Turnabout’s fair play: Maryville drops rematch to Sevier County
By Grant Ramey | (email@example.com)
When Maryville and Sevier County last met on the basketball court, it was the streaking Rebels stopping a rolling and undefeated Smoky Bears team.
The two teams played role reversal Monday night at Maryville.
Devin Schmidt paced Sevier County (16-2) with 30 points — accounting for 19 of Sevier County’s 21 fourth-quarter points — as the Smoky Bears erased what was as much as a 22-point Maryville lead for a come-from-behind 65-63 win.
Clark McCall led three Rebels in double-figures with 11 points. Both John Garrett and TJ Kimble, who left the game in the fourth quarter after suffering a concussion, had 10 points each for Maryville (13-2).
“I think it was more of what we didn’t do,” Maryville coach Mark Eldridge said of Sevier County’s rally, which started with a 26-point second quarter after being outscored 18-2 by Maryville in the first.
That, too, is when Maryville reversed its own role, moving away from Eldridge’s preferred style of play — patient possessions that find the high-percentage shot.
“They started pressing us — and they’re a good team. They’re going to make shots,” Eldridge said. “We, for about eight or 10 possessions, didn’t share the basketball. We came down and took quick shots.
“A team like Sevier County wants you to take quick shots because they love getting in rhythm. I was disappointed in the fact that we chose to play their style.”
The Maryville lead grew to as much as 27-5 early in the second period before Sevier County closed the 26-point quarter by outscoring the Rebels 23-7 and cutting the Maryville advantage down to 34-28 going into halftime.
“When we played their style, they made a run,” Eldridge said. “We held to about six at half, came back, bumped it back up in the third or early in the fourth. When they made their run again, the exact same thing happened again.”
Maryville’s 7-2 run to start the second half built the lead back to 41-32, but Sevier County kept pressing, eventually tying the game at 51-all with an 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter.
The Smoky Bears took the lead for good with a pair of free throws from Schmidt following an intentional foul called on Nick Myers.
Kimble cut Sevier County’s lead down to one at 59-58 on a lay-up over Schmidt, who was called for a block, with just over two minutes left. But Kimble landed hard and left the game with what was eventually diagnosed as a concussion.
Eldridge said Kimble could miss “a couple weeks” with the injury as Maryville prepares for the stretch run of the post-Christmas schedule.
The loss snaps Maryville’s 10-game win streak, dating back to the Rebels’ last loss, a 79-61 defeat against Ooltewah on Nov. 27.
Eldridge said the loss, just over two weeks removed from Maryville 54-44 win over a then-undefeated Sevier County team in the Renasant Bank Christmas Invitational at Maryville, could help his Rebels if they respond the right way.
“Coaches talked a little bit today about us, our guys, feeling a little bit better than they should at this point,” Eldridge said. “Tonight is a loss, but if we handle it well, it can be a stepping stone for us the rest of the year.”
Lady Rebels 45, Sevier County 34
Maryville had one bad quarter Monday, and it helped put Sevier County back in the game. The three other good quarters, though, kept the visitors at a double-digit distance most of the evening.
Leila Bangash had a game-high 12 points while Olivia Spears and Kat Pepperman added 11 each and Maryville (7-7) survived a two-point second quarter for a 45-34 win over Sevier County.
Brittany Farr led Sevier County (7-11) with 11 points. Kelsey Wypych had seven.
The Lady Rebels led 16-6 after a first quarter that saw separate 7-0 runs from the home team, but Sevier County rallied in the second quarter, outscoring Maryville 12-2 to go into the locker room tied at 18-all.
That was as long as Sevier County stayed in the game, though.
The Lady Rebels opened the second half on a 10-0 run to take a 28-18 lead and didn’t look back, outscoring their opponent 27-16 while holding Sevier County to just eight points in both the third and fourth quarters.