Signal Mountain Scoring Runs Topple Hixson, 65-54

Palmer, Sowell Fuel Eagles' Game-Changing 21-3 Spree

Thursday, February 06, 2014 - by Larry Fleming

Signal Mountain, trying to regain the magic of an eight-game winning streak earlier in the season, pulled away with 21-3 run and went on to beat the Hixson Wildcats, 65-54, Thursday night in a non-district game at Hixson High.

The Eagles’ Griffin Palmer scored seven of his 11 points to trigger the decisive run that ended the second period and went 44 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Lannom Sowell, who picked up his third foul with 6:46 left in the second quarter, scored six straight points after Palmer’s offensive surge to push the Eagles’ lead to 45-32.

Austin Nolan capped the run with a fastbreak layup to start the fourth quarter and Signal Mountain had a commanding 50-32 advantage.

Signal Mountain (17-8) was able to finish off the Wildcats (5-17) – Hixson did cut its deficit to six points with 4:01 left – with a 15-7 run to finish the game.

“We’re not the best team at separating ourselves from the other team and closing it out,” Palmer said. “If we want to make it far in the tournament that’s something we’ve got to do.”

Since the eight-game winning streak ended in a 52-48 loss to Soddy-Daisy on Jan. 23, the Eagles have alternated wins and losses in their last four games. They’re looking for some consistency as the District 7-AA tournament approaches.

The Eagles finish the regular season with road games at Grundy County on Saturday and South Pittsburg on Monday.

“Both of those are make-up games from the snow,” Eagles coach Steve Redman said. “We were playing pretty well (in the streak) and we’re doing OK now. We have to have everybody on the same page at the same time because the tournament is what we’re playing for.”

Hixson coach Alex Disbrow is just looking for a few wins. The Wildcats have lost 13 of their last 14 games, with the lone win coming against Class A Lookout Valley.

“I’m happy my kids fought back, but we were still on the wrong side (of the score) again and nobody’s happy about that,” Disbrow said. “It’s getting old. It has been a frustrating season for everyone and we’re ready to grind out some wins.”

The game featured several “streak” segments.

Signal Mountain quickly got ahead 7-0.

Then Hixson scored 10 straight points.

The Eagles came back with nine in a row and ended the first period up 18-10.

Then the Palmer-fueled streak seemingly crushed the Wildcats, who rebounded with 12 straight points – eight by William Nelson, including two 3s – in a 3-minute stretch to slice Signal Mountain’s lead to 50-44 before the Eagles game back with six consecutive points.

Palmer made a layup and Jack Teter, who led the Eagles with a game-high 18 points, drilled his fourth 3-pointer – the only ones for Signal Mountain all night – with 7.7 seconds left in the first half to push the lead to 34-29.

Palmer converted a three-point play, Nelson, who led Hixson with 13 points, hit one of his three 3s and Palmer banked in a short runner to cap his spree and give the Eagles a 39-32 lead.

“I was just fighting to get the ball,” Palmer said. “Every time I get the ball I want to attack and score.”

Lannom Sowell – he had 12 points – hit a layup, one free throw and converted a three-point plays, Tadarius Hodge drilled a jump shot and Luis Guitierrez made a free throw and Signal Mountain’s lead was 48-32 after three quarters.

Hixson scored just three points on Nelson’s 3-pointer in the period.

Nolan’s bucket 44 seconds into the fourth quarter produced the Eagles’ 50-32 margin.

“We have to learn how to finish,” Redman said. “When we had them by 18 points, we should have pushed it more. Instead, we got lackadaisical and let them back in the game.”

Hixson’s Marshall Cooper scored on a layup, ending Hixson’s 6-minute, 53-second scoreless streak. Chandler Abbott made two free throws, Nelson hit a 3 from the left wing, swished a jumper from the right wing and made another 3, this one from the right wing 27 seconds later, and the Wildcats trailed by just six.

“That’s the kind of stuff you just can’t do come tournament time,” Redman said.

Palmer and Stephen Heinichen each made two free throws and Nolan followed with a fastbreak layup at the 2:05 mark to extend the lead to 58-46 with 2:05 remaining.

Signal Mountain made 7 of 8 free throws in the final 71 seconds and that was more than enough to offset two of Keyshun Bradley’s three 3s in the game down the stretch.

“Luckily we did enough to win,” Redman said. “Some guys play well one night and that will flip and other guys will play good the next. At some point we’re going to get everybody on the same page at the same time and it’s going to look good. Until then it’s kind of frustrating.”

Hixson’s Allen Diaz finished with 12 points.

In the girls’ game, Aryn Sanders scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Lady Eagles to a 32-28 victory.

T.T. Staten paced the Lady Wildcats with 15 points.

Neither team made a 3-point shot in the game.

SUMMARIES

Boys

Signal Mountain                    18 16 14 17 – 65

Hixson                                     10 19 3 22 – 54

Signal Mountain (65) – Nolan 6, Greer, Van Dyken, Heinichen 6, Guitierrez 1, McCaffrey 2, Griffin Palmer 11, Elwell 5, Jack Teter 18, Hodge 4, Lannom Sowell 12.

Hixson (54) – Alameda 2, William Nelson 13, Battle, Beatty, Carver 3, Cooper 4, Glass, Allen Diaz 12, Key. Bradley 9, Abbott 9, Condra, Weaver, Harden, Ked. Bradley 2.

3-Point Goals – Signal Mountain 4 (Teter); Hixson 9 (Nelson 3, Key. Bradley 3, Diaz, Abbott).

Girls

Signal Mountain                    8 11 2 11 – 32

Hixson                                     8 2 14 4 – 28

Signal Mountain (32) – Turner, Peterson, Aryn Sanders, M. Whitmire 5, B. Whitmire 2, Bledsoe, Bowman, Gravett, McGowan 2, Boals 2.

Hixson (28) – Johnson, Taylor 6, Stanfield, Yates, T.T. Staten 15, White 6, Rivers 1, Jett, Bowser.

3-Point Goals – Signal Mountain, none; Hixson, none.

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)


Red Bank Eliminated From State Volleyball

SMYRNA, Tenn. – The TSSAA State Volleyball tournament didn’t start off like the Red Bank Lionettes would have liked. It didn’t end like they wanted either as they got eliminated by the Lady Indians of Harpeth. Red Bank ended its season at 28-27 following the three-set 25-6, 25-16 and 25-15 loss in its second match of the day. Facing the Lady Irish from Knoxville Catholic ... (click for more)

Braves' Craig Kimbrel Named Top National League Reliever

ATLANTA -- Major League Baseball Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred presented Craig Kimbrel with the Trevor Hoffman Award as the NL's Reliever of the Year and Royals closer Greg Holland with the Mariano Rivera Award as the American League's Reliever of the Year before the Royals and Giants played Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium. This marks the ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Firm Gets $1,010,000 Contract For Overseeing VW Expansion For New SUV Line

A Chattanooga firm is getting the contract for overseeing the construction work for the new SUV line at the Volkswagen plant. Officials said the EMJ Corporation has been selected for the project that will give a new surge of activity and employment at the plant at the Enterprise South Industrial Park. The work includes additions to the body shop and tech center and adding ... (click for more)

Man Airlifted To Erlanger After Early Morning Crash In Bradley County

Bradley County EMS responded to an early morning crash Thursday at 7 a.m. at the intersection of Lauderdale Memorial Highway and Walker Valley Road in Charleston. Three ambulances and an EMS supervisor responded to the scene. There were three vehicles involved and one car left the roadway.   One adult man suffered serious injuries and it was determined that he needed ... (click for more)

Chairs Cost How Much?

Many times while growing up, I would go to the store with my parents. More often than not, I would see something I wanted, and ask my parents to buy it for me. More often than not, they said no. “Why?” I asked. “Son, money doesn’t grow on trees.” That’s a phrase I’m sure many of us have heard more than once over the course of our lives. However, I have since learned that they were ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Dear Friend Luther

One sunny morning in June years ago, the renowned radio icon Luther Masingill was on his way back to the WDEF studios on South Broad Street when he stopped for a red light and noticed a young couple in a car idling next to his familiar light blue Ford pickup. “What caught my eye was a buck-toothed boy eating a banana in the back seat,” he explained in an aside to that day’s lunchtime ... (click for more)