It took every second, and every possession, but the Creek Wood Lady Red Hawks knocked off Lewis County 48-45 on Monday night to secure a spot in the Region 6-AA Championship Game. With the win, Creek Wood is also guaranteed a spot in the Class AA Sectional round, with the winner of that game advancing to the State Tournament.
Friday night’s Region 6-AA quarterfinal matchup between Creek Wood and Summit looked like it could be a thrill ride early, as the Lady Spartans hit a three in the first few seconds of the game, and turned away Creek Wood’s first offensive possession.
Sevier County High School is just across Dolly Parton Parkway from the local airport. Perhaps that explains the air show that dominated the first half Saturday as Creek Wood battled Maryville-Heritage in the consolation game of the Sevierville Winterfest Christmas Invitational Tournament. The teams combined for twelve first half three pointers, and fifteen in the game, but the Lady Hawks survived for a 58-44 win and fifth place in the tournament.
Creek Wood won the first quarter 17-15, as Heritage scored all fifteen on long balls. The Lady Hawks held Heritage to just eight points in the second quarter-their first bucket and two more threes-and extended the lead to 31-23 at the half. Rachel Bell had 11 in the first half (including a 3), while Lamarra Gordon had 8 (with two triples); Heritage got 15 first half points on 5 threes from Jordan Johnson, and two more triples from Leah Thomas.
The Lady Hawk defense locked down in the second half, allowing only one three pointer from Autumn Johnson during the third, while CWHS added long bombs from Gordon in the third and McKenzie Haislip in the fourth. Creek Wood outscored the Lady Mountaineers 15-12 in the third to hold Heritage at bay, and finished them off with a 12-9 final frame. Heritage had played too clean of a second half to get many chances once they started fouling, and Creek Wood ran an expert press break in the second half to further frustrate the Lady Mountaineers and shorten the game.
Bell finished with 21 points for CWHS, while Gordon added 15. MVP McKenzie Haislip had ten points-a three and a two in both the second and fourth quarters, providing stability, scoring, and rebounding off the bench for the Lady Hawks. Because they lost in the first round before winning out instead of the second, Creek Wood finishes with a fifth place performance; a win over Alcoa in the opener, then a loss, would have put the Lady Hawks in the third place game. Alcoa, for what it’s worth, made it to the tournament championship game.