KODAK—While Tuesday night was a disappointment for first year coach Casey Ragan and his Cocke County High Fighting Cocks, Thursday was anything but.
Trailing at the half, the Big Red rallied in the third quarter, setting the tone for a comeback win on the road at Northview Academy, 65-56, on Thursday night.
“Our boys played their guts out. I’m very proud of their effort and fight,” Ragan said.
With 10 names stuffing the score sheet for Cocke County (1-1), junior Jody Swann led the Fighting Cocks in scoring for the second night in a row.
Swann finished with 14 points, including four makes from 3-point range in the victory. Sophomore Major Woods joined him in double figures with 10.
Northview (0-2) was led in scoring by Preston Hickey, who finished with a game-high 24 points. Conner Weyant also posted double figures in scoring for the Cougars with 18 points.
The 3-ball was huge for Cocke County’s success on Thursday. As a team it buried eight shots from behind the arc, seven of which came in the second half.
Northview led 19-13 at the end of the first period, and carried a 37-25 lead into the half.
Hickey had 20 points by the half, but was held to just one made shot from the field the rest of the night by Cocke County’s defensive efforts.
With a second-half awakening, the Fighting Cocks fought back feverishly in the second half to overcome their double-digit halftime deficit.
Swann, who was scoreless in the first half, buried three shot from 3-point range in the third quarter to give the Big Red a spark. Woods and Baylor Baxter would also connect on shots from deep to help close the gap, and eventually allow CCHS to take a 50-48 lead into the fourth.
Cocke County continued to do the job on both ends of the floor, as it limited the Cougars to eight points in the final frame while making shots on the offensive end to extend its lead.
In the end, the Cougars couldn’t muster a comeback. Instead, Cocke County picked up the come from behind victory, giving Ragan the first of his head coaching career with the program.
The Fighting Cocks will be in action all week during the Thanksgiving break, as they’ll travel to Jonesborough, Tenn. for the annual Hardee’s Thanksgiving Classic.
They’ll remain on the road after next week with a Monday trip to Campbell County, before returning home on Tuesday, Dec. 1, to take on Tennessee High.