KNOXVILLE — If anyone from Austin-East has basketball-related nightmares this offseason, they might involve the fourth quarter and Callie Carson.
For a second time in 48 hours, the fourth quarter was indeed a nightmare for the Roadrunners against Scott High. And, for the second time in 48 hours, it was Callie Carson who played a leading role in that bad dream.
In Wednesday’s regular season finale, the junior point guard scored 11 of her game-high 23 in the fourth quarter, going 6 of 6 from the free throw line in the process, as Scott High came from six down to win by five in the final period.
In Friday’s rematch — which, unlike Wednesday’s game, actually mattered — Carson did it again. She scored 10 of her 14 in the final period, as the Lady Highlanders out-scored Austin-East 21-10 to turn a three-point nail-biter into a comfortable, 53-37 win.
With the win, Scott not only advanced to Saturday’s District 4-AA semifinals, but also earned a berth in the Region 2-AA tournament. Austin-East ended its season with three losses in eight days to the Lady Highlanders.
Carson was held scoreless in the first half of Friday’s game, but came alive in the second half, with 14 points. Ten of those points came from the free throw line, where she was 10 of 12 — including 8 of 10 in the fourth quarter. In the two games combined, she was 14 of 16 in the fourth quarter against Austin-East.
Meanwhile, senior Lyndsey Summers led all scorers with 17 points, and was 3 of 3 from the free throw line in the final period.
Summers also had seven rebounds and four assists. Carson had six rebounds. Kenzie Smith had a team-high nine rebounds to go along with seven points. Julia Butts had five steals to lead the Lady Highlanders in that category. She also scored nine points.
As a team, Scott High shot a whopping 39 free throws, connecting on 62 percent. For a second consecutive game against the Roadrunners, the free throw line was the difference. In Wednesday’s game, Scott was 14 of 22 from the line, while Austin-East was only 3 of 12. In Friday’s rematch, the Lady Highlanders had a 24-5 advantage at the line. Austin-East shot a paltry 31 percent there, going 5 of 16.
As a result, the Lady Highlanders won despite having fewer made field goals for a second consecutive game.
It didn’t always look like the free throw line was going to be kind for Scott High. The Lady Highlanders were just 7 of 14 from there in the first half, including 4 of 10 in the second quarter.
But Austin-East missed all five of the free throws it attempted in the first half, and Scott High turned an early deficit into a 24-20 halftime lead.
The third quarter saw the Lady Highlanders maintain a three-point lead after going just 4 of 8 from the line.
But in the final period, Scott High was 13 of 19 from the line, which proved to be a key difference.
The big fourth quarter from the line helped Scott off-set a big fourth quarter by Austin-East’s Lynndenria Drew. She had 10 of her team-high 14 in the fourth quarter.
Scott High’s semifinal game against top-seeded and unbeaten Alcoa was scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m. at Fulton High School on Saturday.
SCOTT (53): Summers 17, Carson 14, Butts 9, Smith 7, E. West 4, Sellers 2.
AUSTIN-EAST (39): Drew 14, Moreno 9, Muckelvene 5, Watkins 3, Anderson 3, Goins 3.