Gatlinburg-Pittman Smoky Mountain Winter Classic Champions

Lady Highlanders win third tournament of season with 57-44 win over Lebanon in Winter Classic


GATLINBURG – For the second consecutive game, the Gatlinburg-Pittman had to stave off a fourth-quarter comeback, but the Lady Highlanders were able to take care of business to defeat Lebanon 57-44 in the Smoky Mountain Winter Classic championship.

The win improves Gatlinburg-Pittman to 9-0 on the year in tournament play.

Maddy Newman

Maddy Newman (30) goes up for a basket over three Lebanon defenders. Photo by Brian Hamilton

“I think this is such a good experience for us, because when you go to the state tournament you have to be able to play on back-to-back nights usually and that’s ultimately where we’re trying to get to, our number one goal,” Gatlinburg-Pittman coach Katie Moore said after the game. “For us to be able to (win tournaments) on back-to-back weeks, I thought it was pretty impressive.”

The Lady Highlanders took an early 4-0 lead on two baskets by Maddy Newman. Lebanon would tie the game at 4-4 after two Maggie Kelky free throws and a layup by Tiara Spencer.

The game was tied at 8-8 after Newman scored on a rebound and layup, as the senior phenom had the first eight points for Gatlinburg-Pittman.

The Lady Blue Devils scored the next five points and went ahead 13-8 on a Kelky three-pointer. Maliyah Glasper scored on a layup with 18 seconds left in the first quarter to trim the Lebanon deficit to 13-10 at the end of the first quarter.

Glasper would tie the game at 13-13 with a three pointer to open the second quarter. The sophomore then added another triple to give Gatlinburg-Pittman a 16-13 advantage.

Maliyah Glasper

Maliyah Glasper (23) shoots a free throw during the Lady Highlanders’ 57-44 win over Lebanon. Photo by Brian Hamilton

Lebanon fought back to take an 18-16 lead, but Glasper converted two free throws to tie the game at 18, as she scored the first eight points of the quarter for the Lady Highlanders.

A layup by T.K. Hastings would put the Lady Blue Devils back in front 20-18 with just over five minutes left in the half, but Leah Stinnett would answer with a three-pointer to put Gatlinburg-Pittman back in front 21-20.

Chloe Mejias grabbed a rebound and scored to give the Lady Highlanders a 23-20 lead, but Spencer would respond with a layup to cut the lead to 23-22 with 3:46 remaining in the half.

Gatlinburg-Pittman would then end the half on a 10-0 run, capped by a corner three by Stinnett, sending the Lady Highlanders to the halftime break with a 33-22 advantage.

“We just started trying to break their defense down, because I felt they were playing that zone to try and keep Maddy from trying to score and as long as we would penetrate gaps we were still going to be able to get the ball to the middle,” said Moore. “I thought we did a good job during that stretch of getting the ball middle and I just thought we got some good looks.”

The third quarter would belong to Gatlinburg-Pittman, who started the second half by outscoring Lebanon 15-7. The score was 44-29 after the third quarter.

The Lady Highlanders led 50-29 early in the fourth quarter after two Newman free throws. The senior was sent back to the charity stripe on the next possession, where she split a pair of foul shots for a 51-29 lead, as Gatlinburg-Pittman opened the quarter on a 7-0 spurt.

There was no quit in Lebanon, however, as the Lady Blue Devils went on a furious 13-1 to pull to within 51-42 on a Rolandria Powell basket with just over three minutes remaining.

Maddy Newman

Maddy Newman (23) takes a baseline jumper during the Lady Highlanders’ Winter Classic win. Photo by Brian Hamilton

“We just needed to settle down and get a good look offensively,” Moore said. “I felt we were playing not to lose, instead of playing to win, and sometimes when kids do that, they tend to start second-guessing their every move and I felt like, offensively, we were doing that. Defensively, I thought that they got some extra looks because we weren’t rebounding and I thought that hurt us down that stretch.”

Newman would score the first Gatlinburg-Pittman field goal since early in the fourth quarter to push the Lady Highlander lead to 53-42 with 2:29 remaining.

Lebanon was never able to cut the lead to single digits again, as Gatlinburg-Pittman would pull away for a 57-44 win, giving the Lady Highlanders their third tournament championship of the year. Gatlinburg-Pittman also won the Smoky Mountain Christmas Tournament and the Farrgut Thanksgiving Tournament earlier this year.

Maddy Newman led all scorers with 19 points for the Lady Highlanders, while Maliyah Glasper finished with 12. Leah Stinnett also added 10 points for Gatlinburg-Pittman.

T.K. Hastings and Maggie Kelky led Lebanon with 11 points apiece, while Tiara Spencer added nine for the Lady Blue Devils.

Gatlinburg-Pittman (17-2) will travel to Oneida (9-4) for a district contest on Friday, January 5. Lebanon (11-5) will host Green Hill on Friday, January 5.



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