The term rout, which is defined as an overwhelming defeat or blowout by most dictionaries, can be appropriately used when describing the two lopsided victories the Rhea County High School Golden Eagle basketball teams handed the Hixson High School Wildcat squads on Monday in Hixson.
The Lady Eagles led by 26 points at halftime, and coasted to a 71-31 final score, as they moved to 4-0 on the season. The Eagles also took care of business, as they led by 10 points at the half, enjoyed their biggest lead of the game at 22 points, before winning 68-48. The Rhea boys improved their record to 2-2.
Lady Eagles 71, Lady Wildcats 31
The Rhea girls led 19-10 at the end of the first quarter, but per usual fashion, the Lady Eagles used half and full court pressure on defense to force turnovers, and convert fast break points to expand their lead to 45-19 at the break.
After three quarters, the Lady Eagles were up 66-25 and were able to rotate everyone on the bench for the majority of the second half. Mallory Hampton paced the Lady Eagles with 20 points. 12 members of the Rhea girls’ roster scored points. As a team, the Lady Eagles hit 11 three-pointers. Players hitting treys include Maddie Taylor (2), Hampton (2), Haley Cameron (1), Macy Welch (1), McKinley Mathis (1), Emma Gentry (1), Sarah Conley (1), Emily McClure (1), Skye Tran (1).
Lady Eagles’ head coach, Tracy Vest, was glad to get the win and lauded his team’s overall performance, as he was glad to be able to get all of his players in the game.
“I think [tonight’s win] was a group effort,” said Vest. “Then again, I harp about us not starting out of the gate again. But, it seems like after four minutes, they get warmed up and things start rolling.”
“A lot of kids got to play tonight, which is always good,” continued Vest. “Anytime you win on the road, it’s always a good win.”
Lady Eagle scorers include Hampton (20), Welch (9), Taylor (8), Cameron (7), Gentry (7), Ava Travis (4), Tran (3), Conley (3), Mathis (3), McClure (3), Hayla Patton (2) and Maddie Smith (2).
Eagles 68, Wildcats 48
Four members of the Rhea boys’ team combined for 19 points in the first quarter to go up 19-9 headed to the second period. Ricky Guthrie, who grabbed seven boards on the night, topped all scorers with 30 points, which included eight in the opening quarter to lead the Eagles. Hunter Hill drained a 3-pointer and dropped in two baskets for seven points, while Hunter Brady hit a trey and Kade Vincent added a free throw to close out the scoring for Rhea in the first.
The Eagles enjoyed a 34-24 halftime lead, and extended their lead to 17 points headed to the final period, with a score of 50-33. Rhea’s biggest lead of the game came in the fourth quarter at 22 points, and held on for the 20-point win.
Rhea head coach, Daniel Curtis, lauded his team’s energy and hustle in the win, especially after suffering the home opening loss last Tuesday to Sweetwater.
“It feels better to get back on the winning track,” said Curtis. “We’re diving after balls, and leaving skin on the floor. The effort was so much better than it was last Tuesday night against Sweetwater. We had some mishaps tonight and wasn’t perfect, but you can have some mishaps if the effort is there.”
“We’re going to practice tomorrow and fix those offensive and defensive mishaps,” continued Curtis. “As long as our effort is there, we’re going to be alright, and I thought our effort was there tonight.”
As a team, Rhea hit six 3-pointers. Eagle scorers include Guthrie (30), Hill (15), Brady (6), Tyler Dupre (4), Josh Waldo (4), Vincent (4), Carter Rekoske (3) and Noah Keur (3).
The Eagle teams will travel to Soddy-Daisy High School on Friday, Dec. 6, and take on the Trojans. The girls' varsity game will start at 6 p.m., and the boys' varsity game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. For score updates of the games, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.