JEFFERSON CITY – Morristown East could not have gotten off to a worse start on Friday night against Jefferson County.
While the Lady Hurricanes held the Lady Patriots to six points in the first quarter, Jefferson County did one better, holding Morristown East to zero points.
Morristown East did score in the second quarter, five points, but at that point it was little too late as the Jefferson County offense woke up, defeating the Lady Hurricanes 40-14 at Jefferson County.
“I was really proud of our defense,” Jefferson County coach Rick Sinard said. “We were in position and didn’t give them shots. I thought we guarded them really well. I thought our pressure bothered them. I was certainly pleased with our team. They gave it their all and battled hard.”
Tara Scales came off the bench and led the Lady Patriots with 11 points. With Madee Denton in foul trouble for much of the game, Scales came in and controlled the offense. Makayla Alvey had eight points while Kali McMahan used her size to score seven points down low.
However, it was the defense that set the tone for Jefferson County. Their full-court and high pressure defense never let Morristown East get into a flow for the game. After scoring five in the second quarter to break out of their slump, the Lady Hurricanes went right back into their slump, failing to score in the third quarter as well.
“I think our on ball defense is getting better,” Sinard said. “Our goal is to keep both feet in front of us, keep them out of the lane and I think that we are doing that. We’re learning to rotate better, and we’re trying to block out.”
Sable Burnside led the Lady Hurricanes with six points. Devaisa Kyle, Abbie Creech and Noelle Cox were the only other scorers for Morristown East. While East did get good shots at times, they were not able to knock them down.
“It’s an offensive struggle,” Morristown West coach Michael Potts said. “We have a hard time making shots. We play good enough defense to win games, but we just need to cut some turnovers down and make a few shots.
The first quarter saw Alvey hit the only two field goals of the quarter with McMahan scoring the other two points at the free throw line. After Jefferson County made it 8-0 to start the second quarter, Morristown West finally got on the board with a three-pointer from Kyle.
Burnside hit another bucket with 3:04 left in the quarter for East, but Scales took the game over scoring nine points in the second quarter, including the final seven points of the half. Jefferson County took a 20-5 lead into the half.
The third quarter saw that Lady Patriots defense stiffen up again, out-scoring the Lady Hurricanes 11-0 in the quarter. Morristown East scored nine points in the fourth quarter to the Lady Patriots seven, but the defense had done its job, holding the Lady Hurricanes to their lowest point total of the season.
“Some of the shots we take are really good shots that we take, and some of the times we just don’t take good enough shots to win,” Potts said. “We just have to get better and get our girls to take some shots. We just need to take more shots.”