Cumberland County Wins 63-56 over Eagles in Crossville
Crossville, TN — The Rhea County High School Lady Eagles basketball team lost 63-56 at Cumberland County with Mallory Hampton scoring 28 points. The Lady Eagles went up against AA powerhouse Cumberland who are led by Gracee Dishman, who was finalist for Miss Basketball last year. The senior guard came into game averaging around 31 points per game. On this night, Mallory Hampton battled against Dishman and played well, outscoring Dishman and pulling down double digits in rebounds.
As for the game, it was nothing like the 2017 game at Rhea County that went 110-84 in favor of Cumberland County. Neither team shot well and in the end the difference in the game was second chance points by the Lady Jets and excellent free throw shooting. Scoring for Rhea County: Hampton 28, Madison Taylor 8, Haley Cameron 8, Macy Welch 7, Emma Gentry 5. Scoring for Cumberland County: Dishman 27, Hedgcoth 20, Tabor 4, A. Wilson 6, K. Wilson 6.
The first quarter was close throughout and it was Rhea County down 14-10 at end of first quarter. In second a Mallory Hampton layin gave Lady Eagles 19-16 lead with 5:54 left in quarter. Haley Cameron answered a Jet basket with fast break make to keep Rhea up 20-19 with 3:08 remaining. From there it was an 11-1 run to finish the quarter for Lady Jets. A buzzer beater baseline basket by Dishman gave the Lady Jets a 30-21 lead at half. Dishman totaled 10 points in the quarter. Hampton answered with 6 for Rhea.
Cumberland maintained double digit lead in third until two Haley Cameron freebies put Rhea within 35-26 with 3:02 left in quarter. With 1:53 left, Emma Gentry made elbow three to keep margin at nine(38-29). For the quarter it was 12-12 draw for both teams and margin remained at 11 points(42-33).
At 5:34 mark of last quarter, Hampton snatched the rebound, made the pass down court to Taylor and then sprinted to head of key for a three point basket to make the score 44-38(only a six point margin). But Cumberland didn’t wilt and a Dishman basket down low with 3:52 remaining pushed lead back to nine(50-41) with 3:52 left, but Hampton assisted Cameron for corner three that keep Lady Eagles close(50-44). Hampton lived in the paint in the last quarter and for most part was scoring or being fouled. Two freebies with 2:57 pulled Rhea to 50-46 with just under three minutes remaining and Rhea County crowd grew hopeful.
Lady Jets decided to sit on the ball and take their time on next trip down the court and their patience paid off with Hedgecoth getting free for inside basket and the harm. The 53-46 lead went away on a Hampton corner 3 to pull within 53-49 with 2:17 remaining. But next trip once again resulted in Hedgecoth getting an easy inside basket in another patient trip for the Lady Jets as the driving Tabor found Hedgecoth for the assist with just over 1:31 remaining in game. Hedgecoth added the free throw to put score at 56-49.
Macy Welch and Maddie Taylor led a short run for Lady Ealges and with 1:09 on the clock the Lady Eagles were a three pointer away for the tie(56-53) with one minute remaining. Lady Eagles were forced to foul and Lady Jets hit the free throws, making 13-14 in the quarter and Rhea County could not close the gap and a late Welch basket with 5 seconds was too little(62-56), too late and Jets pushed their record to 4-2, while Lady Eagles fell to 2-5 as final scoreboard read 63-56.
The game continued the tough early non-district schedule for Rhea County, but they head home for a home game versus Hixson on Thursday and they will take time to celebrate Mallory Hampton and her achievement of 1000 points after the girls game. Girls game time is set for 6:30 pm.