The Cannon Courier
The District 8-AA Basketball Tournament took a different spin this season from the normal brackets when at the coaches meeting, it was voted on and approved that the teams that finished seventh and eighth during the regular season would have to play each other for the right to advance into the quarterfinal round of the basketball tournament.
This meant on the boys side that the Cannon County Lions would meet rival the DeKalb County Tigers in what would be one of the most memorable matchups between the two schools in recent history.
Tuesday night February 16th at the Hooper Elben Center of Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, the two rivals locked up. Neither team could get out to anymore than a 5 point lead at any point in the game.
In the first quarter Cannon and DeKalb traded leads five times. Cannon used their height advantage as post players Austin Martin and Trey Fann each scored four points and Briar Jakes added a three point shot from the outside. Cannon trailed only by 2 at the end of the quarter 13-11. The back and forth lead changes continued in the second quarter as both teams picked up the pace and traded seven times.
Martin scored seven points in the second period and Briar Jakes added another made three point shot and Cannon got out to a small 3 point lead by halftime 24-21. The Lions came out in the third quarter with a surprise. Lions Head Coach Matt Rigsby changed the entire lineup when for the first two minutes of the quarter, he put in his third string team to send a message to his starters and second string that he wasn't happy with their overall effort.
The third string responded by holding their own in the short time they were out on the floor. Marcus Gannon scored two points to get the third quarter started before Coach Rigsby went back to his normal rotation. The Lions committed 5 turnovers in the quarter as the see-saw game saw DeKalb take a 34-32 lead into the final period of regulation.
The Lions settled down and took better care of the basketball in the fourth quarter. The Tigers answered the Lions on every small run they would make tying the game up three times in the quarter with only one lead change. After Tanner Poss hit free throws in the last few seconds of regulation, Austin Martin missed a difficult shot at the buzzer that sent the game into overtime tied at 40. In the extra frame, the game would change hands again four more times as Cannon started out the quarter going back to the size advantage with Austin Martin. Post player Anton Knox who hadn't scored all game came through for the Lions late. After rebounding a miss three point shot attempt by Briar Jakes, Knox made a huge rebound and was fouled on the ensuing shot. Knox knocked down both free throws to give the Lions a 50-48 win and moved the Cannon County team to the quarterfinals to meet Smith County.
Knox scored all 5 of his points in overtime and two big rebounds in the extra period to help give Cannon their 10th win of the season. Martin led all scorers with 23.
Cannon County 50
Dekalb County 48 (OT)
Cannon: Martin-23, Fann-8. Jakes-6, Parrish-3, Knox-2, Miles-2, Gannon-2
DeKalb: Evins-19, Poss-7,Norris-7, Johnson-6, Parsley-5, Jones-4
Cannon County FG: 19-61 3PT:4-14 FT:8-12
Dekalb County FG: 8-22, 3PT: 8-27 FT:8-12
Coming off a two point win against DeKalb County Tuesday night, the Cannon County Lions advanced to the quarterfinal round of the District 8-AA tournament. This was another must win game to continue the season. Win and the Lions are guaranteed three games including a berth in the region tournament. Before the game Lions head coach Matt Rigsby commented on Tuesday night's perfor-mance "We have to play a lot better than what we did Tuesday night, if we play as poorly and we don't execute our game plan then our season ends tonight."
The Lions executed the game plan of getting the ball in the middle to their post players namely Austin Martin. Martin responded with 8 points in the quarter as Cannon led 17-11. Smith County in the second quarter went to the halfcourt trap. That trap produced 6 Lion turnovers of which all were cashed in for points by the Smith County offense as the Owls took a 41-28 lead into halftime. Despite Cannon turning the ball over seven more times in the third quarter, the Lions took advantage of poor shooting from Smith County and closed the gap from 13 to 8 at the end of the third 51-43. Smith then held off another Lion run and won the game 69-62. The Owls placed three in double figures while Cannon was led by Austin Martin who scored 23 and Briar Jakes added 10. Cannon ended the season with a 10-21 overall record.
Smith County 69
Cannon County 62
Smith Co: Shep-person-25, Hayden-18, King-12, Huff-8, Smith-4, Letterman-2
Cannon: Martin-23, Jakes-10, Parrish-7, Miles-7, Knox-6, Brock-4, Duggin-3, Bryson-2
Smith County: FG:28-57 3PT: 0-4 FT:13-15
Cannon County: FG 20-48 3PT: 9-18 FT: 11-17
The Cannon County Lionettes were trying to break a seven game losing streak as they entered the quarterfinal matchup of the District 8-AA basketball tournament against the Smith County Lady Owls Friday February 19th at Hooper Eblen Center at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville.
The Lionettes welcomed back Kelli Davis who was cleared to play after suffering a hand injury in a January 12th game against Upperman. Davis was the leading scorer at the time and had missed 10 games coming into the tournament. The Lionettes were the sixth seed of the tournament while Smith County who only lost four games in the district were seeded third.
The Lionettes started out the game by getting the ball inside to Maleah Scott. Scott responded with five points in the quarter. Tori Knox, Autumn King and Davis each added two points and Cannon led 11-8 at the end of the quarter.
The second quarter belonged to Smith County. The Lionettes turned the ball over 9 times in the first half but Smith County struggled from the field so they couldn't pull away from the Lionettes even though they led at halftime 25-22. The third quarter changed the tone of the game. Cannon turned the ball over nine times in the quarter alone, Smith used transition baskets off the turnovers and got out to a seven point lead but in the fourth quarter Smith struggled again finding the basket. The Lionettes on three occasions got as close as one point but cruical turnovers on the offensive end followed by made free throws for Smith County resulted in the end of the Lionettes season. The Lady Owls advanced to the semifinal round by beating Cannon County 44-41.
Maleah Scott scored 14 in the loss to lead the Lionettes in scoring.
Cannon County finishes the season 10-20.
Smith County 44
Cannon County 41
Smith Co: Gregory-16, Crawford-10, West-7, Hix-5, Shoulders-3, Spivey-1
Cannon: Scott-14, King-10, Knox-6, Davis-6, Haley-3, Mooneyham-2
Smith County FG: 12-53 3PT:3-16 FT:15-25 TO:5
Cannon County: FG: 16-35 3PT:1-7 FT: 4-7 TO:23