Lady Tigers perfect through first four

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By Taylor Crombie

The Sunbright Lady Tigers started the year off on a high note with a pair of wins against J. Frank White Academy (57-42) and Jellico (61-39) at home on Tuesday, then two more against Chattanooga (59-40) and Whitwell (52-47) at Whitwell on Saturday.

While the Lady Tigers trailed off in spots in both games Tuesday night, they showed that they are a force to be reckoned with as a team when they are on their game.

“I thought we moved and shared the ball well tonight,” head coach Rusty Yaden said. “One thing that I’ve seen with this bunch is there is no selfishness. We’ve got seven girls that are going to rotate and all of them are capable of being that leading scorer on any given night.”

Having seven girls who can all be a legitimate threat with the ball will be a huge factor in accomplishing the team’s goal of 22 to 23 wins this season and Yaden has preached that it will take a team effort to get there.

“One thing I try to stress to the girls is that their individual names are not on the scoreboard, it’s Sunbright,” Yaden said. “I don’t care how we get the points, as long as the team gets them.”

The J. Frank White Lady Knights kept things relatively close in the first quarter, but Sunbright took a commanding lead by the end of the half with a 22-point second quarter. Hannah Shannon led the team with a pair of three’s and four free throws to help the Lady Tigers take a 40-23 lead.

The Lady Tigers didn’t bring quite the same energy into the second half and only put up 17 points for the remainder of the game. The Lady Knights were unable to recover from the damage of the second quarter though, allowing Sunbright to take the 57-42 win.

J. Frank White (42) Garner 10, K.Piercy 4, Cole 9, B.Piercy 4, Keith 10, Williams 1, Bradley 2, Helton 2.

Sunbright (57) Griffith 3, DeFee 4, Farmer 6, Northrup 11, Shannon 18, Byrd 10, Brown 4, England 1.

The Jellico Lady Blue Devils entered the final game of the night against Sunbright immediately after falling 65-50 to JFWA and without their head coach DJ Osborn, who had been ejected in the third quarter.

The Lady Devils were dragging in the first quarter, while Sunbright’s offense came out firing on all cylinders. The Lady Tigers put up 19 points in the first quarter to take a 12-point lead, with each of their big seven getting a piece of the scoring action.

Lauren Farmer led the team with 16 points in Sunbright’s eventual 61-39 victory, while MaKenna Brown, who struggled offensively in the first game, bounced back with 15.

Olivia Northrup did not contribute as much to the score against Jellico, but finished the game with seven assist and six huge steals.

With a 34-20 lead at halftime, Yaden was able to put his bench to work and give some of the younger players some game experience. The Lady Tigers did fine offensively and still put up 27 points in the second half, but did not execute as well as they went deeper into their bench.

Jellico (39) Moses 13, Smith 17, Dilbeck 7, Perkins 2.

Sunbright (61) Griffith 2, DeFee 5, Farmer 16, Northrup 8, Shannon 4, Byrd 8, Brown 15, Davis 1, Thompson 2.

After allowing the Chattanooga Patriots tie the game at 23-23 in the second quarter, the Lady Tigers put together a 21-point third quarter to pull ahead 44-33. Sunbright was nearly perfect on the free throw line in fourth quarter, which made the difference in the 59-40 win.

Sunbright (59) Griffith 4, DeFee 2, Farmer 9, Northrup 8, Shannon 11, Byrd 10, Brown 5, Cox 4, Shelton 5, Thompson 1.

Chattanooga (40) Neel 4, Shar Daves 10, Shal Daves 4, Bunch 14, Sliger 4, Grant 4.

Brown put up a season-high 19 points and led the Lady Tigers to their victory over 52-47 victory over the Whitwell Lady Tigers. Northrup and Abby Byrd also reached double digits, scoring 10 points a piece.

Sunbright (52) Griffith 5, Farmer 8, Northrup 10, Byrd 10, Brown 19.

Whitwell (47) Grayson 2, Barnette 11, Brown 5, Rollins 5, Cartwright 7, Hoag 11, Hedrick 2, Hicks 7.