Sevier eliminates T.A. Dugger in semifinal action

By Ivan Sanders
STAR CORRESPONDENT
isanders@starhq.com

   KINGSPORT -- There was a "foul" smell in the air at John Sevier Middle School in Kingsport. It wasn't coming from the Eastman plant, either.
   John Sevier used a little home cooking to bring T.A. Dugger's season to an end by the score of 56-41 with a little assistance from the officiating crew, which seemed to see only orange while missing several obvious calls in a disappointing finale to an otherwise successful campaign for the boys middle school team.
   Aside from the poor officiating, Sevier didn't show much mercy either as they administered a relentless full court press while feeding off misplayed defensive assignments to do tremendous damage in the paint.
   "Their half court pressure was just too much because it kept us out of rhythm as shown by the fact we couldn't run a set offensive play," stated Jr. Cyclone coach James Jacobs. "They did a good job on offense as they kept slicing and cutting that caught us overplaying and let their athletic kids get easy buckets."
   T.A. Dugger showed they were definitely ready for the challenge poised by the Warriors as they hung close at the end of one quarter by the score of 12-8. Logan Williamson was one tough Warrior as the big post used his size and athleticism to score eight while Austin Taylor kept Dugger close by netting four points in the frame.
   The second period was a repeat of the first with the Jr. Cyclones hanging tough once again by being outscored by only a single point, 13-12. Again, it was Williamson who proved to be a thorn in the flesh for the Jr. Cyclones as he powered for eight more points to pace the Warriors.
   Taylor proved solid for TAD collecting five more points to his total while Brian Jenkins continued his solid late season play also contributing with five.
   Neither team could find any offensive boost at the beginning of the second half as Sevier managed to nip the Jr. Cyclones 7-5 in the scoring column. TAD was hoping for a little more success, especially when Williamson was sent to the bench with a twisted ankle, but couldn't buy a bucket.
   Josh Guinn nailed a three and Travis Bishop added a field goal for the Jr.Cyclones only points in the third.
   The big quarter for the Warriors was the final one when they outscored TAD 24-16 to win going away. TAD was forced to foul if they were to have any chance in the latter part of the contest as they continued playing catch-up basketball.
   Coty Sensabaugh made a living at the free throw line as the young man hit 10 of 12 to finish with 12 points on the night. Bo Burton put the dagger in the heart of TAD by drilling two treys in making sure his team was going to the finals against Indian Trail on Thursday.
   Williamson led all scorers with 19 as he managed to return in the fourth to collect three more points in his scoring column.
   Preston Smith, who was named All-Tournament, led the Jr. 'Clones in the final period as he ripped the nets for five points followed by Jenkins and Guinn who buried a trey each.
   Taylor and Jenkins led T.A. Dugger with 10 points apiece while Guinn added six points. Smith and Bishop wrapped up a solid campaign with five points each.
   Jacobs was especially pleased with the play of Jenkins in the tournament as the young man has grown leaps and bounds in his first year of basketball at TAD.
   "Brian has picked up his play and was a spark plug who was ready to step up to the challenge," said Jacobs. "Tonight, he and Josh 'Birddog" Guinn really did everything I have asked both of them to do in our last three practices."
   Added Jacobs: " This whole team is probably one of the best ones I have ever coached. They showed a lot of guts by coming from behind and winning a lot of close games and I am going to really enjoy watching them play in high school. They are just a great bunch of guys."