Taming the Cougars
Freshman ‘Canes rally to drop Northview 61-56
Morristown East freshman Tanner Coley (23) goes up for a shot against Northview Academy Thursday night at East.
For a half, Morristown East freshmen basketball coach Corey McGinnis had his team slow the pace and play a more conservative style. When that didn’t work, he took the reigns off and the Hurricanes responded for a big home win over Northview Academy.
The ‘Canes trailed by 10 at halftime, but they steadily picked away at the deficit in the second half before taking a late lead and holding on for a 61-56 victory inside Isenberg-Siler Gymnasium.
“We wanted to slow it down in the first half, but it didn’t work out so well for us,” McGinnis said. “In the second half, we adjusted and picked up the pace and played much better. We kind of had to slow it down initially because we were playing shorthanded, but when we started running in the second half, we were able to get into a better flow and find a way to win.”
East jumped on the Cougars from the opening tip, with Tanner Coley scoring 4 quick points and Dylan Noe adding a bucket to give East a 6-1 lead. However, the remainder of the period and the half belonged to the visitors from Kodak.
Northview went on a 14-0 run, spearheaded by 4 points each from Andy Loy and Adam Hickman and 3 points apiece from Haiden McGee and Dawson Satterfield, before Coley hit two free throws at the end of the period to cut the Cougars lead to 15-8 entering the second frame.
Northview continued to pick up steam in the second period, as Hickman opened with a free throw before buckets by Satterfield and Loy built the lead to 20-8 and prompted a timeout from McGinnis.
The ‘Canes got baskets from Sean Lindsey and Hunter Blanken after the break, but a pair of 3-pointers from McGee helped push the lead back to double digits.
East could not get the margin closer than 8 points the rest of the half, and two free throws from Satterfield in the final minute gave the Cougars a 31-21 halftime advantage.
McGee kept the hot hand in the third, scoring the first bucket and adding a 3-pointer and a layup to make it 42-30 with 3:13 left in the quarter. The ‘Canes began to heat up at that point, getting a pair of jumpers from Keegan Glenn on consecutive trips down the floor and a runner from Blanken to cut the deficit to 46-41. Lindsey nailed two free throws in the final seconds, making it 48-45 entering the final frame.
East pulled within 2 points on a pair of occasions in the middle of the fourth, both on made layups by Noe, but Cade Barnes hit a layup with 2:18 remaining to make it 55-51. Blanken finally got the lead to a single point by converting a 3-point play seconds later, and he put the ‘Canes ahead 56-55 by converting a steal by Coley into a layup with 1:50 on the clock.
The Cougars tied it on a free throw by Satterfield, and they had two chances to retake the lead but misfired on free throws both times. East grabbed the lead again with 46.6 seconds left on a pair of free throws from Noe, and he added two more free tosses with 28 seconds to go to extend the lead to 60-56. Blanken knocked down a free throw and came up with a steal to help seal the victory.
Noe and Coley had 15 points each to pace the ‘Canes in the win, while Blanken and Lindsey both added 13 in the contest.
McGee led Northview with 17 points, while Loy tallied 14 and Satterfield added 13 in the loss.
Lady ‘Canes freshmen claim 49-40 home win
Morristown East freshman Macy Walker (21) guards Northview Academy’s Kaitlyn Strange (10) Thursday night at East.
The Morristown East freshman girls spent three quarters building up a big lead before seeing it dwindle away quickly in the fourth quarter. Feeling a change in momentum and the game slipping away, Lady Hurricanes coach Rhonda Utt needed an answer.
She got it in the final four minutes of the contest, as East closed with an 8-0 run to win 49-40 over Northview Academy inside Isenberg-Siler Gymnasium Thursday night.
“We did a great job of closing it out,” Utt said. “It got a little nerve-wracking there for a few minutes, but you realize they are freshmen and mistakes will be made. Fortunately for us, we were able to make some plays down the stretch to get the win.”
The Lady ‘Canes got off to a quick start, as Madison Bunch and Macy Walker each hit 3-pointers in the opening two minutes for a 6-0 lead. The advantage moved to 12-4 on a bucket from Savannah Foster before the Lady Cougars rallied to trim the deficit to 14-13 after one period.
“I thought we did a good job in the first quarter of getting open looks, coming off of screens and finding spaces to get looks,” Utt said. “We let them get some looks and convert in the second quarter, but we closed that quarter strong.”
Northview took the lead early in the second frame but saw East tie it twice on a free throw from Erin Click and a bucket by Krista Felknor. The Lady Cougars took a 4-point lead before a 3-pointer from Foster cut Northview’s halftime lead to 23-22.
The Lady ‘Canes didn’t waste time jumping back on top in the third, as a bucket by Carissa Dennison put them ahead less than 20 seconds into the half. Additional buckets from Click, Felknor and Walker helped push the advantage to 31-23 before the Lady Cougars scored midway through the third.
After two straight baskets by Northview looked to get them back in the game, Felknor responded with a bucket and Bunch nailed another 3-pointer to help East take a 38-29 lead into the fourth period.
The Lady Cougars got back in it in the final eight minutes behind the play of Kaitlyn Strange. Strange scored 9 points in an 11-3 run to cut the margin to 41-40 before the Lady ‘Canes put it away. Felknor made a bucket before a free throw from Bunch and a field goal from Foster to push the lead to 46-40. Walker and Dennison put the finishing touches on the win by hitting free throws in the final minute.
Click led the Lady Hurricanes with 11 points, while Felknor added 10, Foster and Bunch both had 7 and Walker chipped in 6 points in the win.
Strange led Northview with 28 points in the contest, as only 4 players scored for the Lady Cougars. Emma Loy added 6 points in the loss.
-By Matt Daniels, Tribune Sports Editor