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G-P holds on to beat Lady Red

CCHS senior Allison Ball (at right) goes to the basket in the second half against Gatlinburg-Pittman’s Hunter Price. Ball scored eight points in the 56-52 loss to No. 6 ranked G-P.
Published: 10:46 AM, 01/21/2014 Last updated: 10:50 AM, 01/21/2014

Author: Caleb Chrisman
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

NEWPORT—Basketball is typically a game of runs and momentum swings.

Monday night's game between Cocke County and AP No. 6 Gatlinburg-Pittman was a perfect example of that.

The Lady Highlanders eventually came away with a 56-52 victory after falling to the Lady Red earlier in the season.

But Gatlinburg-Pittman's lead was never safe. The Lady Highlanders (19-3) even led by as many as nine at one point in the first half, but the Lady Red (12-12) came storming back with a huge run to take a small lead.

But in the midst of these crucial momentum swings throughout the course of the game, Lady Red coach Jeremy Byrd felt his team lacked one critical element: discipline.

"We weren't very disciplined tonight," Byrd said. "I was really upset with that. Tonight was the first night that we weren't disciplined. We gave up about six points in the first half that they should have never had the opportunity to score, and the difference in the game was four points. I was really disappointed in that. I hope I handled it. So we'll move forward from this."

Cocke County's Kaitlyn Martin led all scorers with 19 points. Mika Wester also finished in double figures with 10.

Gatlinburg-Pittman point guard Haris Price, who missed the first game between the two schools in November with injury, led her team with 15 points.

"Kaitlyn's been solid," Byrd said. "She went down (with an injury) in the first half and scored the majority of her points in the second half. We were really stressing to get it to her late, and for some reason it didn't happen there in the last minute when it needed to another time or two. She did work hard to get offensive rebounds there.

"Kaitlyn's solid. She stepped up tonight rebounding and point-wise. I'm real proud of her at this point,” Byrd said. “And defensively, she guarded Luczak. She held her down to just nine points when she's probably in the teens most games. I thought she did a good job on her."

The Lady Highlanders held a 9-8 advantage after a quarter of play. After G-P jumped out to a 7-0 lead, the Lady Red ended the quarter on an 8-2 run capped by a layup from senior Allison Ball.

Gatlinburg-Pittman stretched their lead to nine early in the second quarter as they went on an 8-0 run, but a Delessa Stewart layup gave Cocke County a 20-19 lead with just over three minutes to play in the quarter, as the Lady Red answered with a 10-0 run.

G-P ended the half on an 11-2 run and held a 30-22 lead heading into halftime.

"It was a great game and a great game to coach," Byrd said. "Gatlinburg-Pittman, they're well coached and they did a good job.

“They knocked shots down early and we couldn't find the basket early. We were getting some good looks, but I mean you're going to miss some shots in games,” Byrd said. “(G-P) cooled down later, we
just didn't contest enough shots early."

The Lady Red opened the second half with a 9-0 run to take a 31-30 lead, but the Lady Highlanders closed the third quarter strong with an 11-4 spurt to give them the lead back at 41-35.

Despite cutting the lead to one in the fourth quarter on a Martin layup with just 33 seconds left in the game, Cocke County was unable to come away with a win or have a chance at a game-tying or winning shot opportunity.

The Lady Red play host to Jefferson County on Friday evening in a crucial District 2-AAA showdown. Tipoff is slated for 6:30 p.m.

"We're going to have to be extremely self-disciplined and we're going to have to understand what we need to do in certain situations," Byrd said. "I think I made my point clear at halftime and at the end of the game that we have to be coachable, and they have to do what the coaches ask them to do, regardless of whether they think it's wrong or right, and regardless of if they think this and that.
That's a matter of discipline. So, I think handled that situation. I think we'll be ready to go Friday."

GATLINBURG-PITTMAN (56): Haris Price 15, Hunter Price 9, Dannie Luczak 9, Macee Tinker 7, Micki Werner 6, Rylie Patterson 5, Bethany Sutton 3, Julie Maloney 2

COCKE COUNTY (52): Kaitlyn Martin 19, Mika Wester 10, Allison Ball 8, Taylor Thornton 6, Delessa Stewart 4, Hannah Miller 3, Sharina Cofield 2

3-Point FG: GP (6) Ha. Price 2, Patterson, Hu. Price, Tinker, Patterson, Sutton. CC (1) Miller.

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