©2014 NPT PHOTO BY SETH BUTLER
Cocke County High School senior Jerick Varner slashes his way to the basket in Friday’s District 2-AAA quarterfinal tilt with South Doyle. Varner finished the night with 12 points and seven rebounds. The Fighting Cocks face Sevier County in a 5 p.m. semifinal on Saturday night at Jefferson County High School.
|Published: 2:32 PM, 02/15/2014
||Last updated: 2:34 PM, 02/15/2014
Author: Caleb Chrisman
Source: The Newport Plain Talk
DANDRIDGE—The Cocke County Fighting Cocks advanced to the
semifinals of the District 2-AAA tournament after their 80-63 victory over South Doyle on Friday
evening at Jefferson County High School.
The Big Red face off with Sevier County today at 5
p.m. for a chance to play in the district title game.
With the win over South Doyle Friday, Cocke
County also earned a Region 1-AAA tournament berth. A semifinal victory over Sevier County will give
the Fighting Cocks an opportunity to host a region quarterfinal contest, while a loss will send them
on the road for the opener.
The Fighting Cocks (17-11) were very balanced in the scoring
column on Friday, and they had three players in double figures. Dylan Dockery led with 16 points and
Jerick Varner finished with 12. Jake Lindsay also tallied 11.
"We got rolling in the
second quarter and that carried over into the second half," Cocke County head coach Ray Evans
said. "I'm proud of the guys. I just hope we can keep that engine going.
County has whipped us two times, and we have to be prepared or they'll whip us a third time.
Hopefully we'll show up ready, take care of the basketball, and defend them a little better. If we
do, I think we can make a game of it. It's going to be a good one."
The Fighting Cocks
actually trailed to South Doyle (7-20) early by a 12-4 deficit, but an 8-3 run to end the period
chipped the lead to 15-12 after the first quarter.
Seth Lovell gave Cocke County a big lift
in the first half, tallying seven points and four rebounds. He helped the Fighting Cocks regain the
lead at the half by a 32-26 score.
It wasn't just Lovell's effort that Evans was pleased
with, though. Rather, it was the entire team's performance.
"Seth really came in the game
and rebounded well and put some offensive boards back in," Evans said. "That gave us a big lift
off the bench. Ben (Conard) played well off the bench. Jake played well. I kind of reversed their
roles just to see if I could get a little more production in the three spot, and we got it. I
thought they both played well. Ben got into a little foul trouble, but overall I thought he did
"Hunter (Suggs) made a couple shots here and there to get us going. They all pitched
in. That was a good team win."
Cocke County led by as much 17 in the third quarter, as they
continued to get out in transition. South Doyle's lack of depth really hurt them, especially in
the second half, and the Big Red made sure to take advantage.
Off of missed shots throughout
most of the game, Cocke County was off and running to the other end, and they capitalized on their
fast break opportunities for the most part, from the second quarter on.
"They don't play
a whole lot of players, so they don't like to play too fast," Evans said. "Our best game is
getting up and down the floor, and when we don't do that, we do struggle. Finally when we started
getting it out and pushing it a little bit, we had some good, easy buckets in transition. That got
us going a little bit."
The Fighting Cocks maintained a double digit lead throughout the
entire fourth quarter, and they were able to get several reserves into the game for some key
"I wanted to get some of those younger guys that don't get much playing time
some experience and I was just seeing if we could hold the lead,"ť Evans said. "They went in when
we were up 17 and we finished the game up 17, so they did a great job and held their own against
COCKE COUNTY (80): Dylan Dockery 16, Jerick Varner 12, Jake Lindsay 11, Seth Lovell
9, Hunter Suggs 6, Ben Conard 6, Stephen Brown 5, Sam Gunn 4, Kimbel Thornton 3, Kordell Stewart 2,
Christopher Huff 2, John Epperson 2, Santana Haney 2
SOUTH DOYLE (63): Jarquese Goins 12,
Brody Rollins 12, Miles Thomas 12, Sam Moss 11, Malik Lundy 5, Austin Thomas 4, Cody Cummings 4,
Dalton Wilson 3
3-Point FG: CC (6) Suggs 2, Lindsay, Thornton, Brown, Conard. SD (5) Rollins,
Lundy, Moss, Cummings, Wilson.
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