Sunbright Too Much For Lookout Valley Girls In 2-A

Third-quarter run puts an end to Lady Jackets season

Friday, February 22, 2019 - by James Beach
Lookout Valley’s Rainey Barber leads a fast break.
Lookout Valley’s Rainey Barber leads a fast break.
- photo by M.A. Locke
There wasn’t a single player on the court inside Joe Galloway Gymnasium Friday night that was even born the last time either of the two participating schools won a region tournament basketball game. 

For the host Lookout Valley girls the drought was a mere 19 years, a pill somewhat easier to swallow with the memory of the state run the 1999-2000 made in that magical 30-win season.

For the Sunbright Lady Tigers one had to dust off 22 years worth of record books to find a region win, and the wasteland between then and the time Sunbright coach Rusty Yaden took over two years ago was pretty much barren.

“Anyone who knows anything about the history of this program knows there really hasn’t been much a tradition, but it’s a testament to this senior class the change which has been made.
When I came here it wasn’t about winning games as much as it was about changing an entire culture, and we had to do that first. Not everyone bought into it, but these girls who are seniors now did, and it shows,” Yaden said.

The seeds of Yaden’s first year finally blossomed last night as the visiting Lady Tigers used a deft inside-out attack, a swarming zone defense, and their superior depth to finally succumb the Lady Jackets in the second half in cruising to a 52-34 victory in the opening round of the Region 2A tournament. 

“For us, this one has been our hurdle trying to get past it. We were really hungry tonight to get this one out of the way, and it’s finally a good feeling to say we won a region game,” said Sunbright senior post Makenna Brown.

Sunbright (27-7) will move into the region semifinals where it will play a Midway team which has beaten once and lost to twice on the season for a berth in the finals and an automatic sectional qualifier. 

“We won the district last year with 25 wins, but lost our first region game, and these girls lost the year before at this stage before I got here, so yeah, it has been a hurdle. But the one thing you can say to best describe this team is it is resilient. I don’t think we have a single girl miss a practice or a workout since we lost last year, and we have won a lot of games this year, but we always seem to do it the hard way by falling behind. Again, though, they are resilient,” Yaden added.

Lookout Valley (15-10) came out of the gate on fire, taking an early 8-3 lead, but a 9-0 Sunbright lead led to an 18-13 first quarter lead. The Lady Tigers hit a trio of 3s in the quarter and had six for the game, but the Lady Jackets played them toe-to-toe through the first half despite having to rely on a six-girl rotation. In the end, though, the depth caught up to them.

Sunbright went on a 14-2 run to open the second half and Lookout Valley managed to make just four field goals total in the final half, finally failing to answer the Lady Tigers’ runs.

“I think the depth was the biggest thing. There were a couple of timeouts I called just to get the girls some rest, but in the third quarter we just had trouble getting many good looks against that zone of theirs, and they hit some shots, and we just couldn’t answer. By the time the fourth period rolled around, they went into that stall game and it wore us out chasing them around,” said Lookout Valley coach Kristen Clounch. 

Rainey Barber did her best to provide offense for the Lady Jackets, finishing with 15 points to lead all scorers, but Lookout Valley missed 15 of its 19 second-half shots and wound up turning the ball over 20 times for the game.

“I’m really proud of the girls’ effort. We gave it all we had, but the depth and their pace of play were too much. I wish them the best of luck,” added Clounch.

Sunbright got points from seven different players and all of them shot the ball with a sense of ease reflective of a team that felt comfortable despite being on the road and in unfamiliar territory.

“We talked about it some coming into the game, but didn’t dwell on the fact this was a big hurdle for us. We just wanted to play our style of game and I thought we did. We had a really nice run in that third quarter and they just weren’t able to answer it, and once we got to the final quarter I felt like our experience took over,” added Yaden, complimenting his four senior starters again.

Hannah Shannon and Olivia Northrup each added double figures to go along with Brown’s team-high 13 points. Shannon finished with 11 and Northrup added 12. The Lady Jackets got a nice game from Alex Spence and Jalisa Sanders and Princess Simmons had seven points as well.
 

SUNBRIGHT               18    9    16   9  –   52 
LOOKOUT VALLEY      13    8      6   7  –   34

SUNBRIGHT (52) –
A.Northrup, Nitzschke, Olivia Northrup 12, England 2, L.Brown, Hannah Shannon 11, Trent 2, Cox 7, Smith, Makenna Brown 13, Shelton, Griffith 3.

LOOKOUT VALLEY (34) – P.Simmons 7, Millraney, Rainey Barber 15, Sanders 6, A.Simmons, J.Reed, Morton, Spence 6, Melton A.Reed.

3-POINT GOALS: Sunbright 6 (O.Northrup 2, Shannon 2, M.Brown, Griffith); Lookout Valley 5 (Sanders 2, Spence 2, Barber)

(Contact James Beach via email at 1134james@gmail.com or Twitter @beachnut1134)

 

Wow!Very cool!Love it!

Lookout Valley’s Alex Spence tries to get around Sunbright’s Lexi Griffith.
Lookout Valley’s Alex Spence tries to get around Sunbright’s Lexi Griffith.
- photo by M.A. Locke

PREP BASEBALL/SOFTBALL/SOCCER SCHEDULES

Dalton State Women's Golf Takes 1st Round Lead At Tennessee National

Covenant's Lilly Smith Earns Another USA South Honor For The Spring Season


(Changes, Corrections Or Additions: Please Notify Dennis Norwood at dennisnorwood56@gmail.com) PREP BASEBALL Monday, March 25 Cleveland at Walker Valley Tellico Plains at Sale Creek ... (click for more)

Dalton State Women's Golf got off to a good start with an opening round (+25, 313) to take the overnight lead at the TWU Spring Invitational at Tennessee National Golf Club in Loudon, Tenn. on ... (click for more)

For a second time this spring, Covenant women's track and field senior Lilly Smith has been named the USA South Track Athlete of the Week, as the conference announced its weekly honors on Monday. ... (click for more)


Sports

PREP BASEBALL/SOFTBALL/SOCCER SCHEDULES

(Changes, Corrections Or Additions: Please Notify Dennis Norwood at dennisnorwood56@gmail.com) PREP BASEBALL Monday, March 25 Cleveland at Walker Valley Tellico Plains at Sale Creek Cookeville at Rhea Co. Ooltewah at East Hamilton Notre Dame at Boyd-Buchanan McMinn Co. at Bradley Lookout Valley at CSAS Tyner at East Ridge Grace at Chattanooga Christian ... (click for more)

Dalton State Women's Golf Takes 1st Round Lead At Tennessee National

Dalton State Women's Golf got off to a good start with an opening round (+25, 313) to take the overnight lead at the TWU Spring Invitational at Tennessee National Golf Club in Loudon, Tenn. on Monday. (RV) Milligan (Tenn.) is in second after a (+31, 319), with #8 Loyola (La.) (+32, 320) in third. #13 Southeastern (Fla.) and (RV) Tennessee Wesleyan (+39, 327) share fourth and ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Attorney Joseph Hollis Jr. Is Top Choice Of Lawyers For Shattuck Replacement

Attorney Joseph Hollis Jr. was the top choice of lawyers in a Chattanooga Bar Association poll to replace General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck. He is a member of the firm of Baker, Kinsman, Hollis, Clelland & Winer. Nineteen attorneys are seeking the appointment from the County Commission. Attorney Hollis got 57 first choice votes. Kevin Wilson, the Collegedale ... (click for more)

Allegations Of Sexual Misconduct Continue To Rise At UTC

A new UTC Title IX report on Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence and Stalking said reported cases of such incidents among students continues to rise. There were 42 reported cases in 2014 and 56 in 2015. That jumped to 153 in 2016, 192 in 2017 and 221 last year. The report says of last year's 221 cases that 120 were allegations of sexual misconduct. There were 52 cases ... (click for more)

Opinion

What Is That Smell?

A septic tank functions beautifully until it doesn't. When a septic tank or field line ceases to function properly, E. coli and other bacteria will leak. It can move into the surrounding land or ground water. Anyone who has lived next door to a home with a progressively failing septic system will eventually notice the smell of sewage when it discharges. Raw sewage can leak for long ... (click for more)

Our Roads Need To Be Repaired For Ironman - And Response

Chattanooga being a finalist for the 2021 Ironman is great news. The business gained at the local bicycle repair shops from bent rims, busted tires and warped frames should produce some great local revenue. The local physicians should see a surge as well from the twisted ankles and busted up knees from dips, humps and pot holes on our area roads that could swallow a small child. ... (click for more)