Blount Press Row

Balance of Power

Rebels show off versatility to reach district championship game

Grant Wilson puts up a charity toss for Maryville during Friday’s win over Lenoir City. Photos by Brandon Shinn

By Stefan Cooper
Editor
Blount Press Row

Maryville could make a run with this team.

John Garrett pumped in a team-best 20 points to lift the Rebels into Tuesday's final.

Lenoir City played foil to a uniquely balanced team as the second-seeded Rebels rolled to a 79-63 win in a District 4AAA semifinal Friday night at Heritage.

Maryville (24-6) meets top-seed Bearden (27-3) in the championship game Tuesday night at 7:30.

The Bulldogs relegated Farragut to the consolation bracket with a 58-56 win on Friday. Maryville and Bearden split the season series, each winning on the other’s floor, the Rebels winning, 68-63, in Knoxville, the Bulldogs, 53-44, at James Campbell Gymnasium.

With its triple-threat post game of Clark McCall, Brian Landers and Isaac Edmiston off to a slow start, guards John Garrett, Adrian Page, T.J. Kimble and Grant Wilson reeled Lenoir City in after the Panthers broke to a 7-0 lead.

Garrett went bananas with a team-best 20 points as Lenoir City pulled its defense below the foul line to protect against Maryville’s front line and Kimble’s super-quick drives. Page came off the bench to pump in 14 for the Rebels, including a pair of treys. Kimble got underneath the Panther defense to add 10, with Wilson finishing with 8.

Lenoir City guard Jordan Hall got loose for three first-quarter bombs en route four 3s overall and a game-high equaling 20 points to match Garrett. Lucas Hamilton tossed in 17 for the Panthers.

Isaac Edmiston scores inside for the Rebels.

The decision by Maryville coach Mark Eldridge to keep the pace high with a full-court press early proved the difference as the Rebels pulled even and then away. The move was twofold, Eldridge said, not the least of which to combat the long layoff from the end of the regular season.

“With us being off, I thought the press could get us into some good things,” he said. “Pressing got us back into the flow.”

Garrett, Kimble, Page and Wilson accounted for all but two points of the scoring as the backcourt closed the Rebels within 20-18 of the Panthers after a quarter. As pressure around the basket eased, Edmiston, Landers and McCall, battling foul trouble throughout, put Maryville out front, 35-31, at the half.

T.J. Kimble elevates over the Panther defense.

Full-court pressure, and the pace it produced, began taking noticeable toll in the third. As Garrett got red hot from the perimeter for the Rebels, Panther turnovers and rushed shots mounted.

It was 53-41 Maryville after three quarters. After his first-quarter eruption, Hall had one last 3 in the fourth as the Rebels surged.

“By pressing him, I think it effected his play in the second half,” Eldridge said.

With the Rebels holding a 57-47 lead with six minutes remaining, a double technical on the Panther bench resulted in four Nick Myers free throws that blew the gap open decisively.

 

 

 

 

 

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