Lady Trojans cannot upset No.1 team in IMAC Sevier County

Nina Lovelace (12) of West floats the ball up over a Sevier County player in Friday’s IMAC matchup between the two.

SEVIERVILLE – Mistakes plagued the Morristown West girls’ basketball team Friday night in a 48-32 district loss to Sevier County.

The Lady Trojans hung with the Lady Bearettes for the first half and trailed by just six points going into the locker room. Coming out, Sevier County went cold from the field and didn’t score for the first five minutes of the third quarter.

However, neither did West.

The Lady Trojans missed their first 10 shots of the quarter and never could recover, falling to 4-3 on the year and 3-2 in district play.

The first five minutes of the third quarter it was 26-20,” Morristown West coach Johnny Galyon said. “We had at least four or five layups we missed. That took our energy from us. I thought we competed; we just didn’t make the plays. We’re fine, I think we can play with anyone in the conference.”

The Lady Trojans were led by Nina Lovelace who had 13 points. Lovelace made three 3-pointers in the corner in the first half. Lexi Howard added eight while Aviah Bunsic had six.

While they did have just 32 points, their second lowest total of the year, it wasn’t because of a lack of open looks. The Lady Trojans ran their offense flawlessly at times but just couldn’t finish at the rim.

That’s what we expect (having open looks),” Galyon said. “Against that zone, we had the right plan in the first half. I am proud of our kids. We just have to make the easy ones. We missed a lot of easy ones.”

It didn’t start off well for the Lady Trojans as they fell behind 6-1 early. However, West responded as Lovelace hit a three and made two free throws to make it 8-6. But the offense disappeared after that and Sevier County led 16-6 after one.

In the second, it was a timeout that sparked the Lady Trojans offense after they fell behind 21-9. Coming out of the timeout, Aviah Bunsic and Howard each hit 3-pointers. The two teams went back and forth after that and a tough shot from Jaylyn McDaniel to end the half made it 26-20.

That’s when the offensive struggle began though as the first points of the third quarter weren’t scored until the 3:21 mark on two free throws. West managed to immediately answer back with a Howard layup. But after that, the shots began to fall for Sevier County who made back-to-back three’s to push the lead to 11 after three.

In the fourth, Morristown West could never get back into the game as the offense continued to struggle, missing open looks.

Morristown West will be back in action on Tuesday at home taking on Jefferson County, Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. It will be another test for a young Morristown West team, a team that Galyon said is improving every day.

I think we’re getting better from the first game to now,” Galyon said. “There’s not as many uncontested turnovers. You’re looking at kids who were playing in eighth grade last year and kids who never got on the varsity floor. It’s going to take a little time. We beat a good East team Tuesday night, we competed against a good Sevier County team tonight and will do that again on Tuesday against Jefferson County.”