Pats beat TAD at buzzer

By Kim Richardson
STAR Correspondent
Unicoi County guard Andrew Lingerfelt hit the game-winner, a running 12-foot jumper with three seconds remaining to lift the visiting Patriots over the T. A. Dugger Jr. Cyclones Monday afternoon, 27-25.
"I had no doubt it was going in," stated Lingerfelt. "We were just trying to get a shot off, and I was open. We play as a team -- that's the key."
The Patriots and Cyclones had battled to a 25-all tie before Lingerfelt's game winner. TAD had closed an 11-6 halftime deficit to trail by only three, 21-18, at the end of three quarters.
TAD head coach James Jacobs said it was par for the course.
"We've had so many close battles this year," he explained. "Coach (Ken) Hilliard does such a great job with those guys, and they moved the ball well to get the open shot.
"This is the first time a Unicoi County team has won this many (10) conference games in a season," said Coach Hilliard. "James coaches his players so well, and he had them in a position to win. We just happened to have the last shot at it."
Jr. Cyclone Wendall Loving lamented the fact that TAD missed so many shots.
"We just couldn't buy a bucket," he said. "We missed so many shots, so many shots under the basket. That was the difference in the game."
Coach James agreed, saying: "We played hard, and rebounded well. But we need a little more offense. It was a battle, so I can't fault them for their effort; but we have to finish underneath."
Aaron Bradford led the Jr. Cyclones with nine points, followed by Ryan Green with seven. Bo Carter, Brent Thomas, Loving and Jake Peters each scored two, while David Martin hit one of two free throws.
Derek Shelton's nine points and Drew Rice with seven matched TAD's two top scorers. Jonathan Canady scored four, Casimiro Razo tallied two and Lingerfelt had three free throws before hitting the game winner to close the scoring.
Junior Varsity
Unicoi County 41
T.A. Dugger 33
Brandon Adams' domination under the basket, and some very crafty guard play from teammates Cameron Miller and Keaton Corn propelled the visiting Pats over T A Dugger.
The Jr. Cyclones were put to a big disadvantage early in the first quarter when future sensation Julian Smith, was whistled for his second personal foul. Smith returned in the second quarter, only to be hit with his third foul within the first minute of play.
Smith led the Jr. Cyclones with 11 points and Jared Lyons had six. Vic Deloach contributed four points, just one less than Lance Reed's five, and one more than Zach Montgomery's three. Casey Crapps and Skylar Dugger each scored two.
TAD didn't exactly make things easy on itself with its two-point offensive total for the first quarter, which put them into a seven-point deficit.
The second period went somewhat better for the Jr. Cyclones. In fact, they tripled their first-period output to head into halftime minus nine, at 17-8.
The Jr. Cyclones held Adams to two points in the third quarter, outscoring Unicoi County 11-10, but still entered the final period trailing by eight, 27-19.
Every time TAD seemed to hit stride, Adams would make a clutch basket. Adams scored eight points in the final period, often answering baskets by Smith or Lyons, who hit two key fourth quarter two-pointers to keep TAD within striking range.
Adams' 17 points led all scorers, and Miller followed with nine. Corey Headley tallied five and the smooth guard, Corn, had four points and four steals. Bobby Smith, Steven Kiernan and Jordon Cooper each finished with two points.
But without the services of Smith for most of the game, the Jr. Cyclones were a just little "little" underneath.