball program’s record-setting season ended with a 50-39 home loss to Morristown West in the Region 1-4A quarterfinals on Friday.

Seniors Emily Trivette and Kadence Fannon scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, for the Pioneers, who trailed by a point early in the fourth quarter but were done in by cold shooting and turnovers.

“We were 32 percent from two, 4-for-18 from three, 8-for-19 from the free throw line and had 20 turnovers,” Crockett second-year coach Thomas Gouge said. “You’re not gonna win too many games like that. And I thought we got good looks. We just never really could get in a rhythm.”

Wins don’t come easily against teams coached by Johnny Galyon, an all-state player at West in 1990.

“They are very well coached,” Gouge said.

The same could be said of Crockett, which was replacing six of its top seven after last season but still managed some historic accomplishments.

It won the Hardee’s Classic, the program’s first tournament title in 30 years. It swept Dobyns-Bennett. It got the No. 1 seed for the District 1-4A tournament.

“I know we were picked at the bottom and ended up winning the Big Five,” Gouge said. “It’s the first regular season conference championship in program history. We graduate four starters so they may wanna pick us low again. Last year we graduated

90 percent of production and we finished up 24-7 – the best record

in school history. They swept Dobyns-Bennett for the first time in program history. They beat Science Hill for the first time in 13 years.”

The future appears to be bright at Crockett, but Gouge must replace four senior starters – Fannon (15 ppg, 10 rpg), Trivette (10 ppg), Nora Walters (7 ppg, 8 rpg, 1.5 bpg) and Kaylee Tester, who scored five early points in the district championship game against Science Hill.

“I’m super-proud of this senior class – Nora Walters, Kadence Fannon, Emily Trivette and Kaylee Tester,” Gouge said. “They played with a chip on their shoulder. We were in a rebuilding year, and what do they do but come in and lead the team to the best record in school history and a Big Five championship.

“ET has already committed to King. And Kadence and Nora both have two or three different options right now. Nora guarded the best player and a lot of times it’d be a guard. She guarded Jaelyn West all four games with West Ridge this year. She did a lot for us. Kaylee made a lot of big plays for us.”

Freshman 5-foot-2 point guard Bella Ferguson was invaluable.

“We really didn’t have a backup point guard,” said Gouge, who was proud of the team for expanding the lead in a district semifinal win against West Ridge with Ferguson on the bench three or four minutes in the second half due to foul trouble. “If she came out of the game we just tried to weather the storm. Bella’s a pass-first point guard that sees the floor.”

Indeed, the small freshman helped Crockett do big things.

The Daniel Boone boys season ended with a 70-58 loss to Sevier County in the region quarterfinals on Saturday.

Junior Creed Musick led Boone (11-19) with 19 points. Sopho- mores Luke Jenkins and Brayden Blankenship added 13 and 10, respectively.

“I thought we improved as the season went on and that was evident Saturday night,” Boone coach Chris Brown said. “We did some positive things and competed. Sevier County is a good team with older, experienced players. We improved from previous performances against them, but came up a little short.

“I’m proud of the improvement we showed this year and look forward to the future. I’d like to thank our seniors: Landon Carrico, Will Hamlin and Isaac Williams for their effort and dedication to the program. They have been a pleasure to coach.”

Boone will return a good deal of firepower next season.

“We knew coming into the sea- son that it was going to be a challenge with the youth we had on the ballclub, but we coaches can be impatient,” Brown said. “We obviously expect to be competitive with a chance to win every game. Unfortunately, there is no substitute for experience and we went through some growing pains as the season progressed.

“We have some building blocks here, and as I told our team, ‘winning is difficult.’ I think we have developed the habits and built a foundation that will lead to success. Our coaching staff is excited to get back to work and we look forward to the continuous development of our players and program.”