Pigeon Forge-Gatlinburg girls

Lady Highlanders weather slow start to defeat Pigeon Forge 61-21


PIGEON FORGE – Gatlinburg-Pittman had trouble getting shots to fall early on, as senior Maddy Newman started the game on the bench. Pigeon Forge was able to stay within striking distance in the first quarter, trailing only 8-4, but Newman began to make her presence felt once she entered the game, as the Lady Highlanders cruised to a 61-21 win in the ‘Battle of the Tunnel’ on Tuesday night.

Maddy Newman

Gatlinburg-Pittman’s Maddy Newman (30) goes up for a basket while Coral Powell (13) and Mia Woodrick (5) defend for the Lady Tigers. Photo by Brian Hamilton

“She missed shootaround and didn’t go to the game Friday (at Oneida) because she was sick,” Gatlinburg-Pittman coach Katie Moore said of Newman coming off the bench.

Makaylee Stalcup put Pigeon Forge on the board first with a layup to make the score 2-0. Nya Burns would tie the game at 2-2 on the next possession, as she was fouled on a jumper and converted both foul shots.

The game remained tied throughout much of the first quarter until Leah Stinnett hit a basket to give Gatlinburg-Pittman a 4-2 lead with 3:27 remaining in the first quarter.

Maddy Newman hit two consecutive layups to give the Lady Highlanders an 8-2 lead with 2:24 left.

Gatlinburg-Pittman would not score again in the first quarter, but held Pigeon Forge to only one field goal in the quarter. Pigeon Forge’s Mia Woodrick would sink two free throws with 30 seconds left to cut the Lady Highlanders’ lead to 8-4 at the end of the first quarter.

“We shot really poorly (in the first quarter),” Moore said. “I don’t know what percentage it was, but it was poorly,” Moore said of the Lady Highlanders’ first quarter shooting woes. “I don’t think they let that affect how they played defensively. I felt defensively that we still did a really good job. If we could have gotten any shots to fall early on, it would have been a different game.”

Newman was fouled on the first possession of the second quarter, as the senior sank both free throws to give Gatlinburg-Pittman a 10-4 lead.

A three-pointer by Woodrick would trim the Lady Tigers’ deficit to 10-7 with just under seven minutes left in the second quarter, but Addi Wear would respond for Gatlinburg-Pittman to push the lead back to 13-7.

Kenzi Fleming (3) brings the ball up the floor while Gatlinburg-Pittman's Maliyah Glasper (23) and Gracie Valentine (14) defend. Photo by Brian Hamilton

Woodrick responded with another three for Pigeon Forge to make the score 13-10 with 5:25 left in the half.

Two straight Newman buckets would give Gatlinburg-Pittman a 17-10 lead. Trinity Whaley then grabbed a rebound and scored while being fouled for an old-fashioned three-point play to make the score 20-10 midway through the second quarter.

Pigeon Forge would snap the Lady Highlanders’ 7-0 run when Stalcup scored on a fast break layup to make the score 20-12.

A three-pointer by Newman would put Gatlinburg-Pittman in front 28-12 with one minute remaining to give the Lady Highlanders a 28-12 advantage, followed by another Newman bucket with seven seconds left to give Gatlinburg-Pittman a 30-12 halftime lead.

Newman scored 19 of the Lady Highlanders’ 30 first half points.

“Maddy even missed some layups, but just happened to get her own misses,” Moore said. “Definitely, the closer we could get to the basket tonight was better for us.”

Pigeon Forge’s Stalcup would open the third quarter with a layup to cut the Gatlinburg-Pittman lead to 30-14. Woodrick would follow that with a basket, which made the score 30-16.

Stinnett stopped the early Pigeon Forge run with a pair of free throws to extend the GP lead to 32-16 with just under six minutes left in the third.

A layup by Coral Powell would pull Pigeon Forge to within 32-18 with 4:21 left in the quarter, but a Newman skyhook would stretch the Lady Highlander lead back to 34-18. A three-pointer by Gracie Valentine would make the score 37-18 with 3:28 left.

Gatlinburg-Pittman would extend the lead to 22 when Wear nailed a three to make the score 42-20 with just over one minute remaining.

A layup by Maliyah Glasper, followed by conventional three-point play by Stinnett, gave the Lady Highlanders a 47-20 lead after three quarters.


Maddy Newman (30) goes up for a basket during the Lady Highlanders’ 61-21 win over Pigeon Forge on Tuesday. Photo by Brian Hamilton

A layup by Newman would push the GP lead to 30, at 51-21. Newman would make a layup and convert a three-point play to make the score 54-21 with just over six minutes left in the game.

Chloe Mejias nailed a three with 1:20 left to give Gatlinburg-Pittman a 40-point lead, as the Lady Highlanders went on to win 61-21.

“We missed a lot of shots, so if we make our shots then we have 61 points too,” Pigeon Forge coach Paul Reagan said after the game. “I was proud of my girls’ effort. We’re getting better by the day, but we’re trying to build depth. All we have in our whole program is 10 girls and one just got hurt with a knee issue, so we’ve got nine girls in the whole program. We’ve got three freshmen out of those nine girls. We’re just trying to build and work and get better and that’s all we can do every day.”

Maddy Newman led all scorers with 29 points, while Addi Wear finished with 10. Leah Stinnett would add eight points for the Lady Highlanders.

Pigeon Forge was led by Mia Woodrick’s 11 points, while Makaylee Stalcup finished with eight for the Lady Tigers.

“Mia played really hard,” Pigeon Forge coach Paul Reagan said. “She’s only a sophomore. Mia had 11 and Makaylee had eight and they’re both sophomores. We’re playing everybody we’ve got. We’re young, but we will continue to get better. We only have one senior, but Pigeon Forge is on the rise, although the score doesn’t indicate it.”

The Lady Highlanders will face Austin-East and host cross-county rival Seymour before their big district game against Alcoa next week.

“We can’t look ahead to any district game,” Moore said with the Alcoa matchup looming next Friday. “You have to take every district game one game at a time, especially in basketball, because as soon as you look ahead, somebody is going to upset you. Basketball is a sport where you can always be upset. Although we always tend to think about Alcoa and all that, we have to focus on AE (Austin-East) because that’s who we have Friday. We just have to take each game one by one.”

Gatlinburg-Pittman (19-2) will travel to Austin-East (6-4) on Friday for a district battle, while Pigeon Forge (6-8) will also be in district play on Friday, at home against Oneida (11-4) on Friday evening.

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