Hurricanes Avoid Total Collapse Against Pioneers

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - by David Jenkins

In a textbook example of what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, the East Hamilton Hurricanes came away from East Ridge Monday night bloodied but unbowed.

The Hurricanes, needing a win to insure themselves of a winning record for the first time in school history, built a 17-point lead on the Pioneers, then watched it nearly collapse like a house of cards. Led by the long-range marksmanship of Derrick Davidson, who scored 15 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, the Pioneers cut the deficit to a single possession but could not close the deal.

East Hamilton coach Mike Stone, delighted to be leaving the gym with a 74-67 victory, agreed that the near-collapse was averted by some good old-fashioned defense. That seems implausible, because East Hamilton allowed the Pioneers to cut it from 17 to three in less than three minutes.

“When we came out of the timeout after they made it a single-possession game, we told them it was still all about defense,” Stone said. “If we did the job defensively, we wouldn't even need to score another point.”

But the defense answered the challenge. On their next three possession, the Hurricanes benefitted from an unforced travel in the open court, a steal beneath the goal and another travel cause by heavy traffic. And despite scoring 29 points in the fourth quarter, the Pioneers were scoreless over the final 1:50. The final margin came thanks to the 'Canes nervously hitting 4 of 8 free throws in in the final 1:08.

The East Hamilton attack was led by Cody Knox's 20 points. But the turning point in the game – for East Hamilton, not East Ridge – came when Knox fouled out with 2:22 to play and East Hamilton leading but vulnerable at 67-61.

“We count on him,” Stone admitted. “He's probably one of the best players on our team when it comes to creating shots and opportunities for himself. To win it with him sitting over there by me is a huge growing point for this team.”

Additional production came from several sources. Donnie Powell scored nine points in the fourth quarter to finish with 18 points, while Kenny Bunton threw two crowd-inciting dunks into the mix as he scored 14.

Stone wasn't the only coach involved in Monday's game hoping there was something learned by their squad. The Pioneers; Jon Goddard was so disgusted with his team's early effort (or lack thereof), it pretty much offset the gutsy comeback.

“Enthusiasm and determination – that was the only difference between the start of the game and the end,” Goddard sighed. “We showed some fight tonight, though. Hopefully, they know that made the difference.. We know we can play with anyone in the district.”

Eddie Hitchcock supported Davidson's big night with 17 points, while point guard Kolbe King hit a pair of treys and scored nine for the game. The Pioneers must bounce back quickly, as they face Red Bank in a district contest tonight.

 

EAST HAMILTON GIRLS 68 EAST RIDGE 41 Jumping to a 20-point lead after a quarter, the East Hamilton Lady Hurricanes won their ninth straight District 6-AAA contest without a loss Monday, defeating host East Ridge 68-41.

Jessica Caudle hit a pair of 3-pointers as part of her 14 point nights, but East Hamilton did most of its damage inside as center Juliette Harp led all scorers with 20 points. The Lady Pioneers, who had only four points in the first quarter, failed to place any player in double figures..

 

GIRLS SCORING SUMMARY:

 

East Hamilton 24 14 19 11 – 68

East Ridge 4 10 14 13 – 41

EAST HAMILTON (68) – Jessica Caudle 14, Petit 2, Juliette Harp 20, Stovall, Woods 2, K. Caudle 6, McCullum, Montgomery 2, Zackery 9, Kaylee Moon 10, Wood 3.

EAST RIDGE (41) – Halfacre 7, Finley 3, Moon, Norwood, Ieashia Taylor 9, Hubbard 4, Calloway 2, McKibben 4, Lawrence, Tate, Davis, Epps 4.

3-point goals: EH 3 (J.Caudle 2, Zackery); ER 2 (Finley, Taylor). Records: East Hamilton 14-9, 9-0; East Ridge 3-17, 1-8.

BOYS SCORING SUMMARY:

East Hamilton 18 19 15 22 – 74

East Ridge 12 13 13 29 – 67

EAST HAMILTON (74) – Thompson 8, Donnie Powell 18, Kenny Bunton14, Herndon 8, Griffith, Cody Knox 20, Dennis 2, Watkins 4.

EAST RIDGE (67) – King 9, Tillery 3, Millener 1, Talley 3, Derrick Davidson 24, Eddie Hitchcock 17, Jones 4, Johnson 2, Hendrix 4.

3-point goals: EH 8 (Powell 3, Thompson 2, Bunton, Herndon, Knox); ER 11 (Davidson 6, Hitchcock 2, King 2, Tillery). Records: East Hamilton 14-7, 6-3; East Ridge 9-11, 4-5.


Hamilton Heights Girls Win Twice In Hoops For Harvest Event

The Hamilton Heights Lady Hawks continued their unblemished start to the basketball season Saturday with two wins in the Hoops for Harvest event in Kentucky. The Lady Hawks beat Mercer County 76-65 as the two teams combined for 18 3-pointers and then walloped Mercy Academy 78-41 that saw Hamilton Heights drain 11 3s. Those two wins pushed the Lady Hawks’ overall record ... (click for more)

Lee Men Win 86-70 In Gulf South Opener

Getting plenty of balance from up and down the lineup and knocking down 12-of-21 3-point attempts, the Lee men’s basketball team opened its portion of Gulf South Conference play with a convincing 86-70 victory over previously unbeaten Shorter University.   Spurred on by an excellent Saturday evening crowd, the Flames led 39-28 at the halftime break and built an 18-point ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Council Looking Into Taking Over Schools

A new group of Signal Mountain Town Council members is looking into taking over county schools within the town boundaries.   Two newly elected board members, Amy Speek and Dan Landrum, joined the council Friday afternoon at the first work session after the election. The election of mayor and vice mayor for the next two years came first on the agenda. Dick Gee, mayor ... (click for more)

East Ridge Meth Dealer Gets 168 Months In Federal Prison

A man that agents said was dealing large quantities of meth from his East Ridge residence has been sentenced to serve 168 months in federal prison. Kenneth Lemons appeared before Judge Curtis Collier. Agents said they made several controlled drugs buys from Lemons at his residence in 2015. On Oct. 27, 2015, he drove up to a residence where DEA agents were making a controlled ... (click for more)

Tennessee River Gorge Trust Trail Warriors Make You Want To Take A Hike

Trail warriors of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust make you want to take a hike.  The Tennessee River Gorge Trust staff and volunteers make a huge difference in the Chattanooga community and have been making the outdoor areas around the River Gorge clean and protected for more than 30 years.  They deserve to be recognized and praised for all of the hard work they have ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Our Schools Stink

Cheryl Roddy has spent her lifetime, for the biggest part, as a teacher for the Hamilton County Department of Education and, more specifically, at East Ridge High School. She has loved teaching there for nearly 40 years and is hardly “average;” she has her master's degree in education, was twice East Ridge’s teacher of the year, was the first teacher at East Ridge to reach the first ... (click for more)