By TONY STINNETT/ Courier Sports Editor
PIKEVILLE - Cannon County put forth a determined effort but came up short against No. 1 seed Bledsoe County, 57-43, in the first round of the Region 4-AA Tournament (Feb. 23).
The fourth-seeded Lions (13-17) were back in the region tournament after a one-year absence and put a scare into the Warriors before running out of gas in the fourth quarter.
Senior guard Jarrett Melton had injured his left ankle during the District 8-AA consolation game and was unable to finish in that game.
He gutted it out in the region game but was not 100 percent.
Junior forward Tanner Larson had a strong effort. He turned in a double double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Cory Henley was the only other Lion in double figures, finishing with 11 points.
Melton and Garrett McReynolds finished with six points each.
“We certainly would have liked a different outcome but the guys battled and competed and gave themselves a chance to win a region game on the road,” Lions Head Coach Matt Rigsby said. “Jarrett showed a lot of guts because it didn’t look like he would be able to play but he did.
“Our seniors made a lot of progress this year and left a good foundation for our younger players. The future is bright.”
The Lions fell behind 13-7 after the first quarter but battled to within 19-16 by halftime.
They were never able to put together a sustained run against Bledsoe County as the Warriors’ zone defense kept the Lions off balance.
Cannon County wa 17-of-42 from the field, including 2-of-15 from 3-point range. Henley’s trey with 1:06 remaining was Cannon County’s first made 3-pointer during the contest.