The Cannon Courier
Both the Lions and Lionettes basketball teams enjoyed mixed success in the past three games before Thanksgiving with all three on the road at Smith and Warren County. Both squads played back-to-back games in the Hall of Fame Classic on November 21, and traveled to neighboring rival, Warren County on November 24.
After being swept at Robert A. Harris Gymnasium to open the season on November 19 against Van Buren County, both the Lions and Lionettes were hoping to bounce back at the Smith County Hall of Fame event, a couple of nights later. However, both programs had to play two games consecutively on the same night.
The action started as the Lionettes fell in a hard fought 67-62 overtime loss to Signal Mountain for their second loss of the season. Senior Kelli Davis led the way with 27 points in a losing effort.
However, a couple of hours later, the Lionettes regrouped and put the loss in the opening game behind them as they picked up their first win of the season and under new head coach Jonathan Odom with a 60-46 victory over Bledsoe County in the second part of the doubleheader. Davis once again had 27, and freshman point guard Tori Knox added 12 in the win.
Even through, it is early in the season, Knox had enjoyed getting the chance to play with, Davis who is the only healthy returning starter from last year state tournament team.
"She is very special, and she is an awesome player," Knox said before practice last week. "To play with her, it is an awesome opportunity to learn from her, and to help her out a little bit with a bunch of assists."
As for the Lions, they swept both games against the identical two opponents during the same event with an 80-66 win over SMHS and a 69-42 win over BCHS. It was their first two wins of the season. In the first game, four Lions scored in double figures with Austin Martin leading the way with 16 points, while Charlie Parrish had 15, Austin Duggin added 14 and Briar Jakes had 10. Martin scored 16 more in the second game, and Parrish added 10.
"We started off really rocky, and we did not know how the season was going to end out," Parrish said before practice last week. "Then, we won the two games on Saturday and it gave us confidence for the rest of the season. We finally gelled together and we can take it far.
Fellow Lion teammate Anton Knox added, "It was pretty big for us, because after Thursday we were pretty nervous. On Saturday, we played two pretty good teams that were capable of beating us. After doing what we did, I feel like we can compete with anybody in our district."
Three nights later, CCHS made the short trip to Warren County in their final game before Thanksgiving on November 24. However, both the Lions and Lionettes were once again swept to drop to (2-2) and (1-3) before the holiday. The girls lost 40-28, in which they only had 10 points at the break. Davis was held in check with only 11 points in the loss, and she was the sole Lionette in double figures. The boys' game was back and forth, but the Pioneers pulled away late for the 60-55 win on White Out night as Jakes scored 25 and Martin added 20 in a losing effort.
Both teams are back in action as they will play in a proud CCHS holiday tradition, the Mitch Wilson Classic on November 27 and 28. The first game will be against Grundy County starting at 6:30 p.m. for the girls, and then the boys' teams will tip off later in the nightcap. The following night both teams will host Cookeville at the same time and at the identical location, Robert A. Harris Gymnasium. Full report from both games will be in the December 9 edition of the Cannon Courier.
District 8-AA play gets underway on December 4 at home against Murfreesboro Central Magnet with the girls' game tipping off at 6 p.m.