South-Doyle ended the season for Morristown East’s girls Monday night by pulling away in the final four minutes for a 68-53 triumph on the opening night of the District 2-AAA Tournament at Isenburg-Siler Gymnasium.
The Lady Cherokees led by only five points late in the game before closing with an 11-2 run that made the final score look more one-sided than it actually was.
Terryauna Griffin scored a dozen in the first quarter and pumped in 26 on the night as South-Doyle advances to play Sevier County on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. Morristown West plays Seymour in the opening game at 6 p.m.
Isabella McAnally had a big night for the Lady Cherokees with 15 points while pulling down 17 rebounds. Makayla Pittard also scored 15 as the winners improved to 8-20 for the season. McAnally and Pittard hit three three-point baskets each in the second half.
East was led by Sable Burnside’s 24 points while Megan Winstead contributed a career-high 18.
The loss ended a tough season for the Lady Hurricanes at 11-18.
East started the season without one starter from last year who chose not to play and over the season lost three others as two left the team and another suffered a knee injury.
Coach Michael Potts said, “I was very proud of my girls tonight. We played really hard and did some good things at times. I thought South-Doyle played really well. They shot the ball much better than I had seen them earlier in the year, especially the long ones.
“We had chances to stay in it but the ball didn’t fall our way a couple of times in the fourth quarter. Sable had one that was down in the basket and came back out that would have made it a one-point game at the time I think. But, again, I though we played hard and I felt all the girls were very coachable tonight.”
South-Doyle wound up hitting 9-of-22 from long range on their way to shooting 42.9 percent (24-56) on the night. East connected on 20-of-42 for 47.6 percent. The Lady ‘Canes were 4-of-9 behind the arc.
With McAnally leading the way, the winners had a 39-29 backboard advantage as Makayla Wilkerson added seven rebounds. Burnside grabbed seven stray shots for East.
East held an early 5-3 lead before Griffin scored seven points in less than a minute to put the Lady ‘Kees in front. Noelle Cox and Kierstin Bell had buckets to get the Lady ‘Canes within a point but Pitter hit a short jumper and Griffin close the quarter with a driving basket and a three-point play.
A three by Bell chopped the margin to 18-15 two minutes into the second stanza. It was 22-17 when the Lady ‘Canes reeled off nine straight. Burnside and Winstead hit triples, and then Burnside converted a conventional three-point play to give East a 26-22 advantage. However, South-Doyle had a 10-1 spurt and took a 32-29 lead to the dressing room at halftime. The Lady Cherokees were up 37-33 when Winstead scored and Burnside followed with back-to-back baskets putting East up 39-37.
McAnally hit two straight three’s and Pittard added a third triple and it was suddenly 46-39, and the Lady ‘Canes never fully recovered.
Burnside fired in a trey to get the lead down to 46-42 going to the fourth quarter, but Griffin gunned in a long one for the winners 15 seconds into the period. Burnside made a bucket and then hit a free throw and it was a four-point game with six minutes left.
But, Griffin took the ball to the hoop to score and McAnally nailed another triple. Burnside hit two free throws and Winstead scored with 4:24 left to make it 54-49 and the teams traded baskets before South-Doyle’s closing spree.