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Fighting Cocks earn pivotal victory over Morristown West

CCHS junior Dylan Dockery drives into the paint in the second half on Monday night. Dockery led the Fighting Cocks with 18 points.
Published: 4:04 PM, 01/29/2013

Author: Seth Butler
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

NEWPORT-The Cocke County High School Fighting Cocks found another way to victory on Monday night to help clinch at least a tie of fourth place in District 2-AAA.

The Fighting Cocks led by as many as 14 before seeing Morristown West climb back into the game in the fourth quarter. Despite controlling the game for most of the night, Cocke County took a 54-53 decision over Morristown West, to put the Big Red four games up on the Trojans in the district standings for the pivotal fourth place position.

“It’s a huge win and for the most part guaranteed us at least fourth place,” Cocke County coach Ray Evans said. “It got a little ugly at the end.

“(Morristown West) upped their pressure and we didn’t respond well for a while,” Evans said. “We got in a little funk and once they hit a few shots, it was hard to keep them from getting it even closer.”

Evans attributed Morristown West climbing back into contention for Monday night’s victory due to the youthfulness exhibited by his team. Cocke County currently uses four first-year starters in their starting lineup.

“It’s just another one of those growing pains we’ve got to go through,” Evans said. “We had the big lead and we relaxed.

“We can’t do that, especially in this district because anybody can come back on you,” Evans said.

While CCHS (14-8, 6-4) failed to close the game, getting outscored 37-25 over the final 16 minutes of play, the Fighting Cocks did start the game red hot.

Cocke County led the game 13-7 after a quarter and held a 29-16 edge at halftime behind a quality start. A 45.8 percent performance from the field helped the Big Red open up their 13-point edge, which appeared to have them firmly in control of the game over the Trojans (8-13, 3-8).

“That was one of our better starts,” Evans said. “I challenged them after the Jefferson County game (on Saturday) and told them that the sign of a good team is how you respond after a loss.

“We responded good and I couldn’t have been more pleased with that,” Evans said.

Senior Jacob White had an 11-point first half and also recorded three steals in the game’s opening half to help Cocke County get out to their big lead.

After a Hunter Suggs three-point shot early in the third period, the Fighting Cocks owned a 14-point lead, their largest of the night. However, the Trojans would bring the lead back to nine after a Hunter Nies three in the final minute of the quarter.

The lead continued to dwindle to two with 1:36 to play when Nies connected on a jumper. Morristown West would twice more cut the lead to two points over the final 90 seconds, getting only to one point on Garrett Rines’ three-point shot as time expired.

Junior forward Dylan Dockery rescued the Fighting Cocks on offense in the final quarter as he had four of the team’s five made baskets. CCHS only had eight field goals in the second half, as Dockery scored 11 points in the final two periods of play for an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double.

“(Dockery) stepped up big,” Evans said. “He responded very well after the Jefferson County game, I don’t think he hit a shot (Saturday).

“He responded the way a leader should and I’m very proud of the way he played,” Evans said.

CCHS returns to action when they face District 2-AAA foe Sevier County tonight (8 p.m.), which sets in second place in District 2-AAA play.

COCKE COUNTY (54): Dylan Dockery 8-11 2-5 18; Jacob White 5-13 1-2 13; Kyle Green 2-4 3-4 8; Hunter Suggs 1-6 4-4 7; Kimbel Thornton 2-4 1-3 5; Jerick Varner 1-4 0-0 2; Kyal Clevenger 0-1 1-2 1; Sam Gunn 0-1 0-0 0; Sam Hooper 0-0 0-0 0; Seth Lovell 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 19-47 12-20 54.

MORRISTOWN WEST (53): Nathan Cunningham 4-4 4-6 12; Hunter Nies 2-8 4-4 9; Darius Mathes 3-6 0-0 6; Jake Logan 3-8 0-0 6; Malachi Horton 2-9 1-1 5; Q Smith 2-6 1-2 5; Garrett Rines 2-7 0-0 5; Caleb Seals 2-7 0-0 4; Josh Black 0-3 1-4 1; Nik Davis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-58 11-17 53.

3-point goals--Morristown West 2-12 (Hunter Nies 1-5; Garrett Rines 1-3; Malachi Horton 0-3; Caleb Seals 0-1), Cocke County 4-12 (Jacob White 2-2; Kyle Green 1-2; Hunter Suggs 1-6; Seth Lovell 0-1; Kimbel Thornton 0-1). Fouled out--Morristown West-None, Cocke County-None. Rebounds--Morristown West 42 (Darius Mathes 11), Cocke County 31 (Dylan Dockery 10). Assists--Morristown West 4 (Malachi Horton 1; Jake Logan 1; Hunter Nies 1; Garrett Rines 1), Cocke County 9 (Jacob White 4). Total fouls--Morristown West 18, Cocke County 12. Technical fouls--Morristown West-None, Cocke County-None.

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