The Anderson County High School Mavericks traveled to Maryville High School for the annual Maryville Christmas Tournament, winning two of their three games.
The Mavericks played won their games with Jellico and Unicoi County. But they lost to Jefferson County.
The Mavericks soundly beat Jellico 81-74 after a strong showing by Connor Martin.
Martin finished the game with 23 points, including three three-point shots.
Coming up behind Martin, Carter Jett and Nick Reed finished with 18 and 16 points, respectively. Nick Reed was perfect on three-point shots, sinking all four, and Carter Jett finished with 10 assists.
They came away with a 52.4-percent effective field goal percentage, 24 points off of turnovers, and an astounding 22 personal fouls.
Unfortunately for the Mavericks, their good fortune didn’t last as they played against Jellico soon after, and resoundingly lost 74-52. They lost the lead in the very beginning of the game and never regaining it.
The standout players from the game were JaTrevor Stagnolia and Anthony White, both of whom came away with 13 points, tying for best scorer of the night.
Anthony White also tied for the most defensive and offensive rebounds, as well as having the most assists of the night.
For some reason, whether due to pressure from Jellico or nerves or some other factor, the Mavericks simply couldn’t hit their shots, finishing with an eFG of 40-percent, on only four three-point shots in the entire game. Meanwhile, they gave 12 personal fouls and 12 turnovers. Add that to the Mavericks getting beaten handily on offensive rebounds (9-17) and defensive rebounds (23-28) and it’s easy to see why the game ended the way it did.
Whatever happened with the Mavericks against Jellico, though, they made up for it against Unicoi County, coming away with a 70-62 victory after an absolute struggle of a game.
Connor Martin again led the team in scoring, finishing with 23 points, ahead of Carter Jett and Stone Hatmaker, who finished with 17 and 13 respectively.
The Mavericks finished with a 55-percent eFG and a fantastic 1.16 points per possession.
They fell short on offensive rebounds, only managing six to Unicoi’s 12, but absolutely made up for it defensively, finishing the night with 26 defensive rebounds.
The game against Unicoi was also one of the cleanest games of the tournament for the Mavericks after they finished with only 15 personal fouls. Unicoi finished with 21.
The free-throws made a considerable difference in the game, too, as the Mavericks made 18 of their 28 chances.
With Unicoi only making three free-throws, that was essentially a free 15 points for the Mavericks. Considering they only won by eight, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say the free-throws and fouls from Unicoi were a large part of the reason they won.
Head Coach Derek Wallace commented on the game and the season so far, stating the team is coming together well.
“I feel pretty good after [it],” said Wallace. “We won two out of our three, which we’ve never done there. We came in here for the first game after Christmas and played awful, but rebounded (well) against Unicoi and Jellico.
“We really played well as a team, and shot the ball really well.”
Talking about the team as a whole, Wallace said he’s happy with how the group is progressing.
“We’re averaging over 35-percent on threes right now, which is the highest I’ve ever had,” he said. “We’re a really good shooting team, especially with Carter Jet and Connor Martin.”