DANDRIDGE—The Cocke County High Fighting Cocks met more struggles on Tuesday, this time on the road against District 2-AAA foe Jefferson County.
The Fighting Cocks opened up competing in the first quarter, but after being outscored 25-8 in the second quarter, the Patriots ran away for a 70-36 victory over CCHS.
“I think we made them look better than what they were,” head coach Ray Evans of Cocke County said. “If there is a definition of playing awful, we showed it. We weren’t in the game the whole time. We gave up easy points and it was a difficult game to watch.”
Cocke County (3-6, 1-3 District 2-AAA) cut the lead to 15-11 in the midst of the first quarter, but a strong second quarter performance from senior Darius Allen of Jefferson County (5-4, 2-1 District 2-AAA) gave the Patriots a boost to push out to a large early lead.
Allen scored a game-high 22 points to lift the Patriots to victory.
“We were supposed to deny him the whole time,” Evans said. “We stood flat-footed the whole time and let him shoot and make plays. It was poor defense. We have to do a better job.”
Cocke County’s chances of winning shrunk quickly in the second quarter, as mistakes could not be overcome in the first half to get back into the game.
The Patriots built an early 24-point lead by the end of first half and rode with that lead through the rest of the game to down the Fighting Cocks.
“We have to come in ready to play and play as a team,” Evans said.
Jefferson County started hot and grabbed an early 11-3 advantage to begin the game, and it would begin one of the many runs that built the Patriots the big victory. The Fighting Cocks chipped into the lead bit-by-bit with a couple of baskets, but the Patriots fought back to keep their lead through the first quarter.
A small 6-1 run emerged from Cocke County at the end of the opening frame to cut the lead to just four, but a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from junior Jordan Mullins of Jefferson County lent it an 18-11 lead.
Cocke County’s deficit built to double digits after a 10-3 from Jefferson County led by senior Allen with half of the points of the run.
The 10-3 run extended to a 17-3 before Cocke County grabbed another bucket.
“We had a tough time doing whatever tonight,” Evans said. “We weren’t doing what we were supposed to be doing at all.”
Allen had the hot hand for the Patriots by dropping 15 points in the second quarter to build a 20-point lead twice in the quarter. Jefferson County fed off of Allen’s hot second-quarter performance to grab a big lead at the half.
Cocke County was outscored by 17 points in the second quarter and trailed 43-19.
“In that second quarter, we just quit,” Evans said. “I’ll take the blame for that. We were just kind of out there running around. I have to clean up the mess that was out there tonight.”
The game entered a slow period of time where each team had a struggle finding the bottom of the net. However, Jefferson County still had the advantage with the scoring as the quarter went on. Every time Cocke County earned a basket, the Patriots countered to steady their lead.
Jefferson County built a 30-point lead with 1:14 remaining in the third quarter after a small 7-3 run.
The lead stayed at 30 after some quick exchanged baskets in the final minute of the third quarter, as JCHS grabbed a 60-30 advantage to take with them into the fourth.
Cocke County allowed the Patriots a 6-0 run to start the fourth quarter, and with that, Jefferson County cruised to victory with an already large lead.
The Patriots finished the fourth quarter by only extending their 30-point lead to 34, as Cocke County was defeated 70-36.
“The schedule isn’t going to get any easier,” Evans said. “Our district is tough. We can go out and play like we played tonight. We are better than this. I want us to get things right. We need to get our heart right. We have been playing with no heart. We are going to get this fixed as soon as possible, and whatever changes need to be made will be made.”
Cocke County returns home to close the week. The Fighting Cocks will host Carter on Thursday, with tip-off set for 8 p.m.