First quarter deficit too much for Lady Patriots to overcome

Jefferson County’s MaKenzie Alvery (21) goes up for a shot against Northview Academy on Thursday night.

DANDRIDGE – Despite a valiant comeback, the Jefferson County girls basketball team couldn’t overcome a 19-point first quarter deficit on Thursday night, falling to Northview Academy 46-34 for the second time this season.

For the first time all season, the Lady Patriots seemed lost at times on the court as Northview broke out to a 22-3 lead after the first quarter. However, Jefferson County fought back, getting the lead down to one in the third quarter. But the Lady Cougars put the game away in the fourth quarter.

“It was very disappointing to see our start to the game,” Jefferson County coach Rick Sinard said. “I was disappointed because we didn’t come out and compete early. We didn’t come out and get things done early and let them dictate.”

With the loss, Jefferson County finishes out the regular season with a 21-5 record. The Lady Patriots will be the one seed in the District Tournament which starts next week at Morristown East.

Jeff County was led in the game by Madee Denton and Alexa Gramann who had nine points apiece. Cayla Smith added six.

With Makayla Alvey out, it was another Alvey, her sister MaKenzie, who had to step up for the Lady Patriots. Makenzie Alvey had four points, coming off the bench and providing key minutes. With postseason play beginning next week, The Lady Patriots will need Alvey and others to step up off the bench to provide key minutes.

“She played a lot of minutes tonight, and I was real happy for her,” SInard said. “I thought she did an excellent job. She played well. That gave me a lot of confidence in her tonight to put her out on the floor.”

With the win, Northview Academy finishes their season with a 25-3 record. The Lady Cougars were led in the game by Campbell Penland who had 22 points. Sierra Bates added nine points.

The game got off to about as bad of start for Sinard and the Lady Patriots as could be on Thursday night.

Northview scored the first 16 points of the game and led 22-3 at the end of the first quarter. The only points in the quarter for Jeff County came from Gramann. Two minutes into the game, Sinard tried to switch things up, substituting his whole starting fine, but it was to no avail.

However, the team that came out on the court for the second quarter was a completely different Jeff County team. The Lady Patriots were the aggressor, scoring the first eight points of the quarter and out-scored the Lady Cougars 19-4 in the quarter. Denton had eight points in the quarter, and a three at the halftime buzzer from Smith made it 26-22 at the half.

“In the second quarter, we became the more aggressive team,” Sinard said. “We made a run, and we could have went ahead. I felt like we were getting good shots, but I also felt like it was a panic shot, instead of reversing the ball.”

The run for Jefferson County continued to start the third quarter on another Smith that made it 26-25. The Lady Patriots got the lead down to one again three minutes later, but Northview ended the quarter on a 6-2 run to lead by five after three.

Any chance of a comeback was put to bed at the start of the fourth quarter as the Lady Cougars opened on a 6-0 run. Jefferson County never got the deficit to single digits again as Northview cruised to the win.

Jefferson County will have a week off before their next game, getting a double-bye in the District Tournament for being the number one seed.

“We have a whole week now,” Sinard said. “We just have to come focused and ready to practice now. Everybody is 0-0 now, and we have to be ready to play.”