KINGSTON — The last time arch rivals Scott High and Kingston met in Roane County, the Yellow Jackets needed a bail-out call with 1.8 seconds remaining to win the game at the free throw line.
But after the two teams played neck-and-neck twice in the regular season, Kingston owned the meeting that mattered most, defeating the Highlanders 63-47 on Friday to advance to the District 4-AA championship game, which it will host on Tuesday.
The Yellow Jackets took charge of the game early and never looked back, building a double-digit lead that would not be relinquished.
Down 21-9 after the first period, Scott High played Kingston close to even the rest of the way, but wasn’t able to make up any ground from the bad start.
Kingston was able to prevent a comeback by doing something almost no other team has done all season: hold Mr. Basketball finalist Trey Morrow in check through critical parts of the game.
Morrow finished with 24 points, near his season average in the scoring department. But Kingston’s defense was impressive when it mattered most.
The Highlanders’ junior point guard was hot early, hitting three 3-pointers in the opening period. But no one else from Scott High scored in the first quarter, and Kingston hit three 3-pointers of its own while six different players scored to propel the Yellow Jackets to the 12-point advantage.
Then Kingston limited Morrow to just two points through the second and third quarters to prevent the Highlanders from trimming any points off the lead.
Four different Scott High players scored in the second quarter, led by Cash Tucker’s five points. The senior finished with 10.
Dalton Prewitt, Luke West and Trevor McCarty also scored in the second quarter, but Kingston maintained its 12-point lead until the intermission.
The third quarter saw Scott start cold, while Kingston continued to grow the lead. The Yellow Jackets were up 46-32 going into the fourth quarter.
Morrow came alive in the final period, scoring 13 points. But the rest of the team scored only two — a Tucker bucket — as Kingston held on for a 16-point win.
The loss means that Scott High will travel to Alcoa on Monday for the district’s third place game, and will be on the road on Feb. 27 for the region quarterfinals. Monday’s game will be a rematch of the Highlanders’ overtime thriller against the Tornadoes on the same court last month.
SCOTT (47): Morrow 24, Tucker 10, West 5, McCarty 5, Prewitt 3.
KINGSTON (63): Raymer 21, Neal 14, Luttrell 10, Heidle 9, Boles 7, McNelley 2.