TA Dugger teams fall short in sectional birth bids

Published 5:09 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

By Ron Marvel
Star Correspondent
Both the boy’s and girl’s teams played Thursday night in their respective consolations games of the Area 1 Middle School Tournament, with the girls playing Indian Trail and the boys playing Ross Robinson. This year’s tournament was hosted by John Sevier Middle School in Kingsport, a victory in the consolation game would guarantee either team a trip to Knoxville and a sectional game.
Girls – Indian Trail 36, TA Dugger 30
In a game that was a one-to-two possession type game, the Lady Cyclones kept it close throughout, tying the game up several times but never quite getting over the hump. Cyclones Molly Wallin would jump-start her team by scoring the first points of the game just to see Indian Trail respond by hitting back-to-back jumpers and then Lady Hawk Khloe Sommers would hit a three-pointer to give Indian Trail a five-point lead going into the second period. Reagen May would hit a one-handed layup after a Wallin steal to tie the game up at 15 before a 5-0 run by the Lady Hawks would send the Lady Cyclones down 20-16 at the break.
The third period would see the Lady Cyclones have a number of opportunities to gain momentum but their inability to finish near the rim and hit free throws would hurt their comeback attempts. The Lady Cyclones would shoot 37% from the free-throw line on the day.
The final period would once again see the Cyclones get close several times, cutting the Hawks lead down to 30-28 at the 3:14 mark after a Wallin jump shot and 32-30 at the 1:25 mark after a couple of free-throws by Wallin. But unlike their counterparts, the Lady Hawks would hit their free throws when it counted, going 7/8 from the line in a key stretch, torching any attempt for a final Lady Cyclones push. Wallin would score 20 points and grab nine rebounds on the day to pace her team, while Jacy Shell would chip in five and also be named to the Area 1 All-Tournament team to boot. After the game, Coach Fox summed up how he thinks this team would be remembered: “this is a special bunch of girls; I know Coach Andrews is going to like this bunch; they are fighters and work so hard, so much heart and resilience they never give up they want to compete.”
Boys – Ross Robinson 59 TA Dugger 30
Coach Billy Etter talked pregame about what it would take to upset the 19-1 Ross Robinson Redskins. Coach Etter knew with their height and speed,  boxing out and ball security would be of the utmost importance for the first period. Things couldn’t have gone to script better; after an Isiah Adams jumper and a Bray Britt floater, the Cyclones ended the period trailing by one point, 14-13. Unfortunately, this is where their story goes south as a 21-0 second-period run by the Redskins put TA Dugger into a halftime deficit of 35-13. The Cyclones would not give up as they continued to battle, cutting the lead under 20 points after a Cayson Blair three-pointer but would get no closer on the day. Coach Etter would empty his bench during the fourth period previewing what next year’s team could look like.
Isaiah Adams finished the day with seven points on the day and was also named to the Area 1 All-Tournament; Britt and Chambers would both chip in six points. Coach Etter reflected on his 2023 team shortly after the game “you know today is on me. We have to do a better job teaching kids to move without the ball, but this group will get after you. They are athletic and play multiple sports Elizabethton will be in good hands with this group.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox