KNOXVILLE — Scott High’s unbeaten streak to start the 2021-2022 season came to a screeching half Friday night, and the Highlanders’ first loss came at the most inopportune time of the young season: In the district opener.
Halls escaped with a 67-63 win over the Highlanders on Friday, despite a furious rally by Scott High in the fourth quarter. Bennett Lane — whose post presence gave the Highlanders fits all night — nailed a pair of free throws with less than 10 seconds left to seal the win.
Trey Morrow scored 26 points and Luke West added 17, but it was obvious from the outset that Halls’ defense was going to give the Highlanders problems. The Red Devils played an aggressive man defense, one that involved physically assaulting Morrow both on and away from the basketball.
Morrow made Halls pay by going 12 of 14 from the free throw line, but the whistles didn’t come often enough to make up for the trouble the Highlanders had scoring from the field.
“I thought they physically manhandled us, at every position, at every spot, for 32 minutes,” Scott High coach Jordan Jeffers said. “We can complain about fouls, and rightfully so in some instances … but the referees didn’t lose it tonight. The Highlanders lost it.”
Jeffers was disgruntled with his team’s approach, calling it “entitled, arrogant and soft.”
“I thought we thought, looking at scores, we were just going to come in here and wax these fools and then go eat at Chic-Fil-A on Emory Road on the way home,” he said. “They play extremely hard, and they play extremely well at home. We’re the new guys, the new kids on the block. This is their district and their classification.”
Scott High fell behind by as much as 13 in the first half, then cut it to two points, only to see Halls build the lead to 15 points in the third quarter.
Finally, the Highlanders began to rally in the final period, and got to as close as one point down the stretch.
But Scott was unable to finish, as Halls held on for what was an undeniable upset win to get the district slate started.
“You gotta show up and do it every single night and we didn’t show up tonight,” Jeffers said.
SCOTT (63): Morrow 26, West 17, Brumett 7, Todd 7, Strunk 3, Jeffers 2, Prewitt 1.
HALLS (67): B. Lane 27, Shaffer 17, Simpson 9, J. Lane 8, Young 4, Williams 2.