KNOXVILLE – The phrase “one woman team” has never been more accurate than it was Friday night between Jeff County and South-Doyle.
Boasting one of the best players in the conference on their roster, South-Doyle utilized Terryauna Griffin about as much as they possibly could in the first half. Griffin scored all of the Lady Cherokees 21 points in the half as they held a three-point lead over the Lady Patriots.
Then, Alexa Gramann stepped in.
Sidelined with foul trouble for much of the first half, Gramann came out defending Griffin in the second half. With Gramann on her, Griffin was held to six points in the second half and fouled out of the game. With this momentum, Jeff County held the Lady Cherokees scoreless in the fourth quarter, going on for a 37-29 victory.
“I told Alexa that if she doesn’t have the ball, don’t let her get it,” Jeff County coach Jeremy Byrd said. “Make her get rid of it and don’t let her get it back. The rest of them did a good job on their girls. She killed us but we hung tough.”
With the win, Jefferson County remains with just a lone loss in the district as they enter a big week.
On Monday, the Lady Patriots play a make-up game against Morristown West on the road and then take on Sevier County at home, the only team in the district to take down Jeff County this season.
“I hope we’ll be ready,” Byrd said. “Morristown West has gotten better recently. They’re going to see that score tonight and really come in believing and thinking they could beat us. We’ll have to play well.”
The Lady Patriots were led in the game by Kali McMahan with 15 points, five coming in the fourth quarter. Tara Scales had eight points as well while MaKenzie Alvey added five.
It was a slow start for both teams as just a combined 13 points were scored and every point was scored by two players. Griffin had seven for South-Doyle while McMahan had six for the Lady Patriots.
The offense ticked up a little in the second quarter as South-Doyle led for the entirety. Griffin had 14 in the quarter, hitting three 3-pointers. Jeff County remained close and two free throws by Alvey and a Samaura Shannon basket made it a three-point game at the break.
Coming out of the locker room, Jeff County still struggled and trailed by seven midway through after a Griffin three. But the Lady Patriots stayed close and a Scales three made it a four-point game after three.
Then, the Lady Patriots attacked. McMahan hit a shot and then Scales gave Jeff County their first lead since the 1:34 mark of the first quarter when she hit a three with 6:10 to go.
The run continued when McMahan hit a shot and then a foul and technical fouled Griffin out of the game with five minutes to go.
With Griffin out, Jeff County never fully took control but did enough to win by nine thanks in large part to their defense.
“Our defensive ability is there, it always has been, but I am struggling to pull it out of them at times,” Byrd said. “South-Doyle controlled the whole first half. I just figured we had to do something, and we did in the fourth.”