Claiborne loses both varsity games to David Crockett

The varsity games followed the junior varsity games Nov. 21 at the Carl R. Green Gymnasium. Both teams were looking to get off to a fast start on the 2019-20 season, and the Hall of Fame games all over Tennessee were the unofficial start.

Claiborne’s Lady Bulldogs and David Crockett Lady Pioneers tipped it off, but Claiborne wasn’t ready. The Lady Pioneers went on a 7-2 run forcing a time out. The Lady Bulldogs offense just wasn’t clicking at all, and the defense wasn’t getting back — which led to a 12-4 Lady Pioneers lead after one period.

Claiborne finally went on a run that caused the Lady Pioneers coaching staff to call a time out. The score was now 16-10, and the fans were finally appreciating what they saw out of the home team. The new found momentum quickly went back over to the visitors who ran their advantage back to 10 at 24-14. At the half, the home team was down 24-15.

Claiborne came out of the locker room and still wasn’t playing well. Both teams went through a stretch where they couldn’t buy a basket. At the five minute mark, the score was 26-15. Claiborne made a run late in the third and went into the fourth period behind 33-24.

Shooting was erratic from both teams during the final period, but the Lady Pioneers did enough to take home the victory at 45-34.

Leading the Lady Bulldogs in scoring was Macie Sumner with 12. Sarah Fultz came in and gave some great minutes finishing with five. Three others had four points each including Trinity Jones, Emma Beason and Hailey Sexton.

Skylar Cook and Kaylee Cox both had two each and Taylor Pressnell added one point. Leading the Lady Pioneers in scoring was Emma Gouge with 12.

CHS head coach Ariel Nickell was asked about her team’s performance, “To me it’s simple. We need to make more shots. If I am correct we missed 14 free throws, and we need to hit our free throws to be able to win these close games. Overall, they played pretty good.”

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The Bulldogs boys came to the court next, and the home team was eager to get going. The Pioneers looked to be ready as well. From the opening tip, the Pioneers were on fire scoring nine and giving up only two free throws. Claiborne made a comeback mostly with an inside game and closed to within one point at 18-17.

Going into the second, Claiborne grabbed their first lead at 19-18. Six quick Pioneer points gave them the advantage at 25-19. Claiborne struggled to get second chance points which allowed the visiting Pioneers to make a run. During the final two minutes of the opening half, Claiborne made a run that kept hope alive. The score was 40-26.

The Bulldogs clawed back to within 8 points in part because of a technical foul on a Pioneer player for throwing the ball away. After another technical foul and a basket, Claiborne was down only four points. The Bulldogs had the Pioneer advantage to only three but at the end of the third period were still behind by 10 at 56-46.

When the final period got underway the Bulldogs looked tired. They tried to make a difference on the defensive end, but it wasn’t enough and the Pioneers secured victory at 74-61.

Kade Beeler quietly led Claiborne with 17 points, Aiden Goins is an up-and-coming freshman and impacted the game with his 13 points and good play in the paint. Daniel Atkins and Jacob Williams both finished with nine points.

Evan Poore had five. Three others recorded two points each including Braden Williams, Isaac Thomas and Ethan Poore, who also played some aggressive defense. The Pioneers were led in scoring by Dawson Wagner with 21 and Mack Hensley with 19.

Following the game, CHS head coach Corey McGinnis was asked what his team needed to do better and he said, “We have to get off to a better start. Across the board they may have had better athletes, but if we had a better start tonight we just might have been able to get a win.”