By TREY WILLIAMS
The Daniel Boone boys basketball team ended 2020 on a bit of an upswing with a pair of victories last week.
The Trailblazers (7-4) defeated Cocke County, 70-38, at Tennessee High on Monday, Dec. 28.
“We had really good production across the board versus Cocke County,” Daniel Boone Coach Chris Brown said. “I was very pleased with the way we moved and shared the basketball.”
The ‘Blazers piled up 19 assists against Cocke County, which it had defeated, 66-56, in the Hardee’s Classic quarterfinals. Senior point guard Caleb Head had seven assists.
Landon Carrico and Breiydon Gilliam led the scoring with 13 points apiece. Nevada Goodwin added 11.
“It was a good team win with positive contributions from everyone,” Brown said.
Boone outlasted Unaka the following day, 67-62. Playing back-to-back days was a challenge while coming out of a quarantined layoff.
“Unaka provided a good test for us on a back-to-back tournament-type game that you tend to see in the postseason,” Brown said. “I thought we moved the ball well versus the zone. We just missed some good looks at the basket. We were able to start making those in the second half and Sammy Stroupe got us going there hitting three ‘threes’ in the third quarter and then another one in the fourth.
“I liked the composure of our team fighting through some adversity on a day we didn’t play particularly well. Unaka did a nice job slowing us down but we made enough plays to win the game.”
Daniel Boone will take on what figures to be the two toughest tests in the Big Seven Conference this week. The Trailblazers were scheduled to play at Science Hill on Tuesday, Jan. 5 after press time for the Herald & Tribune, and will host Dobyns-Bennett on Friday.
“We have a tough week ahead with Science Hill and Dobyns-Bennett,” Brown said, “but look forward to the challenge and getting back in the mix in the Big Seven.”
The David Crockett girls team suffered a Big Seven loss to Volunteer last week. Point guard Halle Scott and post Nora Walters led the Pioneers with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The Pioneers went 0-18 from the three and 7-19 on free throws against the Falcons with 19 turnovers.
“It was a rough night for us at Volunteer, “ Crockett Coach Thomas Gouge said. “With all that said, we still had opportunities to win the game. We led 31-22 in the middle of the third and just couldn’t take care of the little things that matter so much in winning games like that.
“I told the girls we just have to learn from that loss and keep moving forward and improving daily. We’ve had key players in and out of the lineup the past four games. I believe we’re finally starting to get healthy and get most everyone back.”
Emma Gouge is leading the Pioneers in scoring (12.7 ppg) and is averaging 4.1 rebounds. Mackenzie Baldwin is averaging 9.4 points and a team-leading 5.5 rebounds for Crockett (0-1, 4-4), which has important league games scheduled at home this week with Dobyns-Bennett (Tuesday, Jan. 5) and defending Big Seven Conference champion Science Hill on Friday.
The Daniel Boone girls got impressive performances from Camryn Sarvis and Makayla Gourley, but couldn’t pull off a victory at Unicoi County on New Year’s Eve.
Sarvis and Gourley scored 20 and 16 points, respectively, but the Blue Devils held on for a 56-46 victory thanks, in part, to Caroline Podvin (16 points, five rebounds), Tenley Holt (14 points, five rebounds) and 10 points from freshman Allie Lingerfelt (10 points).
David Crockett’s boys went 1-2 last week in a tournament at Sevier County. The Pioneers defeated Gatlinburg-Pittman, 67-62, on Monday before falling to Science Hill (80-38) in the semifinals and losing 48-40 to Sevier County in the battle for third place.
Crockett doesn’t have long to try and solve Science Hill. The teams meet again when the Hilltoppers visit Jonesborough on Friday.