NEWPORT—Semifinal Friday brought three close games to the table in the 2019 Cocke County Elementary Tournament.
It also brought a pair of three seeds advancing to the championship round over No. 2 Bridgeport in both the girls and boys tournaments.
In girls play, it was a strong defensive second half which allowed No. 3 Parrottsville earn a chance to defend its championship, while in the boys semifinals it was a balanced scoring attack by No. 3 Edgemont which allowed it to get back to its first championship game since 2017.
No. 3 Parrottsville 38, No. 2 Bridgeport 28 (Girls Semifinal)
After trailing most of the night, the Parrottsville Lady Parrotts used a strong defensive effort to try to reclaim its championship crown in the semifinals of the 2019 Cocke County Elementary Tournament on Friday night.
Parrottsville, which won its second game in as many days, had to fight back from a 25-23 deficit after three quarters to earn another bid to the title game.
A smothering defensive effort by the Lady Parrotts allowed them to get back there. Parrottsville surrendered just one field goal and three overall points in the game’s final six minutes, as it stormed back late to win the semifinal game.
Early on, though, it was all Lady Rockets on Friday night. Bridgeport opened up an early advantage in the opening minutes going up 8-2, before the Lady Parrrotts stormed back to cut the lead to 10-8 at the end of the first period.
Bridgeport led the game 19-16 at halftime, as Parrottsville kept itself in the game with success at the free-throw line. The Lady Parrotts went to the charity stripe a whopping 15 times in the game’s opening 12 minutes and converted on nine of those chances.
For the night, Parrottsville finished the game 17-of-30, while Bridgeport was 6-of-14 at the line.
Parrottsville came back from the halftime deficit to briefly take the lead in the third quarter, before Bridgeport reclaimed it just before the end of the period. Parrottsville did its offensive damage at the free-throw line again, as Bridgeport allowed just one field goal in the quarter.
With the Lady Rockets on their heels, Parrottsville continued with its relentless defensive pressure and kept Bridgeport searching for answers on the offensive end over the second half. In addition to limiting the Lady Rockets to three points in the final quarter, Parrottsville allowed just nine second half points in riding its way to the win.
Paige Neithammer was the big standout late for the Lady Parrotts as she scored three field goals in the final six minutes, and scored seven of her 19 in the final period.
PARROTTSVILLE (38): Paige Niethammer 19, Kiersten Moore 5, Destiny Reese 5. Adisen McNealy 4, Brooke Clevenger 2, Abby Niethammer 2, Abigail Erby 1.
BRIDGEPORT (28): Kionna Williams 8, Kerrigan Burgess 7, Halle Kitchen 5, Hannah Linderman 4, Katie Myers 2, Emily Miller 2.
No. 3 Edgemont 62, No. 2 Bridgeport 57 (Boys Semifinal)
The Edgemont Panthers brought a balanced scoring attack to the table in pushing its way to a championship game appearance for the first time in two years on Friday night.
Four players scored in double digits to allow the Panthers to overcome a halftime deficit and upend No. 2 Bridgeport’s hopes of making it to yet another title game.
Brazen Stewart scored 17 points for Edgemont, while Kendrick White, Jayston Fine and Eugene Taylor each pumped in 12 points apiece in the winning effort.
The balanced attack helped the Panthers overcome a spectacular night scoring by Austin Costner of Bridgeport. Costner poured in 30 points as he was a force in the paint all evening long.
Costner scored 16 points in the opening half in helping the Rockets to the slight 29-27 edge at the intermission. Costner came back with 14 more in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to do in the Panthers on Friday night.
Five players for Edgemont contributed 18 third quarter points, including a pair of 3-pointers from Stewart, to rally back for a 45-41 lead entering the game’s final minutes.
The tight play continued in the fourth quarter, with Bridgeport attempting to claw its way back into the game.
Costner scored 10 of his game-high 30 in the quarter, but Bridgeport only added one additional field goal in the final six minutes.
Edgemont got a pair of big 3-pointers from Stewart and White to extend its lead, where it pulled away down the final minutes, despite hitting just 4-of-9 free-throws down the stretch.
EDGEMONT (62): Brazen Stewart 17, Kendrick White 12, Jayston Fine 12, Eugene Taylor 12, Lakkin France 9.
BRIDGEPORT (57): Austin Costner 30, Raeshon Palmer 9, Brayden Hall 9, Slate Shropshire 7, Colin Askew 2.
No. 1 Grassy Fork 49, No. 5 Cosby 37 (Girls Semifinal)
The Grassy Fork Lady Ravens for the first time in recent memory are headed to the championship game of the Cocke County Elementary Tournament.
Riding a 23-point night from Alison Smith, the Lady Ravens who entered as the tournament’s top seeded team, was able to hit enough big shots in the second half to subdue an upset-minded Lady Eagles team and win 49-37.
Early on, Grassy Fork led the game 14-11 after the opening quarter, but pulled away to open up leads of nine and eight points at two separate points in the second period.
Cosby’s two field goals in the second quarter, scored by Kylee Cornwell and Shylee Weeks, each time kept the Lady Eagles in the midst of the contest and allowed their team to trail by just a 24-16 margin at the break.
Weeks and Cornwell paced the Lady Eagles with 17 and 11 points, respectively, for the evening.
With the game still in single digits, Smith took over the game for Grassy Fork in the third quarter. She scored 10 of the team’s 12 points in the period to establish a 36-27 advantage headed into the game’s final six minutes.
Weeks hit a pair of treys for the Lady Eagles to keep them within striking distance in the period, but every big shot by Cosby was answered by Grassy Fork in the second half.
Shylee Shelton poured in eight of her 17 points in the fourth quarter to help keep the Lady Eagles at bay and prevent any chance of Cosby from thinking upset in the semifinal tilt.
GRASSY FORK (49): Alison Smith 23, Shylee Shelton 17, Shaylee Coggins 8, Alexis McGaha 1.
COSBY (37): Shylee Weeks 17, Kylee Cornwell 11, Ariel Ottinger 6, Gracie Jenkins 3.
No. 1 Parrottsville 58, No. 5 Cosby 25 (Boys Semifinal)
The top-seeded Parrottsville Parrotts shook off a rusty start to play themselves back into the championship game in Friday night’s semifinal to take a 58-25 win.
It was the Parrotts second win in an almost 20-hour span, after winning their quarterfinal game, which tipped off at 8:45 p.m. on Thursday night.
Cosby was eyeing an upset early on, as it led most of the opening stanza, before Parrottsville took over the final eight minutes of the second half.
The Parrotts put up 27 points in that span to take total control of the game by a 31-14 margin. Parrottsville, after trailing early on, opened up a 15-6 lead after the first period.
Hayden Green scored 15 of the Parrotts first half points in leading his team to the 17-point advantage at the break. Braxton Stump also filled in a large role in the opening half, pumping in 10 points for Parrottsville.
Cosby’s early upset bid was fueled by a pair of 3-pointers from Ethan Massey and Nate Joyce.
Major Woods put the game well in hand in the third period, scoring a pair of long-range buckets in the third quarter, as Parrottsville continued its dominance on the way to the 58-25 win.
PARROTTSVILLE (58): Hayden Green 17, Braxton Stump 10, Major Woods 11, Alex Cabrera 6, Zeke Ramos 4, Hunter Toth 5, Anthony Steinbacher 2, Alex Fine 2.
COSBY (25): Greycin Cobble 7, Justin Lyons 6, Ethan Massey 3, Nate Joyce 3, Paxton Coggins 3, Ivy Poe 2, Austin Sprouse 1.
TITLE GAMES SET
Entering Saturday night’s title games, the Parrottsville Lady Parrotts and Parrotts will have a chance to defend their titles.
The No. 3 Lady Parrotts will take on No. 1 Grassy Fork at 7:30 p.m. while the No. 1 Parrotts will play No. 3 Edgemont at 8:45 p.m.
In the consolation games, the No. 2 Bridgeport Lady Rockets take on No. 5 Cosby at 5 p.m. and the No. 2 Bridgeport rockets play No. 5 Cosby at 6:15 p.m.