Kimble, Maryville outlast Alcoa
By David Cobb | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The boy’s rendition of Alcoa-Maryville didn’t have the climatic overtime finish that the girl’s game which preceded it did, but it wasn’t without its share of drama.
The Rebels made 17 of 23 free throws in the fourth quarter, including 10 of 10 from point guard John Garrett, to escape with a 65-55 senior night victory over neighboring Alcoa.
The Tornadoes slowly plugged away at an early 10-point Maryville lead, tying the score at 50-50 on a Malik Love layup with 4:28 to play.
From there, 13 of the Rebels final 15 points came at the charity stripe and Alcoa went cold from the outside as its effort to avenge an earlier 25-point loss to Maryville came up short.
“We kind of ran out of gas, but Maryville had a lot to do with it,” Alcoa coach Tony Jones told The Daily Times. “They took the ball to the basket. They were really aggressive doing that, and we started taking jump shots and that’s not our strength.”
The strength for Alcoa on the night was the play of Kenny Dean and Peyton Wall. The two combined to net 42 points.
Wall scored nine of his 16 in the second quarter as Alcoa climbed its way back, proving that it had no plans to let Maryville have an easy Senior Night.
“We knew we would get Alcoa’s best,” Maryville coach Mark Eldridge said. “We got them down at their place by more than 20. But there’s just so much pride in Alcoa so we knew it would be a fight like it typically is.”
Alcoa began dictating the pace in the second quarter in tandem with Wall’s offensive explosion.
Jones’ team played at the speed that its nickname suggests, utilizing the trapping full-court defense that UT so often ran when Jones was an assistant for the Vols under Bruce Pearl.
The pressure forced Maryville into a pair of five-second violations.
“They’re a very, very good jump shooting team, probably one of the best in the area,” Jones said. “And we thought that if we could fatigue them, we could maybe steal the game in the fourth quarter.”
But the Rebels were able to adjust in the second half.
Alcoa was poised to follow Jones plan of stealing the game late when T.J. Kimble re-entered the game despite having four fouls with 4:36 to go.
He attacked the rim on three consecutive possessions, converting on 4 of 6 free throws as a result, as he gave Maryville the cushion it needed to pull away.
“T.J. decided he knew what he wanted to do,” Eldridge said. “He took it to the rack three straight possessions and I thought him doing that allowed everybody else to say ‘Hey, we’re playing to win — not to not lose.’”
For Kimble, Clark McCall, Bryan Landers, Adrian Page and Nick Myers the game signified the last regular-season home game.
A packed house and a victory over their cross-town rival obliged to make it a special night for them and Eldridge.
“Great atmosphere, this is something special that they’ll always remember,” Eldridge said. “It was two teams playing in a cross-county rivalry, and it was a great night for high school basketball.”
Maryville has two byes to start the District-4AAA tournament that begins Tuesday at Heritage.
Alcoa awaits the completion of make-up games before it knows when its postseason will begin.
“I’m happy my kids came in and played hard,” Jones said. “We’ve been playing well and this game will set us up really well for the district tournament.”
MARYVILLE 65, ALCOA 55
A 8 18 16 13 – 55
M 16 14 14 21 – 65
ALCOA (14-11): Peyton Wall 16, Malik Love 6, Kenny Dean 26, Brandon Teeter 5, Niko White 2.
MARYVILLE (22-7): Clark McCall 13, Grant Wilson 2, John Garrett 18, T.J. Kimble 11, Bryan Landers 8, Issac Edmiston 11, Nick Myers 2.
3-POINTERS: Alcoa 6 (Wall 3, Dean 3); Maryville 2 (McCall, Landers).