No. 6 TELLICO PLAINS LADY BEARS 77, MARYVILLE CHRISTIAN LADY EAGLES 26
Thirteen different Lady Bears scored, led by senior Chloe Yearwood with 19, as Tellico Plains easily breezed past Maryville Christian on the road Tuesday night.
The Lady Bears opened on a 27-2 run that spanned the entire first quarter and left the Lady Eagles stunned and struggling to recover. Yearwood opened the scoring and Jaden Hollinghead, Alayna Hensley and Samantha Russell each added a basket before Mackenzie Harvey got Maryville Christian’s first- and only- basket of the first quarter. Tess Pearson answered with a layup and sparked the Maroon machine once again.
Yearwood went on a tear, logging a steal and score, a layup, and a 3-pointer in a matter of moments and Joell Stinnett added a 3-point play. From there, the freshman finished out the quarter with Maggie Hooper adding two layups and Kori Hamilton sinking a jumper.
Paige Damron opened the second quarter for Maryville Christian with a 3-pointer but Tellico went back to work quickly with a layup from Hooper and back-to-back scores by Hamilton. Chloe Ratledge added a 3-point play as Tellico continued to substitute liberally from the bench and Trinity Lance managed back-to-back buckets as well. Mattie Burnett finished off the scoring for Tellico Plains with a long 3-pointer to boost the Lady Bears to a 45-16 mark at halftime.
Out of the halftime break, Tellico Plains put on another quarter-spanning run, this time 22-2, to really race ahead. Pearson started the spurt with a layup and Hollinghead added another before Yearwood took over. The senior nabbed two steals and turned them into baskets and added a 3-pointer and a 3-point play the old fashioned way.
Ratledge, Hamilton, and Jessie Watson finished off the run and helped Tellico Plains to a 67-18 lead after three quarters. The only points the Lady Bears allowed in the third came on a jumper by Sarah Daffron, but otherwise the Lady Eagles were severely limited due to forced turnovers and a high-pressure, active defense.
Tellico’s bench continued to see action in the fourth quarter and continued to score. Joell Stinnett added a layup before back-to-back buckets by Hooper. Ratledge and Karsen Hunt each converted a steal into a basket in the final minutes and the Lady Bears rolled easily to victory.
Yearwood led the way with 19 and Hooper added 10. No Lady Eagle scored in double figures, but they were led by Sarah Daffron with 5.
MARYVILLE CHRISTIAN EAGLES 70, TELLICO PLAINS BEARS 64
Tellico Plains had multiple chances on Tuesday night to close out a major comeback, but the offensive firepower and size of Maryville Christian proved to be too much to handle as the Eagles handed the Bears a road loss.
A slow start contributed to the Bears’ woes. Two 3-pointers — one by Patrick Damron and one by Jack Goins — fell early for the Eagles and William English added a layup before a Dale Rinehart layup finally put Tellico Plains on the board. From there, the teams traded baskets until a Piper Carter layup sparked the Bears. Jesse Lambert added a 3-pointer and a layup and just like that, the deficit was cut to just 1. English and Josh Wright responded for the Eagles just before time expired, and the Bears trailed 19-13 at the end of the first quarter.
A Carter jumper and an Evan Harris 3-pointer to start the second quarter once again had the Bears within 1, but an answering trey by Isaac Pottorff and a layup by English pushed the Eagles lead back out. Carter and Kobe Walker connected on baskets to cut the lead to just 2, but another answering 3-pointer and layup by Wright kept the lead out of reach for the Bears.
English took over in the waning moments of the first half and when the dust settled, the Eagles claimed a 37-26 halftime lead.
After halftime, Maryville Christian maintained the lead by trading baskets with the Bears. English, Wright, and Pottorff scored for the Eagles while Rinehart and Harris poured in 3-pointers for the Bears. Lambert added a layup and a pair of free throws to get the lead back into single digits, but a Wright 3-pointer answered and converted the lead back to 10. At the end of the third quarter, the Bears found themselves in a 10-point hole at 57-47.
Tellico Plains finally found its footing again in the fourth quarter. Rinehart and Harris each were perfect from the free throw line and Carter, Harris, and Lambert each added a layup to cut into the lead. A Lambert 3-pointer with under three minutes remaining cut the Eagle lead back to just 1, but four free throws by Wright maintained the advantage for Maryville Christian. Harris and Carter each added late buckets, but the Bears couldn’t complete the comeback bid and fell in the road matchup.
Lambert and Harris led Tellico Plains with 20 points each and Carter added 15. English had a game-high 25 for Maryville Christian while Wright added 19 and Pottorff and Damron added 10.