Staying Focused: Massey, Knight help Heritage fight past Seymour
By Will Estep | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
SEYMOUR — The records were almost the same entering Tuesday and the two teams played to a one-point game back in November, but this time, Heritage led the entire contest on its way to a 48-34 victory at Seymour.
After falling to Lenoir City on Monday night, Heritage showed no signs of fatigue in the early going as the Lady Mountaineers darted out to a 7-0 lead.
Heritage (16-10) was led by Bethany Massey and Kassi Knight with 13 points each. Massey hit a layup and then nailed a 3-pointer with two minutes left in the second quarter to give Heritage a 29-17 advantage on the way to a 32-18 halftime lead.
“We had a rough night (Monday), and they came in focused,” Heritage coach Rick Howard said. “They decided to fight tonight. I thought they did a tremendous job defensively.”
Mariah Flynn led Seymour with 9 points and Victoria Nelson finished up with 6 in the non-district meeting.
“Offensively, she is starting to make some moves,” Seymour coach Brandi Stallings said of Flynn. “I think she is starting to gain some confidence.”
Seymour (16-12) pulled to within 44-34 with 2:30 left in the fourth on a jump shot by Kasey Norman, but Heritage put the game away with scores by Leah Thomas, who finished with eight points, and Knight on a jump shot.
The Lady Mountaineers were without senior Kathryn Pryor for the second straight game, with freshman Katie Wolfe getting the start. Wolfe finished with 4 points and seven rebounds.
“Our freshman Katie Wolfe got seven rebounds, and she stepped up and played great defense tonight,” Howard said. “I thought Bethany Massey, that is the way she was playing at the first of the year before she got hurt, she came out and showed that she could play like that.”
Seymour played even with Heritage in the second half, but could never pull within single digits after the slow start.
“We were very inconsistent,” Stallings said of the first half. “I believe we had 15 or 16 turnovers in the first half. When you do that, it is going to be hard for you to come back and win.”
Seymour 55, Heritage 39
Heritage stayed within striking distance for the first 28 minutes, but Seymour pulled away for a 55-39 home victory in the second meeting of the season between the two teams.
Gunner Gibson led Seymour with 13 points and D.J. Griffin added 12.
Gibson hit a jump shot with five minutes left that gave Seymour a 50-39 lead as the Eagles managed to hold Heritage scoreless the rest of the way.
Seymour (16-11) held Heritage to only 4 fourth-quarter points in total after the Mountaineers fought back.
“They beat us in the third quarter,” Seymour coach Brian Jessie said. “I challenged the guys. They were a little embarrassed with how the third quarter went defensively.”
Luka Stosic led Heritage (1-22) with 11 points and Cody Brimer finished with 8.
Heritage trailed 36-20 at the half, but fought back in the game with a strong third quarter. Brimer hit a 3-pointer late in the third followed up by a long Jordan Bryant 3-pointer to pull closer.
“We had it cut to nine with five minutes left,” Heritage coach Bill Duncan said. “We missed a couple of chances to cut the thing down to seven or five then it would have been a game.”
Nick Sexton finished with 10 points off the bench for Seymour.
HERITAGE 48, LADY EAGLES 34
H 16 16 10 6 — 48
S 9 9 10 6 — 34
HERITAGE (16-10): Bethany Massey 13, Kassi Knight 13, Leah Thomas 8, Jordan Johnson 7, Katie Wolfe 4, Autumn Johnson 3.
SEYMOUR (16-12): Mariah Flynn 9, Victoria Nelson 6, Kasey Norman 5, Lexi Justus 3, Caroline Ford 2, Mikayla Harris 2, Hannah Schrimpsher 2, Reid Ballard 2, Payton King 2, Cheyenne King 1.
3-POINTERS: Heritage 4 (Massey 2, Jordan Johnson, Autumn Johnson); Seymour 0.
EAGLES 55, HERITAGE 39
H 12 8 15 4 — 39
S 18 18 11 8 — 55
HERITAGE (1-22): Luka Stosic 11, Cody Brimer 8, Jesse Huff 7, Jordan Bryant 6, Hunter Bailey 4, Matt Davis 3.
SEYMOUR (16-11): Gunner Gibson 13, D.J. Griffin 12, Nick Sexton 10, Peyton Lee 6, Ethan Parks 4, Jake McBrayer 3, Braxton Dockery 3, Douglas Maples 2, Matt Dupes 2.
3-POINTERS: Heritage 2 (Stosic, Brimer); Seymour 1 (Dockery).