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Lady Red's season ends with loss to Seymour

CCHS senior Allison Ball put up 18 points, along with seven rebounds and three steals, in her final game in a Lady Red uniform in a 52-48 loss to Seymour in the District 2-AAA quarterfinals on Friday afternoon.
Published: 2:30 PM, 02/15/2014 Last updated: 2:36 PM, 02/15/2014

Author: Caleb Chrisman
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

DANDRIDGE—The Cocke County Lady Red couldn’t overcome a sluggish first quarter, and they fell in the quarterfinals of the District 2-AAA tournament to Seymour on Friday, 52-48.

The Lady Eagles jumped out to an 8-0 lead and led 16-5 after a quarter. It wasn’t until the final few minutes that the Lady Red worked themselves back into the game, as Seymour maintained a consistent double digit lead for the first three quarters.

Mika Wester and Allison Ball each led Cocke County (15-15) with 18 points.

The loss ends Cocke County’s season, while Seymour (16-11) moves on to the semifinals to face off with top seed Morristown West on Saturday. Tipoff of the semifinal game set for 6:30 p.m.

“The slow start was most definitely the difference in the game,” Lady Red head coach Jeremy Byrd said. “We came out flat and weren’t intense enough. They were, and they took advantage of our laziness. All of the credit goes to (Seymour).

“I wish I could take back that pre-game and really get on them because I’ve always heard that girls are going to perform when they’re happy. They were happy, so I didn’t want to break that little string. But if I could go back, that’s what I’d do. I’d make them very unhappy.”

The slow start in the first continued throughout the second quarter, except for senior Allison Ball, who caught fire during that eight minute stretch.

Ball finished the quarter with eight points to spark a Cocke County run.

The Lady Red trailed by a 30-21 score at the half and trailed by as much as 13 points in the second quarter. Cocke County continuously got out-hustled on the boards, and Seymour took full advantage.
The Lady Eagles were also able to get out and run in transition, particularly in the first half, as Cocke County failed to get back down the floor on numerous occasions.

“(Rebounding) has been my message all season long,” Byrd said. “It just never really quite sunk in like it needed to. Tonight it really showed the lack of discipline that we had. I was really disappointed in that.

“(Transition defense) is another message I’ve said to them all season long. We have to get back on defense, get out in transition well and stop them. I still see girls jogging back on defense and it’s going to come up to bite you, no doubt about it. And it did.”

Cocke County, which won the tournament last season, had chipped the lead to just seven with under a minute to play in the period after a MaKayla Valentine three.

The Lady Red seemed primed and ready to run a play at the end of the half to try and chip into the lead even more after a missed Seymour shot, but Cocke County fired up a quick three with just under 20 seconds that rimmed out, and the Lady Eagles scored in transition to stretch the lead back to nine at the half.

“(Seymour) got their looks and took advantage of them,” Byrd said. “All of the credit goes to them. They were ready to play and we weren’t. They were physically ready to play and mentally accepted coaching. That was basically the difference in the game.”

The third quarter, Seymour continued to maintain their lead and held a 41-29 advantage after the period.

Cocke County came storming back in the final quarter as they went on a 10-2 run to cut the lead to four. Wester capped the run with a layup at the 4:33 mark.

“(Mika and Allison) did well, especially late to pull us back into the game,” Byrd said. “And I was really proud of Sharina Cofield. I’ve been really proud of her for the last two years, but especially the last five or six games because she’s really stepped up and assumed a leadership role and assumed a role of scoring when she needs to. I’m really looking forward to seeing what she’s going to do next season because I have a feeling it’s going to be special.

Some big shots from the field and the free throw line helped seal the deal for the Lady Eagles. They finished just under 87 percent from the line (13-of-15) for the game.

Cocke County cut the lead to three points twice in the final minute, but the Lady Eagles free-throws kept the Lady Red at bay.

SEYMOUR (52): Victoria Nelson 16, Lexi Justus 10, Hannah Schrimpsher 9,  Cheyenne King 9, Caroline Ford 4, Mariah Flynn 2, Camille Davis 2

COCKE COUNTY (48): Mika Wester 18, Allison Ball 18, Hannah Miller 5, Sharina Cofield 3, MaKayla Valentine 3, Taylor Thornton 1

3-Point FG: CC (5) Ball 2, Cofield, Miller, Valentine. S (3): Schrimpsher, Justus, King.

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