On a night when baskets weren’t easy to come by for either team, Morristown West’s girls turned in an outstanding defensive effort on its way to a 37-21 victory over Sevier County Friday night at Michael R. Reed Gymnasium.
The Lady Trojans scored only 14 points in the first half but still led by seven in improving to 6-2 for the season. They are now 2-1 in Inter Mountain Conference action and tied for second place with the Bearettes.
Sevier County fell to 3-4 overall.
Hannah Seals tossed in nine points to lead the West attack on three 3-point baskets. Lexi Howard added eight while Nina Lovelace and Alycia Ewing chipped in seven apiece.
The Bearettes’ Amanda Clabo was the only player in the game to reach double figures as she scored 10. However, she didn’t have a teammate with more than three.
West’s defense allowed only one basket in the first half in grabbing the lead and then gave up just one in the final period as they pulled steadily away for the win.
“I thought we had a lot better effort than we did at Cocke County (a 41-28 loss) on Tuesday,” said Coach Johnny Galyon. “I thought we came out and played really hard.
“Our focus tonight was to compete and not worry so much about the final results although we got the result we wanted,” he added. “But if you compete well enough, most of the time you get a good result.”
Galyon said, “All of our kids played hard. I thought Nina Lovelace had a good game and Hannah Seals kind of controlled the game for us.
“Neither team shot very well but I’d like to think our defense had a lot to do with their shooting,” he said. “We challenged the girls to play better tonight and I think they definitely responded.”
West got over half of its points from behind the three-point line, making 7 of 15. The coach said, “We’ve got some kids who can shoot it when they concentrate and focus.
“I was proud of my girls tonight. That’s probably the second best team in the conference we beat.”
The Lady Trojans wound up hitting 13-of-40 from the floor for 32.5 percent, but the Bearettes were even colder, managing just 6-of-36 for 16.7 percent. The visitors were 1-of-13 behind the arc and that one came on the final bucket of the game.
West controlled the boards, 33-25, as Lovelace and Seals grabbed seven each and Ewing six. Emma Huskey grabbed seven stray shot for the Bearettes.
Ewing’s basket gave West a 2-0 lead and that held up until Clabo got the visitors on the board with 15 seconds left in the first quarter. However, Lovelace hit a three at the buzzer and the Lady Trojans led the rest of the way.
Clabo made a pair of charity tosses to open the second quarter but Howard, Seals and Ewing hit three’s as West scored the next nine points. Mackenna Loveday hit a free throw with 1:49 left in the half and Clabo added two more to make it 14-7 at intermission.
Another basket by Clabo with 3:49 left in the third got the Bearettes within 18-13 but Lovelace made a bucket and Seals drained a three to give the Lady Trojans a 23-14 spread after three periods.
After Shilah Whaley scored first for the Bears in the fourth, West ran off 12 straight for its biggest lead. Seals and Howard had three’s to highlight the spurt.
Lakeway Christian 68 Grace Christian 34
Led by Maggie Vick, the Lakeway Christian Lady Lions picked up a big win over Grace Christian on Friday night.
Vick had 17 points and six rebounds for the Lady Lions. Jordaynia Ivie had 13 points while Rebeka Kin had 11 points and six steals.
Lakeway will be back in action on Monday as they travel to take on The King’s Academy. That game tips at 6 p.m.