Stone Memorial fares well at Science Hill Classic

Nov. 21—The Stone Memorial Panthers and Lady Panthers survived an early road test Nov. 19 when they competed in the Science Hill Basketball Classic in Johnson City, TN.

The Panthers remained undefeated at 3-0 with victories over Science Hill [70-51] and Jefferson County [69-47], while the Lady Panthers topped Morristown West [44-41], but fell in a squeaker to Jefferson County [53-47] in the final game of the day.

Panthers take two in Johnson City

“Science Hill is going to compete and get after it, and that’s exactly what they did,” said Stone Memorial boys’ coach Neil Capps. “We went back and forth, and we were able to hold on to a double-digit lead. They were able to cut into it a little bit, but down the stretch we were able to hit shots.”

The Panthers jumped out on top early and led 23-12 after the first period and by 18, 37-19, at the intermission. Stone kept the heat on defensively in the second half and rolled to the 70-51 win.

Cade Capps led the charge for Stone Memorial with 36 points. Matthew Bilbrey scored 15, while Wyatt Grothe scored seven. Connor Bowman scored six,, and Preston Mayberry and Nathan Houston chipped in three points each.

“Cade had 36 points and Matthew had 15, but it doesn’t really paint the whole picture if you just talk about points,” coach Capps said. “We had a lot of guys make contributions defensively, rebounding, pushing the ball in transition. We really competed well; it was a great team effort against a tough opponent at their place.”

The Panthers got scoring from seven different players in Stone’s game Saturday against Jefferson County. Cade Capps topped all scorers with 27 points, while Brilbrey tallied 24. Mayberry scored seven, Zaiden Rice and Grothe scored three each. Blake Holt scored three and Jayden Eldridge got two.

“Defense led the way for us again in that game,” coach Capps said. “Jefferson County got off to a good start. They had a lot of motion, not a lot of dribbling and they gave us problems. We had good contributions from a lot of people in the second game, too. I love the effort from all of our guys.”

Lady Panthers split games at Science Hill

“We’re growing and we’re getting better and that was one of the goals for us going up there. We accomplished that for sure,” said Stone girls’ coach Mike Buck.

Stone Memorial struggled getting into a rhythm early in the game. The Lady Panthers stayed right with Morristown West, but could never seem to get anything going.

“It was a physical game for sure,” Buck said. “We didn’t protect the ball as well as we should have, but down the stretch we were able to make the plays in order to give us a chance to win the game. In the game, there was a moment when we needed a spark and we found that in our two seniors — ..Maggie and Emily Hazelton. They went in and were aggressive and physical, and exactly what we needed in that moment. That sparked the rest of us.”

The Lady Panthers rallied and won the game on a three-pointer by Kortney Headrick at the buzzer.

“It was 41-41 with around 30 seconds to play,” Buck said. “They got the ball back and lost it out of bounds. At the end of the game, with about 11 seconds to play, Rachel Houston deflected an inbounds pass off of one of their players. We got the ball to Adison Howard and she got the ball going downhill. Kortney Headrick was posted up in the corner and Adison found her and she knocked down the shot at the buzzer.

Headrick led the way for Stone with 28 points. Lilly Hinch had six and Kailee Waldo scored five. Kara Vonachen contributed four points, while Howard scored three and Madison Lefebvre had one.

The Lady Panthers got off to a slow start in the second game against Jefferson County. Stone Memorial outscored JCHS 20-12 in the final period, only came up short in the loss.

“It was difficult for us. We played well in the first half, but we had a bad third period, scoring only one point,” Buck said. “We started competing at the end of the third quarter and into the fourth. We gave ourselves a chance, we competed and cut it to six. We just came up a little bit short.”

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