They’re no Warriors: CAK outfights Alcoa boys in overtime
By Gabriel Garcia | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The offensive rebounds off missed free throws Alcoa gave up to the Christian Academy of Knoxville in overtime told coach Tony Jones what he needed to know about how his boys measured up.
The Warriors, thanks to their late hustle on the offensive glass, scored the last five points of the extra period from the charity stripe, quelling the Tornadoes, 57-50, Monday at Alcoa High School for their second District 4-AA loss.
“They are a tougher team than we are,” Jones said about CAK. “They wanted the game more than we did, and it showed in multiple opportunities. We talked about checking out. We talked about being physical and imposing our will, and we didn’t do it.
“We are not a tough team.”
For that matter, Alcoa (8-8, 2-2 District 4-AA) couldn’t hit enough of its own free throws to keep up with the Warriors. As Dylan Keck and Brett Kendrick scored CAK’s first four points of overtime, Alcoa’s Brendan Teeter and Malik Love could only muster two made free throws out of their combined six attempts.
With the Warriors’ lead 52-50, Kendrick bricked both shots of a double bonus opportunity, but CAK (7-7, 3-1) crashed the offensive board, and Kendrick again found himself at the foul line. This time, the center — a Tennessee commit as an offensive lineman in football — hit the first of his next two to stretch the Warriors’ lead to three.
Kendrick missed the second toss, but CAK again outfought Alcoa to the rebound, and Oteriah Lee, who led all scorers with 21 points, nailed all four of his last foul shots to put the game out of reach.
“The guys made plays,” said CAK coach Shane Wells. “We could’ve quit. They didn’t, and they all made plays. Not just one. All of them.”
The Tornadoes went 13-of-21 at the foul line in their loss, but Peyton Wall hit the two shots that sent the game into overtime tied at 48-48 — ironically after Lee failed to convert on a 3-point play following his go-ahead driving layup in the last minute of regulation.
CAK came out on fire to start the contest, scoring the first nine points over 2:30. The Tornadoes did manage to steady themselves and end the first quarter behind only 13-10, but they still played catch-up the entire first half. Daniel Brimer’s trey at the halftime buzzer kept the Tornadoes down only 28-24 heading into the lockers, and it was Brimer who also gave Alcoa its first lead of the game less than three minutes into the third quarter on a 3-point play.
Wall led the Tornadoes with 12 points, with Teeter scoring 10 and Brimer 9.
Lady T’S 42, CAK 32
By now, the Alcoa girls are used to facing off against teams with a clear height advantage. That experience paid off for perhaps the Lady Tornadoes’ biggest win of the season in a clash of District 4-AA unbeatens.
Katie Stubblefield keyed the attack for Alcoa (10-6, 4-0 District 4-AA), scoring 13 points doing a little of everything including hitting the offensive glass, driving inside and moving off the ball into gaps in CAK’s defense for the mid-range jumper. Hannah Tate scored eight points inside for the Lady Tornadoes against CAK’s much taller frontcourt — including the 6-foot-6 Cheyenne Hooper.
“They did a great job finding the gaps and the weak-side boards,” said Alcoa coach Tonia Johnson. “And Hannah Tate — especially in her last few games — has done a phenomenal job on defense against mismatches. And I think that goes unrecognized at times.”
But in the end, it was Tara Shields’ 3-pointer, followed by a steal and deuce by Hannah Troutt that put the Lady Warriors (11-5, 3-1) in the rear view mirror in the last four minutes, expanding what was an uneasy 36-32 advantage into the final margin.
Meanwhile, CAK committed five turnovers in the final quarter, as Alcoa’s defense and ball control dictated the game. Lady Warriors point guard Anna Hammaker led all scorers with 14 points, but defensively Alcoa limited the damage she could do.
Alcoa hosts Maryville Thursday for the hardwood version of the Six Mile rivalry, with the girls tipping off the evening at 6 p.m.