Blount Press Row

Building a Dynasty

Carpenters defends Blount County championship in overtime thriller
Driver's Portrait Photography
Carpenters guard Destiny Haworth attempts the entry pass against Maryville’s Katie Cunningham in the Blount County championship game on Thursday. Photo by Keith Driver

By Stefan Cooper
Editor
Blount Press Row

Mom played college ball.

Dad played college ball.

The kid?

What else?

Clutch.

Carpenters Jenna Kallenberg drives the baseline against Maryville's Sarah Satterfield. The two middle school stars will be heard from in a hurry at the next level.

Carpenters Jenna Kallenberg drives the baseline as Maryville’s Sarah Satterfield defends. The two middle school stars will be heard from in a hurry at the next level.

The Carpenters Middle Lady Cougars held off the host Maryville Junior High Lady Rebels, 50-45, in an overtime thriller in the championship game of the East Tennessee Middle School Basketball Tournament on Thursday.

Maryville’s Grayson Patterson sent the game to overtime with a 3-pointer in front of the Lady Rebel bench with 10 seconds to play in regulation, but the defending champs didn’t panic.

“I just tried to let them know we’ve still got three minutes left,” Carpenters coach Casey Haworth said.

The contest then turned for good on a pivotal decision by Carpenters’ Destiny Haworth, the coach’s daughter, with less than a minute to play.

Working the ball right of the key, the Lady Cougars guard noticed teammate Kendyl Tillie unattended beneath the Maryville basket. Carpenters held a 47-45 lead at the time.

Over on the Carpenters bench, Casey Haworth, a former standout shooting guard at Maryville College, was looking to run some clock.

With Destiny’s mom, Whitney Williamson Haworth, also a former dead-eye shooting guard at MC, there’s a lot of basketball knowledge in the family. Backing the ball out was probably the percentage play.

“Yeah, but she was wide open,” Destiny said.

When you raise them right …

Destiny went with her gut and made the pass. Tillie converted.

“I saw an open area and I just flashed there,” she said.

The Lady Cougars Kendyl Tillie makes her move at the foul line. Defending is the Lady Rebels' Taylor West. At right is Grayson Patterson.

The Lady Cougars Kendyl Tillie makes her move at the foul line. Defending is the Lady Rebels’ Taylor West. At right is Grayson Patterson.

The four-point margin it produced with 25 seconds remaining gave Carpenters the breathing room it needed to get home.

Tillie and Haworth combined on the finishing stroke, but there’s little question who got the Lady Cougars there.

Point guard Jenna Kallenberg paced Carpenters with a team-best 16 points, including a 3. A converted post, Kallenberg has the size, ball handling, court awareness and shooting touch to play right away at the high school level.

A basketball machine the last three seasons, the defending champion Lady Cougars also got nine points from Emma Harig, seven from Brenna Ridge, six from Jazz Ervin and four from Aliya Vananda.

“They did a good job taking it inside and using their advantage in size,” Maryville coach Matt Fowler said.

Several Lady Rebels will be heard from early on the high school stage as well, most notably sharpshooter Sarah Satterfield, who pumped in three 3-pointers en route to a game-high 17.

Katie Cunningham joined Satterfield in double figures with 12, including a trey, with Macy Burchfield going for nine, Patterson five and Taylor West two.

Little separated the two teams through three quarters, Carpenters holding a 30-24 advantage to start the fourth. Quickly opening the lead to 12, the Lady Cougars threatened to put it away early before Maryville stormed back.

“Coach told us they were working harder than us,” Kallenberg said.

The Patterson strike was well-taken, nothing but strings.

In the extra session, Carpenters powered away on the glass to regain control.

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