BY COLLIN BROOKS
(GALLERY AT THE BOTTOM)
It isn’t a matter of picking your poison with the David Crockett basketball team. The Pioneers posses one extremely lethal dart. And it struck Daniel Boone for a second time this season, as Josh Releford connected on a 24-foot 3-pointer with just over a minute remaining to help the Pioneers take a 53-51 victory on Tuesday night.
Releford finished the night with a game-high 28 points — his previous season high of 33 came after hitting a game-winning three against Daniel Boone in the consolation contest of the Hardee’s Classic — to deliver a show for the home crowd and heartache for his opponents.
“He’s just tough man, you think that you make enough plays, but he can change the game with just one stroke and that’s what he did,” Daniel Boone coach Chris Brown said. “I told them coming out that he is probably going to look to score, but I didn’t think he was going to pull-up right there.”
Even with the deep dagger from Releford, Boone had a chance to tie the game and take the lead with David Crockett missing five free throws in the final two minutes to keep the door open. A nicely run play gave Boone’s Eric Rigsby a slightly contested left-handed lay-up, but he was unable to connect. On the final play of the contest, Daniel Boone’s Chad Heglar missed a deep 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
Having some of his best performances coming against Daniel Boone isn’t a surprise for the 5-foot-9 senior.
“It’s Boone, it’s a rivalry,” Releford said through a deep exhale. “When I came to the school, I wasn’t use to the rivalry, I only knew the city rivalries. But when I came here, they were going all out in football, so shoot, we go all out in basketball too.”
Daniel Boone was led by Eric Rigsby, who finished with 22 points, while Evan Scanlan finished with 14 points.
The storyline seemed to be defined early, when Releford connected on a 3-pointer to close out the first quarter with an 18-10 lead. The Pioneers would go on to extend that to 32-19 at the half.
However, Daniel Boone was able to battle back in the fourth quarter, taking the lead with 1:48 remaining after Scanlan hit his first free throw, only to miss his second. But the big man was able to track down the offensive rebound after a failed tip-in and deliver a tip- in of his own to give the Blazers a 51-50 lead. That was Boone’s first lead since Rigsby connected on a 3-pointer to open the contest.
“I thought we executed well in the second half and clawed our way back in there, but you have to give credit to them,” Brown said. “We didn’t shoot particularly well, we were 17-56 from the floor and I think a lot of those were in the paint…and they are solid defensively, they are going to make you work for everything. But shots just didn’t go down. It was tough.”
David Crockett coach John Good said that he always expects the best from Daniel Boone and his players whenever the two teams get together.
“You know that both teams are going to really come out and compete against one another and you know that you are going to have to bring your best,” David Crockett coach John Good said. “It’s a dog fight every time we meet each other because we match-up well with the same personal and both teams really compete hard.”
David Crockett will travel to Sullivan Central on Friday, while the Daniel Boone boys will travel to Sullivan South on Thursday. The girls will take a trip to Gate City (Va.) on Saturday.
Daniel Boone 10 9 17 15 — 51
David Crockett 18 14 13 8 — 53
Daniel Boone (8-7, 1-2)
Chad Heglar 5, Eric Rigsby 22, Jayden Stevens 2, Justin Turner 8, Evan Scanlan 14.
David Crockett (8-7, 2-1)
Tee Johnson 2, Josh Releford 28, Ethan Burger 12, Abe Strunk 2, McHale Bright 2, Paul Arrowood 7.
3-pointers — Daniel Boone 2 (Evan Scanlan, Eric Rigsby), David Crockett 10 (Josh Releford 6, Ethan Burger 4).
Lady Blazers blast past David Crockett
The Lady Blazers took care of business on Tuesday night, topping their rival David Crockett 76-20.
The Lady Pioneers stuck around for a little while, matching the first basket from the Lady Blazers with a 3-pointer from Kassie Lowe. But after a lay-up from Keyara Steinmetz at the 4:28 mark in the first quarter, Daniel Boone went on a 36-2 run to halftime to take a 42-7 lead into the locker room.
Many players had a hand in the run, but none as big Emily Sizemore, who went on a personal 8-0 run to close out the first period. She followed that up with five more points in the second quarter and finished the contest with a game-high 16 points.
“She gave us a huge lift, as that whole second group did,” Daniel Boone coach Travis Mains said. “They provided the energy and rotations that got us rolling. Then the first group came back in and finished strong.”
The Lady Pioneers showed a little bit of fight in the third period, outscoring the Lady Blazers 13-12 behind the sharpshooting of Emmaline Hulse. The Lady Blazers opened the quarter with six straight points after Steinmetz hit a lay-up to start the quarter for Crockett. But Hulse found some room in the corners of the court to connect on three consecutive 3-pointers and earn herself a 9-2 run to make the score 50-18.
The Lady Pioneers were unable to get bucket in the second or fourth quarter, which ultimately doomed David Crockett.
Daniel Boone received double digits from Bayleigh Carmichael (12), Jaycie Jenkins (10) and Macie Culbertson (10). The Lady Pioneers were led by Emmaline Hulse with nine points.
Daniel Boone 18 24 12 22 — 76
David Crockett 7 0 13 0 — 20
Daniel Boone (76)
Bailee Dye 8, Makenzy Bennett 7, Macie Culbertson 10, Emily Sizemore 16, Jaycie Jenkins 10, Montana Riddle 9, Bayleigh Carmichael 12, Ali Kosinski 2, Sydney Pearce 2.
David Crockett (20)
Emmaline Hulse 9, Kassie Lowe 5, Keyara Steinmetz 6.
3-pointers — Daniel Boone 10 (Emily Sizemore 4, Bailee Dye 2, Makenzy Bennett, Macie Culbertson, Montana Riddle, Bayleigh Carmicheal), David Crockett 4 (Emmaline Hulse 3, Kassie Lowe).