KNOXVILLE — For one quarter, Scott was in control. Then, District 3-AA’s champion started to look like district champions are perhaps supposed to look, as Knox Carter seized control of the its Region 2-AA quarterfinal against the Highlanders, winning 69-49.
As had been the case in the District 4-AA consolation game four days earlier, the Highlanders shut down a highly-favored opponent to start things off, but couldn’t sustain the defense.
Carter, a 20-win team that had polished off Union County for the district title earlier in the week, managed just two field goals in the opening period, as Scott High jumped to a 12-5 lead.
But once the Hornets found their offensive game, things were never the same. Carter went on a 23-10 run in the second quarter, hitting five 3-pointers, and scored 64 points across the final three quarters.
The Hornets’ lead was 28-22 at halftime, and 49-40 as the fourth quarter began. Noah Buttram scored seven third quarter points and Kadon Babb added five to help the Highlanders keep things relatively close. And Scott stayed within striking distance for the first four minutes of the final period. But once Carter started going to the free throw line, the door slammed shut in a hurry.
The Hornets did not shoot a single free throw in the first half — Scott shot just two in the first two quarters, both of them by Logan Goodman in the first period — and went to the line just four times in the third quarter, even though the Highlanders were whistled for enough oils to put Carter in the bonus before the third quarter ended.
In the fourth quarter, Carter shot 13 free throws and made 11 of them — a decided disadvantage, since the Highlanders were just three of four from the line in the final period.
Scott shot 44 percent from the field and hit eight of its nine free throw attempts. But the Highlanders had just one 3-pointer, and shot just 8 percent from the perimeter. The Hornets, on the other hand, hit nine 3-pointers.
Trey Morrow capped a sterling freshman season with a game-high 20 points.
The loss ended Scott High’s season, though not before the Highlanders advanced to the regionals for the second time in three years under head coach Jordan Jeffers.
SCOTT (49): Morrow 20, Babb 9, Buttram 8, Goodman 8, Russ 2, Lauderdale 2.
CARTER (69): Hurst 19, Clevenger 15, Harper 13, Prater 8, Reynolds 7, Simmons 4, Ramsey 3.