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Tick, tock...Dock: Dockery's game-winner as time expires rescues Cocke County

Cocke County High School senior Dylan Dockery (No. 24, center) is mobbed by teammates in the aftermath of Monday’s 66-65 District 2-AAA win at Morristown East. Dockery’s game-winning three-pointer as time ran out gave the Fighting Cocks the victory over the Hurricanes.
Published: 3:07 PM, 01/14/2014 Last updated: 3:20 PM, 01/14/2014

Author: Seth Butler
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

MORRISTOWN—The Cocke County High School Fighting Cocks were in trouble.

Having blown a 16-point second half lead, they were seconds away from falling to the lone winless team in District 2-AAA. Dylan Dockery, however had other ideas.

After Matt Thompson sank a pair of free-throws with 13.2 seconds left, Cocke County had one last gasp to salvage the night.

Without taking a timeout, Cocke County came down and looked to run a set to get an open shot for sharpshooter Hunter Suggs. Morristown East double teamed Suggs when he got the ball, leaving Dockery wide open for the pass and game-winning shot.

Dockery’s shot slipped through the basket as time expired, giving the Fighting Cocks a 66-65 win, vaulting them into third place in the district.

“I let it go and it felt good and I knew it was in when I released it,” Dockery said of his second three-pointer of the night. “Anytime we need a three, we’re going to go to Hunter. We did a dribble handoff and my man fell off on Hunter and he kicked it back to me and I was wide open and I was able to hit the shot.”

Hitting the game-winner with his team looking at taking defeat from the jaws of victory was something that veteran Cocke County coach Ray Evans said a senior should do.

“It was a great play, a great shot - he has ice in his veins,” Evans said.

Dockery, who played the final 5:56 of the game with four fouls, finished the night with 26 points and was one of three Cocke County (12-8, 5-3 District 2-AAA) players to finish in double-figures. Fellow seniors Hunter Suggs and Jerick Varner tossed in 20 and 10 points, respectively. Morristown East (1-17, 0-8) also had three players reach double figures, led by Thompson’s 20-point night.

The heroics by Dockery, which came after the Fighting Cocks attempted to get Suggs a good look from three-point range, were seemingly unlikely just a quarter before. A 15-1 run in a three-minute span late in the third period had given Cocke County a 53-37 advantage over one-win Morristown East.

The Hurricanes were able to whittle the lead down to 53-42 at the end of the quarter to begin a pivotal 11-2 run which got them back into the game. Nearly three minutes after trailing by 16, the Hurricanes pulled within 55-53 with 6:25 to play in the game.

“You’d like to keep that cushion, but give credit to East,” Evans said. “I felt like we kept playing hard, but they made some plays and had guys step up and make a bunch of shots.”

Thompson scored 17 of his team-high 20 points in the second half. Chris Snapp also scored 15 of his 17 points in the final two quarters of the night.

“It’s hard to get a 15-point lead because they tend to relax and when the other team makes that urn, it’s hard to get their focus back,” Evans said. “If we had kept (the lead) in that 8-10 point range until the end, we’d have been alright.

“I’m not sure if we got nervous or what, but we had a few turnovers and we weren’t being very smart with the ball,” Evans said.

Cocke County had also held a double-digit lead in the opening half, but the Hurricanes erased that in the first 4:19 of the second half. Morristown East began the half on a 12-3 run to pull within 38-36, before the Fighting Cocks ripped off a 15-1 run of their own. Suggs scored nine of the team’s 15 points in the run that momentarily appeared to have put the game on ice in the third period.

The Fighting Cocks held a 12-11 lead after a quarter, but initially threatened to blow the game open with by outscoring the Hurricanes 23-13 in the second period. After falling behind 20-18, Dockery scored 11 straight points over a 1:11 span that put Cocke County up 29-22.

“He had a really good game on both ends,” said Evans of Dockery, who noted that he felt like he had to play him over the final quarter with four fouls to keep Morristown East at bay. “He played smart and had a well rounded game.”

Cocke County returns to action with another pivotal District 2-AAA game by hosting Cherokee tonight at 8 p.m. CCHS survived a road trip to Rogersville and prevailed in overtime in the last meeting between the two teams in December.

“Every game from here on out is huge,” Evans said. “You can’t take anyone for granted in this league.
“I’m proud of the guys for tonight, I hope we keep the momentum going for tomorrow night,” Evans said.

COCKE COUNTY (66): Dylan Dockery 26, Hunter Suggs 20, Jerick Varner 10, Seth Lovell 8, John Epperson 2.

MORRISTOWN EAST (65): Matt Thompson 20, Chris Snapp 17, Aaron Smith 17, Adam Killian 3, Jordan Seal 3, Andrew McGinnis 2, Grant Sliger 2, Aaron Rymer 1.

3-POINT FG: CC (6): Suggs 4, Dockery 2. ME (7): Smith 4, Snapp 2, Killian.

CCHS falls to CAK

Cocke County suffered a tough 70-53 loss to Christian Academy of Knoxville on Saturday evening. CAK outscored Cocke County 22-13 in the second period to erase a first half lead by the Fighting Cocks and turn it into a 34-26 advantage.

Cocke County was led by Dockery’s 21-point effort in the loss. Lucas Campbell scored 22 for the Warriors, while Dylan Keck tossed in 21.

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