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Pioneers claim conference championship

It was indeed a sweet Valentine’s Day for the Pioneers of David Crockett (24-6) who claimed the conference tournament championship over Tennessee High on Feb. 14 in Kingsport.
Although the regular season might not have ended the way the Pioneers of David Crockett envisioned, they made up for it in the district tournament, winning three straight as the two seed to claim the Big 7’s top postseason prize.
Crockett began pursuit of its first district tournament championship win since 1984 on Feb. 11 in their opener against Sullivan Central in Kingsport at host Dobyns-Bennett High School.
With their offense clicking on all cylinders, the Pioneers turned an early first quarter advantage into a 90-46 rout.
Junior guard Patrick Good led the way for Crockett, recording a double-double with 18 points and 10 assists.
Dustin Day and Peyton Ford also netted double-figures in the win scoring 14 and 12 points respectively.
The win secured the Pioneers a spot in the regional tournament and set up a Feb. 13 semifinals matchup against three seed Science Hill.
The Hilltoppers played their way into the contest with a 70-39 quarterfinal win over Daniel Boone.
The loss ended a disappointing season for the Blazers, who recorded only two conference victories with a young and inexperienced roster.
Ryan Keever led the Blazer scoring with nine points.
For Boone seniors Byron Martin, Jacob Keefauver and Caleb Ratliff, the loss brought their basketball careers at Daniel Boone to an end.
Good carries Pioneers
over Science Hill
The versatility of Crockett’s star junior guard was on full display last week, first against Sullivan Central in his ability to distribute the basketball to his teammates and a day later against Science Hill, in his prowess as a scorer and capacity to carry his team when needed.
Good scored a game-high 34 points in a 64-55 win over his former team, Science Hill (20-13) in Kingsport on Feb. 13.
Despite the nine-point win, the Pioneers weren’t always in control throughout the game. The Hilltoppers actually flew out of the gates, taking a 12-2 lead in the first quarter before Crockett gained their footing.
The Pioneers would close out the first quarter with a run of their own to pull within three points by quarter’s end and steal the momentum completely in the second.
Good’s 13 points in the second quarter spurred a 33-24 halftime advantage for the Pioneers at the break.
Crockett would add to their lead in the third, taking their biggest advantage of the contest midway through the third quarter, going ahead by 12.
But Science Hill refused to pack it in, using a 14-6 run to close out the third quarter and take the game to the final eight minutes, trailing 47-43.
Consecutive three-pointers opening the fourth pushed the Pioneer lead back to 10, but the Hilltoppers again answered, cutting the Pioneer lead to just two points at the two minute mark.
With the contest on the line, the Pioneers would turn to Good who would seal Crockett’s spot in the championship at the free-throw line.
Good added a transition basket and knocked down four free throws in the final 30 seconds to lift the Pioneers to the 64-55 win.
Preceding the Pioneer win, Tennessee High upset top seed Dobyns-Bennett to secure their place in Saturday’s championship game.
Pioneers push past
Tennessee High
In the district tournament championship on Feb. 14, the David Crockett Pioneers were rarely challenged in their contest against Tennessee High (16-15), pulling away for 68-53 win to capture their first district tournament championship in over 30 years.
The last time the Pioneers pulled off the feat was in 1984, more than 10 years before any of the current Crockett players were even born.
Good, who was named tournament MVP, capped off his strong three-game performance by scoring a game-high 19 points and recording nine assists in the win.
Dustin Day totaled 14 points and Josh Releford knocked down three 3-pointers on his way to 11.
With the win, the Pioneers also claim next week’s top seed in the region 1 tournament.
They will open play by hosting Morristown East on Feb. 21.
Lady Pioneers
down Boone
The 2014-15 basketball season has been an incredible year for David Crockett basketball, arguably one of their best in school history.
The Crockett boys were expected to be good and their Feb. 14 district championship win proved as much, but the real surprise this season has been the Lady Pioneers.
After only breaking a three year losing streak in the conference just last season, Lady Pioneer Head Coach Marty Story took over and has transformed the program in his first season.
After a surprising fourth place finish in the conference regular season, the Lady Pioneers opened the district tournament on Feb. 9 against rival Daniel Boone.
Entering the contest, the rivals had split their two games during the regular season, with Crockett winning the first in Jonesborough and Boone claiming the second in Gray.
This time with the stakes even higher and at Dobyns-Bennett on a neutral site, the Lady Pioneers and Lady Blazers did not disappoint.
Through nearly three quarters, Boone controlled the contest, leading by as much as nine with just over 30 seconds left in the third.
But shortly after, Crockett would initiate their most important run of the season.
From the end of the third until late in the fourth, the Pioneers outscored the Lady Blazers by 14 points, eventually taking a 47-42 lead with under a minute left.
With the contest slipping away, Boone’s Taylor Carmichael knocked down a three-pointer to pull the Blazers within two points.
After another stop, Boone’s Courtney Vasquez was fouled and converted both free throws to tie the contest at 47 with just over 30 seconds remaining.
Crockett’s Madison Grindstaff was fouled with 15 seconds remaining and made 1-of-2 at the line to give the Lady Pioneers the lead for good.
Boone would have a chance to win it at the end on a jumper, but the shot just missed sealing the 48-47 Pioneer win.
Kasey Gordon led all Crockett scorers with 10 points.
Jaclyn Jenkins tallied a game high 20 points for the Blazers and Vasquez added 12.
The loss ended an up and down season for the Lady Blazers, who finished in a fourth place tie in the regular season conference standings.
With the win Crockett secured a spot in the region tournament and advanced to play top seed Science Hill in the semifinals on Feb. 12.
Despite another hard-fought effort, the Lady Pioneers could never put together enough of a run to overtake the Hilltoppers.
Science Hill’s lead never fell below 10 in the second half as they eliminated Crockett, 58-43.
Three Pioneers scored in double-figures with Brooke Ervin leading the way with 15 points. Lily Ayers totaled 11 points and Chelsea Lyninger added 10.
Science Hill would go on to capture their fifth consecutive district championship after a 50-38 win over Tennessee High in the championship contest.
The Lady Pioneers will begin play in the region 1 tournament later this week.