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Lady Eagles fall to No. 6 Gatlinburg-Pittman

Cosby junior Bethanie Williams drives between Gatlinburg-Pittman’s Macee Tinker (No. 14) and Rylie Patterson in the first half of Tuesday’s game.
Published: 3:16 PM, 01/16/2014 Last updated: 3:17 PM, 01/16/2014

Author: Seth Butler
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

GATLINBURG—After struggling in their last game against a ranked Class AA foe, Cosby coach Richard Coggins wanted to see more fight and effort out of his team.

Tuesday night proved to be pleasing to the Lady Eagles coach, even with Gatlinburg-Pittman taking a
56-43 decision.

The AP No. 6 ranked Lady Highlanders survived a third quarter rally by the Lady Eagles and were the recipient of an 18-point night from point guard Haris Price, as they pulled away to a 13-point win.

“I’m pleased,” Coggins said after the game. “That game was a game.

“We’ve played really bad since the break and I wanted to come in and get back on track,” Coggins said. “We were in the game until (point guard) Dessie (Shaffer) got in foul trouble.”

After a 15-day layoff, Cosby suffered a 60-33 loss to No. 2 ranked Elizabethton, which left Coggins seeking more from his squad.

“They played hard, that’s all I can ask out of them,” Coggins said. “We’re trying to get back what we lost over the (15-day) break.”

Cosby (10-6) was able to pull out to an early lead in the game’s opening half. The Lady Eagles led by three points on two occasions in the first quarter, and then scored five straight to open the second quarter to open up a 17-11 lead. Madison Norris, who scored a team-high 10 points for Cosby, was
instrumental in the opening minutes of the second period.

Then Price took over the game for the Lady Highlanders (17-3). After being limited with a hand injury sustained in the first meeting between the two schools, Price went to work in the second quarter, where she scored seven points - as part of 14 unanswered points posted by Gatlinburg-Pittman.

The run allowed the Lady Highlanders to turn their once six-point deficit into a 25-17 lead in just four minutes.

“We led in the first quarter, but got in a little lull in the second - we missed a few shots we normally make,” Coggins said.

However, the biggest difference in the scoreboard was the impact Price made on the game.

“Defensively we tried zone and man, it’s just a bad matchup problem for us with Haris,” Coggins said.

“She really makes them go, it’s that simple.”

While Cosby was able to climb back into the thick of things late in the half, the run that Gatlinburg-Pittman made had done its damage.

“(Their run) really hurt us, it sort of took the wind out of us,” said Coggins, who attributed some of the ability for the Lady Highlanders run to the lack of depth facing Cosby. “When you’re playing six girls, and they’re playing 10, it’s hard. That’s the difference in a small school and a big school.”

After trailing by as many as nine early in the half, the Lady Eagles were able to mount a charge. A pair of three-pointers by Dessie Shaffer and Sarah Conard pulled Cosby back to within 36-33 with 3:49 to play.

With 2:30 to play in the quarter, in an attempt to tie the game, Conard launched a three-point attempt that rattled out and Micki Werner got an easy basket on the other end to end the Cosby rally, as they pushed the lead back to seven.

Cosby cut the lead to 42-36 after three quarters, but a pivotal fourth foul on Shaffer with 1:32 to play in the period changed the complexion of the game. Shaffer had picked up her third foul earlier in the quarter on a questionable offensive foul, but with the Lady Highlanders threatening to pull away - Coggins reinserted the senior point guard into the game.

“I normally don’t bring a player back in the third like that - but we got down eight and they’re too good to get down to them double-figures,” Coggins said. “So we went back with her and she picked up her fourth.”

Cosby had the game within striking distance, trailing 44-38 after a Norris basket with 5:50 to play, but Shaffer picked up her fifth foul with 5:13 to play contesting a shot on the defensive end.

Gatlinburg-Pittman then used a 7-1 run over the next two minutes to claim a 51-39 lead, putting the game out of reach. Price drilled a 3-pointer to start the run with 4:50 to play, which put the Lady Highlanders up by nine points.

“I’m pleased with tonight,” Coggins said. “That game was a game.

“When Dessie fouled out, it kind of got away (from us) a little bit,” Coggins said. “If she didn’t foul out, not saying we would’ve won, but it would’ve been a six or seven point game.”

GATLINBURG-PITTMAN (56): Haris Price 18, Hunter Price 10, Dannie Luczak 9, Micki Werner 8, Julia Maloney 5, Rylie Patterson 4, Dru Dawson 2.

COSBY (43): Madison Norris 10, Sarah Conard 9, Bethanie Williams 8, Lexiey Williams 7, Dessie Shaffer 5, Brooke Schreder 3, Kristian Coggins 1.

3-POINT FG: G-P (4): Haris Price 2, Hunter Price, Maloney. Cosby (3): Norris, Shaffer, Conard.

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