By Allen Rau
The David Crockett boys went down against Science Hill on Friday night in the District 1-AAA Tournament semifinals at Crockett 58-53.
The Pioneers were within one point with under a minute to play but were unable to pull out the victory.
“Both teams competed … we just didn’t execute when we needed to and they did,” Crockett coach John Good said.
The Pioneers kicked off the game hot with a strong Donta Hackler drive and a three pointer by Mchale Bright. Paul Arrowood followed up with a nice post up move to give Crockett a 7-0 lead
Science Hill battled back to tie it up at seven all while the Pioneers ran into foul trouble.
The Toppers ran out to a 21-9 lead as Crockett’s offense stalled until they began to drive the ball and force some Science Hill fouls and get to the free throw line. Tee Johnson was the spark plug as he converted a three-point play with a drive to the basket and the foul while turning in some defensive gems.
“Tee’s a competitor, “Good said. “He’s been here four years and he (doesn’t) like to lose, so he competes and that’s all we can ask for.”
Science Hill led 31-24 at halftime.
Crockett came out firing in the third period as Bright hit two three pointers and finished off a layup after a huge block by Hackler.
The Toppers kept hitting their free throws but the Pioneers cut into their lead on a John Kollie three pointer.
Johnson began the final period with a nice drive to cut the Topper lead to one.
After a basket by Science Hill, Camara Bradley hit a three pointer to keep the deficit at one point.
The Toppers converted again and Crockett found themselves down three once more until Bright’s big drive cut the lead back to one point.
The Pioneers had a chance to tie it up after a turnover by Science Hill with thirty seconds left but turned over the ball themselves.
The Toppers hit their free throws in the game’s final moments and pulled out the 5-point win. Bright led the Pioneers with 19 points while Johnson played tenacious defense and made big plays when Crockett needed it, adding 11 points and three steals.
Crockett dropped in the bracket to face Washington County rival Daniel Boone High School for the third place district title on Saturday.
The ‘’Blazers clinched the match up 57-55 to land third in the tournament.
Next, Crockett will face Morristown East in a regional quarterfinal game on the road on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.