The Signal Mountain boys topped rival Soddy Daisy 62-59 in their road matchup Friday night.
Elite defense, solid big-man play, and the second-half awakening of star Junior Chris Kennedy
helped push the Eagles over the edge.
“Any time you can win on the road in the district it is fantastic, so I’m really proud of the guys
and the way they were able to take care of the ball and hit free throws at the end to salt it away,”
said SMHS Coach Steve Redman.
Early on, Soddy Daisy controlled the game. The Trojans completely took the Eagle’s best player,
Chris Kennedy, out of the game, holding him to just two points in the first half as they made life
very difficult for him by face-guarding him. On offense, they constantly scored against all the
different looks Signal Mountain gave them, not because of good shooting, but due to physicality
on the offensive glass. Shaun Pangle was great on offense in the half, but more importantly, their
second-chance points and a great all-around effort gave them a six-point lead heading into the
The Eagles were lucky to only be down six. They had been out-performed, but more importantly,
out-physicaled. Redman challenged his team at halftime, and the squad came out with a fire lit
under them. Redman’s squad stormed out of the gate to tie the game up at 25 in under two
“Soddy is always a very physical team and I thought early in the first half we didn’t match their
physicality. I challenged them at half-time and they came out and erased their lead almost
immediately. It felt like once we challenged our guys, they stepped up and did a really good job,”
The big difference was in their defense. Their full-court press bothered the Soddy Daisy guards
and led to turnovers and bad shots resulting in layups on the other end. Almost every change they
got the Eagles pressed, and almost every time, it worked exactly as they liked. They sped the
game up and got good looks at the rim leading them to a 39-36 lead after three and a high-paced
“If we could press the entire game, we would do it. We just don’t have enough people and aren’t
in that great of shape… As long as they are playing hard and doing what they are supposed to do,
it's a good night.”
The biggest factor for the Eagles was the second-half surge of Chris Kennedy. Their leading
scorer had been completely outed from the game by the Soddy defense in the first half, but in the
second half, Kennedy made his presence felt. Redman said they didn’t change anything up,
Kennedy just figured things out.
“Our offense is set up where you can faceguard somebody and they will still get looks on curls
and things. It was more of Chris just adjusting to what's going on. He scores 20 a game but we
don’t necessarily look for him. He comes by his shots naturally, so once we were able to get
some shots off our press, it made things easier all around.”
The Eagles pushed the lead up to eight with just 1:20 left, and though three threes from Kale
Johnson and Nathan Landtroof made it interesting, clutch free throw shooting made it impossible
for Soddy Daisy to get a real shot at tying the game up. The visitors left with a W, 62-59.
Signal Mountain girls 39, Soddy Daisy 31: In the first matchup of the day, the visiting Lady Eagles came out on top with an eight-point victory, 39-31. The bigs for Signal Mountain shined as Carlee Lowery and Aubryn McKendrick were matchup nightmares for Soddy Daisy and combined for 21 points at the rim as well as a great presence on the offensive and defensive glass.
Signal jumped out to an 8-0 lead after one and looked like they were going to run away with
things, but just when things looked over, the script flipped. All of a sudden, it was the Lady
Eagles that couldn’t take care of the ball and missed shots at the rim, and Soddy Daisy stormed
back thanks to multiple fast break layups off turnovers and bad shots. Signal Mountain clung on
to a 13-11 lead at the half.
Things got serious and spirited in the second half ass the teams went back and forth in front of a
good crowd. Things got so intense to a point that Signal was charged with multiple technical
fouls for showing emotion.
Soddy took a 24-22 lead into the fourth quarter, but Signal buckled down and went on a 10-0 run
to start the quarter and set themselves up to win the game. As the Lady Trojans battled back,
Signal answered time and time again. The most important of those was a big time offensive
putback from Lowery with just a minute left to put the Lady Eagles up four and essentially close
the door on a comeback. After a stop on defense, her teammates followed with clutch free throw
shooting to put the game under wraps and come out on top, 39-31.
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN 8 5 9 17 - 39
SODDY DAISY 0 11 13 7 - 31
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN (39) - Carlee Lowery 11, Aubryn McKendrick 10, Pawson 8, Walker 6, Clark
SODDY DAISY (31) - Patterson 5, Varner 5, Hall 5, Trimiar 4, Faires 4, Edmondson 4, Crawley 2,
3-Point Goals: Signal Mountain 1 (Clark); Soddy Daisy 0
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN 8 11 20 23 - 62
SODDY DAISY 12 13 11 23 - 59
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN (62) - Chris Kennedy 18, Blake Wolford 16, Newman 9, Timblin 9, Svedas 5,
Martin 4, Matukewicz 1
SODDY DAISY (59) - Shaun Pangle 21, Johnson 9, Eller 9, Love 8, Landtroof 5, Hughes 5,
3-Point Goals - Signal Mountain 2 (Newman, Timblin); Soddy Daisy 5 (Johnson 3, Eller,