No. 5 TELLICO PLAINS LADY BEARS 71, POLK COUNTY WILDKITTENS 31

Tellico Plains opened the game against Polk County on a 7-0 run thanks to Tess Pearson, Jaden Hollinghead, and Alayna Hensley and never looked back in a big win for the Lady Bears on Tuesday.

Courtney Farr stopped the run with a layup for Polk County, but the relief wouldn’t last long. After that basket, the Lady Bears went on a 14-0 run to salt the game away early. Chloe Yearwood sparked the run with a steal and score, Kori Hamilton added three layups, and Samantha Russell and Joell Stinnett each chipped in 2 points to keep Tellico Plains ahead.

A basket by Yearwood and a free throw by Stinnett finished off the first quarter with a 24-4 advantage for Tellico Plains.

Another 7-0 run put Tellico up by even more to start the second quarter. Yearwood and Russell added baskets before Russell and Hollinghead converted from the free throw line to give Tellico a 31-4 lead. Hamilton added two baskets and Russell and Hollinghead added layups as the lead continued to grow for the Lady Bears. The only negative for the Lady Bears were fouls, which sent Polk County to the line again and again. The Wildkittens’ last nine points of the first half came from the stripe as Tellico Plains held a 47-16 advantage at the end of the half.

Yearwood and Russell added four points apiece to start the second half on an 8-0 Tellico Plains run before a Rylee Jo Hale layup got Polk County into the scoring column. Subbing liberally, Tellico Plains got plenty of contribution from the bench as Chloe Ratledge and Maggie Hooper each nabbed a steal and converted it into a score at the other end. Hamilton added another jumper and Karsen Hunt added a jumper to push the Tellico Plains lead to 63-24 through three quarters.

Hale added another layup for the Wildkittens in the fourth quarter, but the score differential was too much to come back from for Polk County. Yearwood scored another layup, Hamilton added two free throws, and Kaylie West and Jessie Watson closed out the scoring with layups to help Tellico Plains to a 21-1 overall record.

Russell led the Lady Bears with 16, while Yearwood and Hamilton added 14 each. Farr led the Wildkittens with 11.

TELLICO PLAINS BEARS 81, POLK COUNTY WILDCATS 76, 2OT

It took two overtime periods on Tuesday night, but the Tellico Plains Bears pulled out a close win over Polk County at home, avenging a road loss to the Wildcats earlier this season.

Polk County opened on a hot streak with Scott Patterson securing a 3-point play and Dalton Lairmore dropping a 3-pointer, but Dale Rinehart answered with back-to-back treys of his own to keep the score tied. A Patterson layup gave Polk County a brief lead, but a 6-0 run from Tellico Plains with baskets from Rinehart, Evan Harris, and Piper Carter gave the Bears an advantage. Treys from Caleb Milen and Luke Burrows put Polk County back on top before the end of the first quarter, and the Wildcats maintained the advantage into the first break, 20-16.

A Carter trey and a Jesse Lambert layup gave Tellico Plains the lead back to start the second quarter, but then Burrows went on a tear with 7 straight points to retake the advantage. Carter continued to keep the Bears close with another trey and Harris added two free throws to keep the margin at 1 point. Layups by Carter and Rinehart once again put Tellico in the lead, but again the Wildcats had a response as Lairmore made back-to-back 3-pointers to give Polk County the 38-35 halftime lead.

Two baskets by Rinehart, including one trey, to open the second half helped Tellico Plains tie the game once again, and the Bears took the lead on a trey by Carter. Polk County had a response, as Burrows, Milen, and Josh Groomes each made layups in succession to retake the lead.

A 3-pointer and two free throws by Rinehart in response tied the game at 48 headed to the final period.

A Lambert trey to start the fourth once again gave Tellico Plains the lead, but again Polk County answered. Groomes and Lairmore made 3-pointers and Groomes made a layup as the Wildcats tied their biggest lead of the game. The Bears answered with two layups from Carter and 3-pointers from Rinehart and Kobe Walker to vault back into the lead 61-60.

A trey and a jumper by Groomes and a putback by Burrows looked to have Tellico Plains beat in the final minute, but layups by Carter and Lambert tied the score at the end of regulation and sent the game into overtime knotted up at 67.

After each team only managed to knock down one shot in overtime, the game went into double overtime tied at 69.

Harris started the second overtime with a layup and a 3-pointer that gave Tellico Plains its biggest lead of the game. Groomes answered with a jumper and two free throws to cut the lead to 1 before Polk County started fouling. Harris made one at the line, and Lambert made two, but a 3-pointer by Lairmore kept Polk County close. Two more trips to the free throw line, however, sealed the win for Tellico Plains as Lambert and Rinehart each converted on both their attempts and the Bears held on for the win.

Rinehart led the Bears with 25 including five 3-pointers, Carter added 24, Lambert added 15 and Harris had 14.

Burrows led Polk County with 21 while Lairmore added 19 and Groomes added 18.

Follow @SDCarterSports on Twitter or email scott.carter@advocateanddemocrat.com

Sports Editor

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