Blount Press Row

The Rebellion

West ends Maryville unbeaten district run

T.J. Kimble wheels and deals against West on Thursday. Photos by Jolanda Jansma

By Stefan Cooper

Editor

Blount Press Row

West coaxed Maryville into cutting it too fine Thursday night.

John Garrett works the ball into the West defense.

Good looks at the basket were passed over in the search for better ones, all while Maryville trailed and the clock ticked.

Time eventually ran out, Knoxville’s Rebels handing their Blount County namesakes their first district loss, 57-49, at James Campbell Gymnasium.

Maryville (18-4, 11-1 District 4AAA) led for the last time with three minutes to play in the opening half, but there were signs much earlier the Rebels were badly out of sync. Errant passes against a quick-switching West zone defense resulted in four turnovers on Maryville’s first six possessions.

“Our mental approach was not good from the onset,” Maryville coach Mark Eldridge said.

T.J. Kimble, game-high 16 points, including three treys, point guard John Garrett, nine points, three 3s, eventually opened gaps in the West defense. Maryville big men Bryan Landers, nine points, and Isaac Edmiston, 8, began to slip behind the defense to the baseline, with center Clark McCall extending for a 3.

West (11-8, 7-4) got enough run-out baskets and timely 3s to carve a 21-20 lead at the half, and Maryville would never again be that close.

“We typically play man-to-man, but, (in) man-to-man, we knew we wouldn’t be able to match up with them,” West coach Chris Kesler said. “They’re so good at running their sets.

Team District Overall
Maryville 11-1 18-4
Bearden 9-1 19-2
West 7-4 11-8
Farragut 5-5 10-10
Catholic
5-5 11-11
Lenoir City 3-7 11-11
William Blount 2-9 7-18
Heritage 0-10 1-17

The hope was to get Maryville to rely solely on the long jump shot, Kesler said, and take their chances.

“We were fortunate for them to miss enough,” he said. “Anytime you take long jump shots you get long rebounds, and that gave us a chance to get out and run.”

Yasmond Fenderson led a balanced West offense with 13 points, with J.T. Perkins joining him in double figures with 12. Shooting guard Terrance Hall, with a pair of run-sparking treys, finished with nine.

The same sluggish start to the first half revisited Maryville to start the third. West broke to  33-22 lead in three minutes before the district-leading Rebels fully perceived the danger. Urgency pressed hard after West built a 46-34 lead to start the fourth.

Nick Myers hops through a gap in the West zone.

“We got some good shots, but we never got in a flow,” Eldridge said. “Nothing was easy on the offensive end.”

Charging, with back-to-back treys from Kimble and one from McCall, Maryville climbed within 48-44 with five minutes to play. West went 7-of-11 from the free-throw line the rest of the way to stay clear.

The loss was the first for Maryville since a 65-63 loss to Sevier County on Jan. 7.

“Focused is what we were when we came back,” Eldridge said. “Sometimes a loss can wake you up.”

 

 

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