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In Good Hands With Hannah

Freshmen’s late save helps Alcoa survive A-E

Hannah Trott saves a pass headed out of bounds to help Alcoa hold the lead on Friday. Photos by Jolanda Jansma

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

Kayla Newman put Alcoa ahead to stay with three seconds remaining.

Kayla Newman puts up a jumper for the Lady Tornadoes.

If not for a heads-up play from freshman guard Hannah Troutt, the Lady Tornadoes don’t get that chance in a 52-51, Region 2AA quarterfinal win over Austin-East Friday night at Alcoa.

The Lady Tornadoes advance to a semifinal matchup with Gatlinburg-Pittman on Monday as the tournament moves to Carter High School for the last two rounds. Christian Academy of Knoxville meets Fulton in the other semifinal.

Alcoa rushed the ball into frontcourt after a pair of missed Austin-East free throws with 15 seconds left, the Lady Tornadoes holding a 51-49 lead. An errant, low pass looked ready to return the ball to the Lady Roadrunners before the quick-thinking Troutt got on the floor for the save and a timeout with 4.3 seconds remaining.

Newman hit the first of two free throws after being fouled out of the timeout, the toss proving the difference. Austin-East converted on a pair of free tosses with a second left for the final margin.

“We were just looking to take care of the ball and work hard,” Troutt said. “I tried to step up because my team needed me.”

Freshman Tara Shields paced Alcoa with a team-best 14 points, with senior Katie Stubblefield adding 12, the Carson-Newman signee battling foul trouble throughout. Stubblefield collected her fifth with two minutes remaining.

Troutt was next best for Alcoa with nine, including a trey. Freshman post player Jasmine McBrayer added seven, with Newman, along with the winning free throw, finishing with five points and a stunning 18 rebounds.

Anjelique Hyatt led Austin-East with 20 points. Jalan Harper had 17, including a strike from the arc.

Freshman Jasmine McBrayer receives a hard foul.

Tempo, along with the accompanying fouls for both teams, was the theme throughout. The Lady Tornadoes were whistled for 18 infractions, with Stubblefield and fellow senior Tiffanie Moore collecting both their fifth in the closing minutes.

“All year long you preach, ‘You’re going to be in adverse situations and you’re going to be in adverse environments, and you’ve got to play through it,’” Alcoa coach Tonia Johnson said.

Hannah Tate gets up for a shot in the lane.

The Lady Roadrunners were whistled for 23 fouls with two fouling out. Both teams were in the one-on-one bonus with a minute to play in the opening quarter.

The youth movement, Troutt, on a drive down the lane, and McBrayer, with a pair of quarter-ending free throws, lifted Alcoa to a 14-12 lead after one. With Stubblefield and Shields both relegated to the bench with foul trouble for much of the second quarter, Newman and Troutt were largely responsible for a 31-25 Lady Tornado lead at the half.

Throughout, the Lady Roadrunners pushed the pace on both Alcoa made and missed shots alike, taking the ball all the way to the rim if allowed. It was 42-39 Alcoa after three.

Johnson heatedly debated a pair of calls with officials inside the three-minute mark remaining. Stubblefield and Hannah Tate were both fouled beneath the basket, both converting on the shot for what looked plus-one free-throw scenarios.

Both times officials ruled the fouls were committed before the shot, Tate actually rebounding a Stubblefield miss in a perplexing four-point swing the Lady Tornadoes never realized.

Shields connected on a critical 3-pointer at the two-minute mark for a 50-47 lead. Moore, with a free toss at the 56-second mark, then Newman supplied just enough the rest of the way to hold the edge.





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