Tellico Plains wasted no time racing out to a lead on district rival Sale Creek in a rematch of a contest played in Chattanooga earlier this year. The Lady Panthers fared no better this time around against the tough Lady Bears.

The Lady Bears opened the game on an 18-2 run that set the tone for the entire matchup. Tess Pearson led the way early with two free throws and a layup before Samantha Russell and Chloe Yearwood each found the scoring column. Pearson added two more free throws and Yearwood and Jaden Hollinghead added two buckets apiece as part of a blistering Tellico Plains barrage.

The only scoring for Sale Creek came from Kayla Phillips who knocked in two jumpers. Sam Derlak added a layup as time expired in the first quarter, but the Lady Panthers found themselves trailing by a score of 25-6 after one.

Hollinghead opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer to further the advantage, and Pearson added a putback. Maggie Hooper also got into the scoring with a good layup off an assist. Derlak responded with a trey and a free throw, but then Russell went on a tear, sinking two free throws and two 3-pointers in a matter of seconds. Jessie Watson’s good hands on defense netted her a steal and score to close out the first half, and at the break, the Lady Bears held a commanding 42-14 lead.

Yearwood and Russell connected from long range to start the second half, but Sale Creek had an answer, reeling off six straight points from three different players. The Lady Bears replied in kind as Yearwood sank three layups and Joell Stinnett added three points as part of a 9-0 run for the Maroon ladies. Watson and Kori Hamilton added layups to offset another 3-pointer by Derlak and the Lady Bears took a 63-27 lead to the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter, like the rest of the contest, was almost completely controlled by the Lady Bears. Sale Creek managed only two free throws in the entire period while Yearwood, Chloe Ratledge, Trinity Lance, and Karsen Hunt all scored for the Lady Bears.

In the end, the Lady Bears easily coasted to the win to remain undefeated in district play this season.

Chloe Yearwood led the way with 19 for Tellico Plains while Samantha Russell added 15 and Jaden Hollinghead added 10. Sam Derlak was the leader for the Lady Panthers with 10.


In a matchup that was close from start to finish, Dale Rinehart proved to be the catalyst for Tellico Plains and Jesse Lambert was clutch from the free throw line in the final minutes to take a narrow win over Sale Creek in district action. The win earns Tellico Plains the season sweep of the Panthers.

Rinehart led the way in the first quarter for Tellico Plains, opening with a layup and adding another plus a 3-pointer. Evan Harris chipped in a jumper to add to the lead. Sale Creek countered with two baskets each from Ayden Elsea and Winston Tulloss to keep the game close, but Tellico managed to escape the first quarter with a 9-8 lead.

A Piper Carter 3-pointer to open the second quarter looked to have Tellico Plains in a good position, but the Panthers replied with a big run. Tulloss hit two shots and Braylin Miller hit two layups and two 3-pointers as part of a 14-0 Sale Creek run to make the score 22-13 in favor of the visitors. Rinehart and Kobe Walker countered with baskets and Blake Burgess added a 3-pointer at the buzzer to keep Tellico close, but the Bears still trailed 24-20 at halftime.

Two Rinehart baskets after a Sale Creek make cut the lead to just two points at the beginning of the third quarter, and Rinehart and Walker each made back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game and answer a pair of baskets from Sale Creek. Harris added a layup and a 3-pointer to take the lead for Tellico Plains, though a Tulloss layup tied the score at the end of the third quarter 37-all.

Another Tulloss layup to start the fourth quarter gave Sale Creek a brief lead, but that was erased by a Rinehart 3-pointer moments later. It was just a brief interruption for the Panthersm though, who got layups from Tulloss and Elsea to go up 45-40 with time dwindling. Rinehart wasn’t done yet, though, and sank another 3-pointer and a layup to tie the game once again. From there, Tellico Plains turned to Jesse Lambert, who hadn’t scored up until the fourth quarter in the waning minutes. Lambert executed on both ends of the floor, notching two steals and going 8-of-8 from the free throw stripe to seal the district win for Tellico Plains in exciting fashion.

Rinehart was the only Bear in double figures with 26, and Lambert added 8, all from the stripe. Tulloss led Sale Creek with 16.

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