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Lady Patriots pull away from Lady Red late

CCHS junior point guard Sharina Cofield drives against the defense of a Jefferson County player in the fourth quarter of Friday’s game.
Published: 5:52 PM, 12/08/2013 Last updated: 5:53 PM, 12/08/2013

Author: Caleb Chrisman
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

DANDRIDGE—The Jefferson County Lady Patriots pulled away late in the fourth quarter to defeat Cocke County, 51-38, in District 2-AAA play on Friday evening.

While the Lady Patriots (5-3, 2-0 District 2-AAA) thrived at the free throw line for most of the night, the Lady Red (5-4, 1-1) struggled, and it could have cost them down stretch in the final few minutes.
The game was back-and-forth for the majority of the night until midway through the fourth when the Lady Patriots broke through with a solid run.

"We didn't do too well with adversity," Cocke County head coach Jeremy Byrd said. "There were just a lot of things that go in together that just cost us.

"The little things are important and they showed tonight. The free throws, help-side defense, understanding not letting the same play happen to you two or three times. A lot of things go into it.

"I feel like we were prepared to play physically, but mentally we just weren't  ready to roll."

The Lady Red led after a quarter 9-6 and were up by as many as six points in the opening frame, but both teams struggled to find their shot early on.

"When you play tight offensively, you're not going to shoot the ball well," Byrd said. "I think both teams played tight, they just happened to get a few more breaks in the game that helped them to relax when they were at the free throw line.

"You have to play basketball relaxed and we did not do that at all."

A back-and-forth second quarter ended with Jefferson County in front 23-20.

Mika Wester had 10 in the first half to pace the Lady Red offense. She finished the game with 14 to lead all scorers. She was the only Cocke County player in double figures.

Tori Griffin led Jefferson County with 12 points. Brooke Taylor added 11 in the win.

Neither team separated themselves in the third quarter as the score was tied 30-30 heading into the fourth.

"The girls are upset," Byrd said. "I was a little harsh with them in there and told them things I was disappointed in. They really didn't like losing and they didn't like me pointing some things out individually that they did wrong. It's definitely a good opportunity for us to learn. We'll see come Tuesday night if we're still sluggish after this loss or if we're ready to get back to work."

The fourth quarter was when the Lady Patriots took control, particularly about halfway through the period.

A pair of free throws from Griffin helped stretch the lead out to nine with  just a few minutes left.

"We were really put into a situation that we weren't in last year," Byrd said. "We were making free throws and those things were going right for us (last year)and they just didn't know how to handle it. This team expects to win and this coaching staff expects to win. When it doesn't happen, we tend to not like it and we just didn't handle (tonight) very well down the stretch. Composure was a big thing with me and the girls. So, we've just got some work to do."

After Jefferson County stretched their lead out to nine midway through the final quarter, the Lady Red chipped it down to six on an Allison Ball three, but that's as close as they would get as the Lady Patriots hit some more big free throws down the stretch.

Cocke County travels to Cherokee on Tuesday. The Lady Red are scheduled to tip at 6:30 p.m. against the Lady Chiefs.

JEFFERSON COUNTY (51): Tori Griffin 12, Brooke Taylor 11, Alexandria Alder 8, Autumn Dodson 6, Makayla Woodard 5, Morgan Ridenour 3, Erin Essington 2, Jordan Jennings 2, Jacey Diaz 2.

COCKE COUNTY (38): Mika Wester 14, Allison Ball 5, MaKayla Valentine 5, Kaitlyn Martin 4, Taylor Thornton 4, Kinsley Ford 3, Sharina Cofield 3.

3-point FG: CC (3): Ball, Ford, Valentine. JC (2): Alder, Ridenour. 

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