07 Feb Kingsport D-B tops Lady Patriots at the buzzer, 35-33
DANDRIDGE — A 3-pointer from Jefferson County High School freshman Alexa Gramann in the final seconds tied the game, but a late steal from Dobyns-Bennett guard Courtney Whitson would end it with all but a single tick left on the clock. The Lady Indians escaped Dandridge with a 35-33 victory over the Lady Patriots Tuesday night.
“We competed and we battled, but we missed a lot of easy ones early,” Jefferson County coach Rick Sinard said. “I told them those might come back and haunt us. That’s the way it’s been all year. We got a great look there and the freshman knocked it down. Alexa made a great shot. We just couldn’t handle the pass.”
D-B (15-7) took the early lead in the opening quarter thanks to a couple of 3-pointers by Whitson, Baylee Waye and Meg Francis. Jeff County (15-9) was able to score, but trailed 11-9 after the opening eight minutes after trading twos for 3s. In the second quarter, the Lady Pats would take control and went into the locker room up 20-17.
“We’re down to playing six or seven kids right now (due to injuries and illness),” Sinard said. “They’re hanging in there. They finally got down there and got the ball to the strong girl inside (Ta-Tionna White). They took advantage of that in the fourth quarter. We’ve just got to keep working.”
The Lady Indians finally retook the lead in the fourth period, with White, Whitson and Lily Griffith doing most of the damage in the lane. Down 33-30 with barely a minute to go, Jefferson County needed its defense to step up and it did. The Lady Patriots picked up a charge and got another chance with the ball.
“That was a big play for us,” Sinard said. “The last four or five ballgames, our defense has been winning for us. We’ve been playing more man-to-man here lately. It’s been our bread and butter. It takes a while to learn all the assignments in that man-to-man, but we feel more comfortable in it.”
Driving the ball down to its end of the floor, Jeff County passed it around the perimeter until Gramann was open. She fired up the 3 and buried it, tying the game.
“She (Gramann) wasn’t afraid,” Sinard said. “That’s what I like.”
With the game tied 33-33, Jefferson County forced another turnover and after a time out had a set up for the winning shot. Instead, a mishandled pass was scooped up by Whitson and banked in on a layup right before the horn sounded.
Ryleigh Fritz led Jefferson County with 10 points. She was honored after the game for scoring her 1,000th point for the Lady Patriots. Makayla Alvey scored nine. Gramann finished the game with seven.