Blount Press Row

No Paradise By The Dashboard Lights

Long night at district finals equals long ride home for Alcoa

Alcoa’s Kenny Dean and Stone Memorial’s Tyler Yoder battle for the ball Tuesday night. Photos by Jolanda Jansma

“It was long ago. It was far away. It was so much better than it is today.”Meat Loaf

By Stefan Cooper
Editor
Blount Press Row

Kingston – Lost them both.

Hannah Troutt brings the ball into frontcourt.

First Alcoa’s Lady Tornadoes then the Tornadoes fell in back-to-back District 4AA championship games Tuesday night at Kingston.

Christian Academy of Knoxville stymied the Lady Tornadoes’ patient, quick-passing offense into a terrible night shooting, holding off an Alcoa fourth-quarter rush for a 50-41 win.

Tiffanie Moore wheels on Christian Academy's Anna Hammaker.

Stone Memorial beat up on the Tornadoes’ full-court press all night long, finishing things at the free-throw line in the final minute to take the boys’ championship game by a 61-54 margin.

Both Alcoa teams play host to Region 2AA quarterfinal games this weekend. The Lady Tornadoes host Austin-East on Friday. The Tornadoes follow on Saturday against Gibbs.

Lady Warrior sophomore and tournament most valuable player Cheyenne Hooper had a big night inside, the 6-foot-6 center equaling guard Anna Hammaker for game-high honors with 15 points. Kelsey Naler added 10 for Christian Academy.

A trio of Lady Tornadoes – Katie Stubblefield, Tara Shields, Tiffanie Moore – finished with nine points. The backcourt tandem of Kayla Newman and Hannah Troutt had five each.

Hannah Tate works her way to the basket.

Alcoa struggled with a 16-of-64 night shooting from the field. That withstanding, the Lady Warriors slowed the Lady Tornadoes’ shot frequency to a crawl during critical stretches with a zone designed to limit Stubblefield, a Carson-Newman signee, and Shields, a slick-shooting freshman, from the perimeter.

“I felt like we were pretty stagnant tonight,” Alcoa coach Tonia Johnson said, “not a lot of movement. We weren’t communicating well or running our offense really well. It was just a poor shooting night. We didn’t put ourselves into position to be successful.”

Christian Academy held modest leads through every quarter, 11-9 after one, 23-18 at the half and 37-30 after three.

Troutt helped Alcoa find the soft spot in the Christian Academy zone with a second-quarter 3, one Shields and then Moore exploited with less than a minute to play. The previous three quarters had simply been too telling, Johnson said.

As fast as the Tornadoes like to play, the Panthers seemed to want to go even faster in an up-tempo attack where shooting 3s off the break worked their crowd into a frenzy. Alcoa proved its own worse enemy as Stone Memorial repeatedly shot layups out of the back of the Tornado press.

In a fourth-quarter surge, Panther forward Justin Simmons got loose for a two-handed dunk.

Brenden Teeter guards Stone Memorial's Justin Simmons.

Kenny Dean showed off his high-scoring floor game to the tune of a game-high 19 points, including a 3, but the Tornado senior battled foul trouble throughout. Perimeter threat Nick Miller dropped in 17 for Alcoa.

Simmons set the pace for the Panthers with 16, with Brock Sloan pumping in 14, including a pair of treys. Tyler Yoder and Luke Matthews made it four for Stone Memorial in double figures with 11 each.

A race-horse pace saw the Panthers edge to leads of 17-12 after a quarter of play and 29-24 at the half. Taking the ball to the basket and shooting free throws pulled the Tornadoes within 39-33 with two minutes to play in the third before a Stone Memorial spurt widened the margin to nine by the end of the frame.

At the five-minute mark of the fourth, Dean collected his fourth foul. Miller pickd up the scoring, but the Simmons dunk a minute later fired the Panthers to close it out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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