Mavs dish out a ‘Devil’ of a time

Greeneville forced to play the Maverick game, and it doesn’t go well

Anderson County High School’s Tate Russell get upended after a big gain Friday night against Greeneviile. - Zack Williams
A dominant victory over a longtime postseason nemesis has landed the Anderson County High School football team in the Class 4A State Semifinals.

The Mavericks erased an early deficit against Greeneville to punch their second ticket to the semifinals in team history.

After falling behind early, ACHS scored 38 unanswered points to keep its perfect record intact with a 38-7 victory over previously top-ranked Greeneville on a chilly Friday night at Anderson County.

The win means that the Mavericks (13-0) will practice on Thanksgiving Day, and it enabled them to make a state semifinal appearance for just the second time in the team’s 49-year history.

But things didn’t start well for Anderson County, which fell behind 7-0 when Greene Devils quarterback Brady Quillen threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Zac Chrisman in the first quarter, and it seemed that a familiar narrative would unfold as Greeneville (12-1) had ended the Mavs’ season four times since 2017.

“They gave us a little trouble,” Anderson County Head Coach Davey Gillum said. “The big thing was we came back out and answered.”

It’s not the first time Anderson County has been down early in a game this season.

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Red Bank awaits in semi-final

When area high school football teams begin preparations for the season during the dog days of summer, the goal is to have practice on Thanksgiving Day.

A holiday practice means that you’re in the midst of a deep playoff run and have a shot at a state championship.

One area team will have a Thanksgiving walkthrough this week, and it’s cleared two longtime hurdles to get there.

Anderson County (13-0) will have a Class 4A State semifinal showdown against Red Bank (11-2) Friday night in Chattanooga. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

The Mavericks advanced to the semifinals with a 38-7 victory over longtime nemesis and top-ranked Greeneville (12-1) last week at ACHS.

The Lions, meanwhile, won their state quarterfinal tilt, 28-6, at East Hamilton Friday night, avenging a 14-0 regular-season loss to the Hurricanes (9-4) on Sept. 30.

Red Bank enters the game riding a crest of momentum, as it has won five consecutive games, including two straight postseason road wins.

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‘Balanced’ Lady Dragons get off to fast start at 2-0

Lady Dragon Lanee Carmichael scored a team-high 17 points against Lenoir City. - Tony Cox
Before the new high school basketball season began, Clinton High School girls basketball Coach Alicia Phillips knew two things:

She was aware that her team would feature a balanced scoring attack, and she also knew that her squad was going to have to outwork its opponents.

Phillips, the Lady Dragons’ veteran head coach, couldn’t have scripted a better beginning to the 2022-23 campaign, which opened Thursday night with a Hall of Fame Game at Lenoir City High School.

Clinton notched a 57-43 victory in Loudon County, and followed that win with another against Powell on Saturday in its home opener at the Don W. Lockard Gymnasium. The Lady Dragons knocked off Knox County’s Lady Panthers 53-43 to dart out to a 2-0 start.

“This year, we have several players who can score 15 points on any given night, and we played well at Lenoir City,” Phillips said. “Lenoir City is actually a lot better than they’ve been in the past.”

The Lady Dragons have shooters and scorers, but they also have rebounders.

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Lady Mavs flex scoring muscle

Emily Mustard picked up on her outstanding 2021-22 season by dropping 24 points against Sunbright over the weekend early in the 2022-23 season. - Ricky Williams
Three players posted double figures Saturday morning as the Anderson County High School girls basketball team notched a 65-58 victory over Sunbright in a Hall of Fame Game at ACHS.

Emily Mustard led the Lady Mavericks with 24 points. Lydia Meldrum added 14 and Kyrstan Campbell finished with 10 against the Tigers in Anderson County’s first victory of the 2022-23 season.

The Lady Mavericks (1-2), however, returned to the hardwood Saturday night and struggled against Oneida, 48-31, in another Hall of Fame Game at ACHS.

“We just got sped up and took some bad shots and made some bad decisions,” Lady Mavs Coach Mitch Cupples said. “We turned the ball over too much.

“That game was very similar to our game against Loudon.”

Bailey Newman led the Lady Mavericks with seven points, while Meldrum and Campbell finished with six points apiece against the Lady Indians.

Anderson County opened the new season with a 61-51 loss at Loudon Thursday night.

Mustard scored 20 points and Jaylin Bullock had 16 for ACHS against the Lady Redskins.

“We did some really good things (against Loudon),” Cupples said. “But we turned the ball over too much.”

Mavs earn split in Hall of Fame games

The 2022-23 basketball season is underway and the Anderson County High School boys basketball team salvaged a split in a pair of Hall of Fame Games Saturday at home.

The Mavericks opened the day with a 75-35 victory against Sunbright. ACHS fell to Class 3A powerhouse Fulton, 65-27.

First-year head Coach Jordan Jeffers kept the loss to the Falcons in its proper place.

“Fulton is just a different animal,” he said. “They’re the best team in (Class 3A) and they might be the best team in the state. But we did some positive things.”

The Mavericks (1-2) posted a team effort in the lopsided victory over the Tigers.

“I thought we moved the ball well against Sunbright,” Jeffers said. “I think we had 18 assists against them, and that’s good for us.”

Brandon Dake led ACHS with 23 points against the Tigers, while Carter Nelson added 10.

The Mavs opened the season Thursday night in Loudon with a 72-54 loss to the host Redskins.

Anderson County played well in the first half in Loudon, according to Jeffers.

“I thought we played OK in the first half,” Jeffers said. “And while playing well in the first half certainly gives you a chance, it doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to win.

“We didn’t shoot well in the second half and we had too many turnovers.”

Jacob Dooley led the Mavericks with 18, scoring all of his points before halftime. Nelson added 13 points and Dake finished with eight against the Redskins.

Dragons begin ‘fun’ ride with a Panther split

The 2022-23 season is going to be a venture into the unknown for the Clinton High School boys basketball team.

Just two games into the campaign, it’s already been a rollercoaster ride.

But longtime Coach Chris Lockard was all smiles after his young Dragons defeated geographic and one-time District 3-AAA rival Powell Saturday afternoon at CHS’s Don W. Lockard Gymnasium.

Clinton (1-1) was in control throughout the game on its way to a 61-42 victory over the Panthers.

The Dragons opened an early 14-8 lead before extending their advantage to 35-14 by halftime.

CHS, which reached the Class AAA State Tournament last season, lost its top eight players from last season’s squad and had no returners with varsity experience.

But Lockard remains upbeat despite having an inexperienced team.

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Oak Ridge’s ‘rollercoaster’ of a season ends at Powell

Wildcats keep pace with Panthers early, but defending 5A champions pull away

Oak Ridge’s De’Jauvis Dozier leaps over a couple of Powell defenders for a gain Friday night in the TSSAA 5A quarterfinal playoff game. - Chad Steed Photography
A rollercoaster ride of a 2022 season came to an end for the Oak Ridge High School football team Friday night.

Despite hanging around early, the Wildcats came up on the short end of a 43-13 decision against Powell in the Class 5A quarterfinals in northwest Knox County.

Oak Ridge, which made its second trip to Scarbro Stadium this year, finished the campaign with a 7-6 overall record after falling to region rival and the defending Class 5A champion Panthers.

First-year ORHS head Coach Scott Cummings showed a little emotion following the season-ending loss.

“Right now, it’s all about these seniors,” Cummings said. “It’s about them and their emotions, and there are a lot of guys on this team that I wish I could’ve had for two or three years.

“But once you’re mine, you’re mine and I have them for life.”

Powell handed the Wildcats their lone Region 3-5A loss, a 30-14 setback on Sept. 30. But Oak Ridge hung tough early.

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Oak Ridge basketball teams split in opener

Lady Wildcat Ayana Porter heads for the hoop in the Oak Ridge tilt against the Lady Dragons of York Institute. - Barry Houchin
The 2022 season opened on a winning note for the Oak Ridge High School boys basketball team recently.

The Wildcats tipped off the campaign with a lopsided 94-52 victory over the Alvin C. York Institute on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at Wildcat Arena.

The Dragons (0-1) reached the Class AA State Quarterfinals in Murfreesboro last season and ORHS coach was pleased to see his young squad open the campaign with a decisive victory as the Wildcats (1-0) were short-handed, missing some football players.

“We shared the ball well and this was a good win and a good way to open the season,” Green said. “York is a (Class) AA state tournament team from last year, but they lost a lot of players to graduation.

“We were missing football players and we still have a lot of work to do to get better.”

The Wildcats had three players post double figures in the scoring column. Brennen Scott led the way with 22 points. Kaden Brightharp added 19 and Grayson Stader finished with 16.

Lady Dragons edge Lady Wildcats: York, the 2021-22 Class AA state runner-up, defeated Oak Ridge 55-47 in the season opener for both schools recently at Wildcat Arena.

The Wildcats and Lady Wildcats both played in the Pigeon Forge Thanksgiving Classic early in the week. Results were not available at press time.