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Lady Tigers pull away down stretch

Cosby High School senior guard Dessie Shaffer in action against Pigeon Forge’s Alyssa Mitchell during Monday evening’s 51-38 loss to the Lady Tigers.
Published: 3:57 PM, 02/04/2014 Last updated: 3:58 PM, 02/04/2014

Author: Seth Butler
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

COSBY—After holding a lead for much of the night, Cosby High School faded down the stretch in Monday night’s non-district tilt with Pigeon Forge High School.

The Lady Eagles, who led by as many as nine in the second half, were outscored by 18 points in the final 10 minutes of the contest, as Pigeon Forge secured a 51-38 win.

Despite the loss, Cosby coach Richard Coggins was pleased with his team’s effort they showed in the game against the Class AA Lady Tigers.

“We had something to prove after we lost to Oneida and we played our guts out,” Coggins said. “I’m pleased with they came out ready to play finally. We played our guts out.”

It was the second straight outing that the Lady Eagles struggled to score in the second half, as they made only two baskets over the final 10:02 of the game.

Pigeon Forge used a 14-0 run over a four-minute span in the second half to quickly erase a five-point Cosby lead and turn the game around. The run was part of a 24-6 run over the game’s final 10:02.

Cosby (14-8) held a 32-27 lead with 2:02 left in the third period, but saw the Lady Tigers take the
lead for good with a 3-pointer by Alyssa Mitchell with 6:42 to play in the game. The Lady Eagles appeared to answer on their next possession with a basket by Dessie Shaffer, but it was wiped off due to an offensive foul.

Pigeon Forge’s Clarissa Crowley scored on the next possession to make the lead four points, and after the Lady Eagles lost possession the ball on their next trip down, controversy ensued. Coggins called a timeout to discuss an officials decision and was hit with a technical foul with 6:09 to play. The Lady Tigers hit a pair of free-throws and then knocked down a 3-pointer by Callie Clabo to open up a nine-point lead.

The sequence left Coggins seeing red following the game.

“I thought my girls played their guts out - I’m not a bit mad at them,” Coggins said. “Pigeon Forge got this win tonight with eight people, they didn’t get it with five. I’m going to send the tape to the state if God lets me live to let them see it.”

The veteran Lady Eagles coach said he thought his team was saddled with an unfair advantage with the physical play in the game. Pigeon Forge was whistled for 11 team fouls to Cosby’s 15. The two teams only combined for nine first half fouls in a physical first half.

“Paul (Reagan) is a good coach, he knows how they’re calling the game,” Coggins said. “(Reagan) let them get physical with us, the referees let them, but they wouldn’t let us play the same way.

“It hurt us, because it got in our girls’ heads,” Coggins said.

After falling behind by nine, the Lady Eagles were only able to pull to within seven points of the lead three times in the remaining 5:23 of the game.

The finish for the Lady Eagles spoiled a solid first half, in which they performed well. Cosby fought back from a 12-9 deficit to tie the game at 16 apiece after junior Bethanie Williams, who led her team with eight first half points, drained a pair of second quarter 3-pointers.

The second of Williams’ long-range shots sparked a 6-0 run that gave Cosby a 22-16 lead late in the half. Pigeon Forge however scored the final three points of the half to pull within 22-19.

Cosby returns to action tonight at District 2-A opponent Clinch and then hosts Berean Christian on Friday evening.

PIGEON FORGE (51): Callie Clabo 14, Rebecca Baker 10, Alyssa Mitchell 10, Clarissa Crowley 10, Mikayla Trombley 7.

COSBY (38): Lexiey Williams 14, Bethanie Williams 11, Sarah Conard 8, Dessie Shaffer 5.

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