KINGSTON — District 4-AA’s surprise team of 2021 sank two free throws with 2.8 seconds remaining to sink Scott High here Saturday afternoon, defeating the Highlanders 54-52 in a controversial finish to remain atop the district standings.
Scott High had the lead with under a minute remaining, before Kingston first knocked down a 3-point shot to tie the game, then rebounded the front end of a missed 1-and-1 free throw opportunity at the opposite end and held for the game’s final shot.
That shot came up empty, but Scott was whistled for a questionable foul, sending Kingston to the free throw line for the game-winning tosses.
The win by the Yellow Jackets over-shadowed a 23-point, 15-rebound effort by Scott junior Trey Morrow, his latest double-double in a season that’s been filled with them.
Kingston’s own star player, Harper Neal, was nearly as effective, scoring 21 points.
Behind Neal’s early success, Kingston — which had already defeated a Fulton team that manhandled Scott two weeks before Christmas — jumped out to a 10-2 lead and appeared set to coast to its third district win of the season.
But then Scott found its sea legs, battling back to take a four-point lead at halftime. Luke West scored 10 points and Cash Tucker added nine for the Highlanders, while Kingston’s Colby Raymer scored 10 and Brady Luttrell added eight, and the two teams battled back and forth for the final three quarters of the game, exchanging the lead on numerous occasions.
Scott struggled from 3-point range, finishing 5 of 23 (22%). But the Highlanders hit a couple of big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to grab the lead in the final two minutes.
That changed when Neal hit his fourth 3-pointer of the night to tie things up. Then came the questionable foul call with 2.8 seconds remaining. Video showed the Highlander defender with his feet planted and arms up — typically a no-call. But after the shot bounced off the rim and Morrow grabbed what would’ve been his 16th rebound of the night, one of the officials blew a late whistle, sending Kingston to the free throw line.
After the made free throws, Scott tossed a long pass to Morrow who appeared to be fouled again. With no whistle, Morrow was forced to throw an improbable lob at the goal, which bounced harmlessly off the rim as the final horn sounded.
The win improved Kingston to 11-2 on the season. Meanwhile, the Highlanders suffered their fourth loss in five games, but Scott appears to finally be molding into the district title contender it expected to be after suffering some lumps in a season that has been repeatedly disrupted by coronavirus.
After losing by 23 points at Cosby in a surprisingly lopsided game on Jan. 5, Scott bounced back to avenge the loss on Friday, rolling to a win over the Eagles in Huntsville before playing well enough to defeat Kingston on Saturday.
The tests were to have continued this week, as Scott was scheduled to host Alcoa on Tuesday, and will host Fulton on Friday.
SCOTT (52): Morrow 23, West 10, Tucker 9, Storey 5, McCarty 3, Todd 2.
KINGSTON (54): Neal 21, Raymer 10, Luttrell 8, McNelley 5, Boles 5, Morgan 3, Heidle 2.
Scott 80, Cosby 47
You would’ve never guessed that Cosby defeated Scott High by 23 points just 72 hours earlier.
In their first home game since prior to Thanksgiving, the Highlanders rolled to an 80-47 win over Cosby on Friday, avenging a loss to the Eagles that occurred just three days earlier.
Trey Morrow scored a career-high 39 points while pulling down 11 rebounds, while Cash Tucker added 14 points and 7 rebounds, and Luke West finished with 13 points.
The game was not close, as Cosby’s Trey Johnson — an unstoppable force against the Highlanders in the first meeting in Cocke County — was limited to 12 points in the rematch. Big man Riley Galler scored 14 to lead the Eagles.
Cosby led 15-14 after the first quarter, thanks to a pair of opening period 3-point shots by Hayden Green. But things began to change in the second quarter, As Morrow scored seven and West added six to power a 19-11 run that gave the Highlanders a halftime lead they would not relinquish.
Scott exploded in the second half, scoring 23 points in the third quarter and 24 in the fourth to pull away for the win.
The win snapped a 3-game losing streak for the Highlanders, who had last won at Wartburg in early December.
SCOTT (80): Morrow 39, Tucker 14, West 13, Prewitt 7, Todd 3, Gray 2, Jeffers 2.
COSBY (47): Galler 14, Johnson 12, O’Dell 5, Askew 4, Workman 3, Shropshia 2, Cline 1.
Cosby 82, Scott 59
COSBY, Tenn. — At one point in the second quarter of Scott High’s Jan. 5 game here, head coach Jordan Jeffers turned to athletics director Eric Henry and jokingly asked, “What would the penalty be if we just went home?”
That summed up the kind of night the Highlanders were having in their first game back after the Christmas break, as Trey Morrow was besieged by foul calls early and often, Jeffers wound up being assessed a technical foul, and Cosby rolled to an 82-59 win behind 37 points by Trey Johnson.
The Eagles went 23 of 29 from the free throw line to pick up a 14-point advantage and end any chance the Highlanders had of winning the game. In fact, despite the lopsided finish, Scott High had just four fewer made field goals than Cosby.
The issue that drew Jeffers’ ire early was quick whistles against Morrow. Midway through the second quarter, the officials called a touch foul on Morrow that appeared to be his third of the night. That was much to the Highlander coaching staff’s chagrin, and matters weren’t helped when they learned it was actually Morrow’s fourth foul. Moments earlier, the officials had called a blocking foul against Morrow that should have been assessed to post player River Gray — who had a big night with 11 points on 4 of 5 shooting.
Jeffers used a time out to protest the officials’ mix-up, to no avail. The referee insisted that the call was correct.
Later, a different member of the officiating crew threatened to eject Jeffers for standing up to substitute a player into the game.
Meanwhile, the Highlanders managed to stay within striking distance through the first half, despite Morrow being on the bench with the fouls and Johnson scoring 28 points for Cosby through the first two quarters. The Eagles were up 12 at halftime.
But center Riley Galler proved unstoppable in the third quarter, scoring 12 of his 19 in the 8-minute frame to help Cosby push the lead to 20 points as the final period began. Morrow re-entered the game only to be called for his fifth foul just moments later. He finished with 12 points. The Highlanders were led by Luke West’s 14 points.
SCOTT (59): West 14, Morrow 12, Todd 11, Storey 5, Prewitt 4, Brumett 4, Tucker 3, Strunk 2, McCarty 2, Jeffers 2.
COSBY (82): Johnson 37, Galler 19, Askin 12, Green 6, Shropshie 3, Workman 2, Odell 2, Poe 1.