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Pioneers’ Arby’s run one to remember

The run by the David Crockett Pioneers in the 33rd annual Arby’s Classic will be one that few will be able to forget.
Crockett’s Patrick Good averaged 33.5 in four contests in the Arby’s Classic, including a 46-point performance during the consolation contest against Saint James, Md., which ended as a 77-75 triple overtime defeat.
David Crockett (12-4) became the first local team since Science Hill in 2005 to appear in the semifinals, and like the Toppers, finished in fourth place. Also similar to that year, the Pioneers played in front of a sold out crowd during their semifinal.
Good’s performance earned him a nod on the Arby’s Classic All-Tournament team, along with fellow senior Dustin Day. It was the first time that either had played in front of almost 7,000 fans.
“I felt honored that we had so many fans supporting us,” Day said. “I think we started off the games feeding off a lot of adrenaline and emotions, but as the game went on a lot of our energy came from the fans.”
With losses to Providence Day, N.C., Charlotte Christian, N.C., Tift County, Ga. and St. James Crockett has yet to loose to a team from their state.
The Pioneers opened the tournament with an 82-79 double overtime victory against Mentor, O.H. and followed that up with a 87-85 victory over Oak Ridge, which also went into double overtime. All-in-all, the Pioneers played an Arby’s record seven overtimes during their run.
Oak Ridge (17-1) was led by junior Tee Higgins, who is a University of Tennessee football commit. The match-up between the two teams was more than a classic; it could have also served as a preview of a possible state tournament match-up.
That game taught Crockett head coach John Good a lot about his team.
“They are mentally tough,” he said. “They believe in each other, they believe in what we tell them and they are fun to coach. I know it may not look like I enjoy myself, but I am having the time of my life, and we have great kids.”
Now Crockett will turn their attention to their conference season, where they hold a 2-0 record.
“Just thinking and realizing that we have 13 games that are guaranteed right now, and for us to get to where we want to be, the bottom line is that everyone is going to have to hold each other accountable and we can’t take any nights off,” Patrick Good said.
Crockett’s next games include Sullivan Central (Jan. 8), at Greeneville (Jan. 9) and Science Hill (Jan. 12).
— The Associated Press released their Tennessee basketball polls on Monday and David Crockett was ranked fifth, behind Oak Ridge. The top three in AAA are 1. Memphis East, 2. Blackman, 3. Germantown.