ROGERSVILLE --- Nine is just fine for the Cherokee Chiefs.
The Chiefs won their ninth consecutive game over Volunteer
49-37 in a Saturday night special at the Teepee.
"It's really something," Cherokee Assistant coach Aaron
Kenner said, "Over the years, prior to this streak, the series was almost dead
even over 30 years of play. To have nine in a row is really an accomplishment
to these kids. It's something they can be proud of."
The Chiefs showed sluglishness from playing and losing to
Seymour 24 hours earlier, but by the second quarter, Cherokee was playing like
its old self, going on a 23-4 run to overtake the visiting Falcons.
Volunteer jumped to a 9-3 first-quarter lead, only to have
the Chiefs go on a 23-4 run, many of those baskets as a results of Falcons'
Despite not having leading scorer David McFarland available,
Volunteer kept the game close, trailing just 41-35 with 2:40 remaining in the
game. Forrest Looney made the Falcons pay on a turnover with a layup to expand
the lead to 43-35, but Brad Halderman put the margin back to six with two free
tosses. Looney then got trapped in backcourt with the jump ball going to
Volunteer. The Chiefs then stole the ball on the possession. The Falcons'
Marquise Williams questioned the call and was whistled with a technical foul.
This also counted as a personal foul on Williams, who fouled out. Ty Ryans hit
one of two charity tosses for a 46-37 lead. The Chiefs then played keep away to
hold on for the win.
"We played with a little more intensity tonight," Kenner
said, "I felt like our defense stepped up tonight, created a lot of turnovers
and got a lot of easy baskets out of it. Ethan Hagood played an outstanding
game (on defense). He seemed to be everywhere. I thought that was the key to
the game. He came out and really gave us a spark. That's something we've been
missing the last couple of nights. Ethan stepped in and filled that role for
"That's the good thing about playing on back-to-back nights,
if you lose the first one, you can get that taste out of your mouth really
quick. Our kids really came out, we were ready to play and we got the W, that's
all that matters.
Tanner Trent led Cherokee in scoring with 12 points.
Ryans added 11 and Looney 10 for
"We're still trying to figure it out. The kids are working
hard every day in practice. We're just continuing to fill roles and find new
roles for people. Keaton Bailiff has really given us something the last couple
of nights in scoring. It was something we needed. We're still 'yet to be
determined' on a lot of things, but we're really proud of our kids. I'm proud
of how we played," Kenner added.
"You can't turn the ball over 20 times (and expect to win),"
Volunteer coach Chris Brown said. "Especially in the second quarter we were up
six or seven points at one point, then they went on a 23-4 run, aided by our
turnovers. We've got to clean that up. We played hard, that's all we can ask
for right now. We've got to work on our defense, communications, switching off
and making the right plays. We've just got to make the plays on the offensive
"We went to a
matchup zone and thought we did a good job there, because he held Cherokee to
37 percent shooting and an opportunity to win the ballgame based on that.
McFarland is one of our primary ballhandlers and our leading scorer. Hopefully,
we'll get him back which will help us on the offensive end."
Despite fouling out, Williams was the only Falcon in double
figures with 10 points.
A controversy ensued in the second quarter when a foul was
called on Cherokee which was supposed to result in a one-plus-one for
Volunteer. This was missed by the officials, as Brown tried to alert the
officials of this. By the time play was resumed, it was too late to award the
free throws. A conference was held thereafter by with both Brown and Cherokee
coach Jeremy Parrott to explain that that call was missed.
Prior to the game, led by Cherokee Athletic Director Donnie
Anderson, teams from both schools circled the court while holding hands to
observe a moment of silence in memory of the victims of Friday's elementary
school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
The national anthem was sung before the girls' contest by The Andersons,
a community gospel group.
Cherokee played its last IMAC game before the holidays
Tuesday at Morristown East. The Chiefs will play at Cloudland Friday night
before playing Tabernacle Baptist in the 30th Annual Arby's Classic
on December 26 at Viking Hall in Bristol. The Falcons hosted Sullivan North
Tuesday night and will play two games in a tournament at Daniel Boone High
School this weekend, facing Happy Valley Friday night and Unaka Saturday night.
VOLUNTEER (37) - Marquis Williams 4 2-3 10, Cradic 2 0-0 5,
Lovelace 2 1-2 5, Barton 2 0-0 4, Crawford 2 0-0 4, Halderman 1 5-6 7, Lewis 0
0-0 0, Boyd 1 0-0 2, Gray 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 8-11 37.
CHEROKEE (49) - Ty Ryans 4 1-2 11, Tanner Trent 5 2-3 12,
Forrest Looney 4 2-4 10, Hagood 1 4-6 6, Ringley 0 1-2 1, Watson 2 0-0 4, Bailiff
2 0-0 5, Condra 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 10-17 49.
Score by quarters:
Volunteer 11 6 13 7
Cherokee 9 16 12 12-49
Three-point goals: Volunteer 1 (Cradic), Cherokee 3 (Ryans
2, Bailiff 1). Technnical foul: Williams.