Cocke County overcomes slow start to defeat Seymour 88-75


NEWPORT – Seymour opened the game with hot shooting and led most of the first half until Cocke County used a 13-0 run to take the lead for good later in the second quarter. The Fighting Cocks would stymie a late Seymour push to come away with an 88-75 win.

Ethan Fine

Cocke County’s Ethan Fine (22) goes up for a basket while Seymour’s Ayden Huskey (3) and David Canterbury defend. Photo by Brian Hamilton

“I thought, for the first time in a while, that we fought through some adversity,” Cocke County coach Casey Regan said after the game. “Credit Seymour, they came out and made a lot of shots early and I don’t think we defended particularly up to our standard, but credit them. Those dudes knocked down shots and we got down (double-digits), but we battled back and made a big run there in the second quarter.”

Seymour jumped out to an early 5-2 lead, but Cocke County would tie the game at 7-7 after a pair of Ethan Fine free throws. The Eagles then went on a 5-0 spurt to take a 12-7 lead when Hayes Golden was fouled and converted an old-fashioned three-point play.

Cam Soulages hit a three to give Seymour a 15-9 lead with 3:25 to go in the first quarter, but Oren Hazelwood made a layup to cut the Cocke County deficit to 15-11.

Ayden Huskey hit a layup to stretch the lead to 17-11, but Kyler Hayes answered for the Fighting Cocks to make the score 17-13. A three-pointer by Soulages would give Seymour a 20-13 lead with 1:16 left in the period.

A three by Will Sutton would pull Cocke County to within 20-16, but Balyn Wolfe nailed a three with seven seconds left in the quarter to give the Eagles a 25-18 lead after one quarter.

Seymour quickly stretched its lead to double-digits, at 29-19, early in the second quarter, but the Fighting Cocks would go on a 6-0 run, capped by a Raeshon Palmer steal and layup, making the score 29-25.

The Eagles held a 32-25 lead when the rooster awakened, it seemed. Oren Hazelwood grabbed a layup and scored on the putback, followed by an Ethan Fine three from downtown Newport, which trimmed the deficit to 32-30 with just over three minutes left in the half.

Seymour's Cam Soulages (2) drives past Cocke County's Oren Hazelwood (24) during Tuesday night's contest. Soulages finished with a game-high 29 points in defeat. Photo by Brian Hamilton

Fine scored a layup to tie the game at 32-32 on the next trip down, which was followed by back-to-back threes by Hayes and Fine, giving Cocke County a 38-32 lead and capping off a 13-0 run for the Cocks.

Huskey hit a layup for Seymour to end the hemorrhaging, but a three by Hazelwood stretched the Cocke County lead to 41-34 with just over one minute remaining before the half.

Hazelwood scored a layup with just 12 seconds remaining in the second quarter, as the Fighting Cocks took a 43-37 advantage into the intermission.

Seymour’s David Canterbury opened the third quarter by hitting a three to make the score 43-40, but two consecutive Cocke County baskets would make the score 47-40.

Kyler Hayes somehow made a shot falling onto his back, which gave the Fighting Cocks their first double-digit lead, at 59-48, with 2:43 left in the quarter.

Maddox Hot followed a miss at the third quarter buzzer, giving Cocke County a 71-58 lead heading into the final stanza.

The Eagles opened the fourth quarter on a 4-1 to pull to within 72-62 on two Hayes Golden free throws. Cocke County would quickly answer back, as Hazelwood scored a layup to make the lead 76-62.

Jerome Cofield

Cocke County’s Jerome Cofield (1) goes up for a layup during the fourth quarter of the Fighting Cocks’ 88-75 win over Seymour on Tuesday night. Photo by Brian Hamilton

Seymour continued to battle, however, as a three-point play by Jack McAbee trimmed the deficit to 78-68 with 5:18 remaining. The closest Seymour would get was 83-75 on a Soulages basket with 1:36 left in the game, as the Fighting Cocks would walk away from this bird fight with an 88-75 win.

Cam Soulages led all scorers with 29 points, as Seymour had four scorers in double figures. Hayes Golden finished with 12 points, while Jack McAbee scored 11. David Canterbury scored 10 points, which all came in the second half.

Kyler Hayes led Cocke County with 23 points, while Oren Hazelwood finished with 18. Ethan fine added 15 points for the Fighting Cocks, while Raeshon Palmer chipped in with 11.

“Offensively, I thought we played pretty well all night,” Reagan said. “We handled the box-and-one, we handled the zone and we handled the man (defense). We did pretty well on the offensive end, but defensively, we’ve got to get back to it.”

The Fighting Cocks finished with a season-high point total Tuesday night with 88, which matched the season high set at Seymour back in December. Reagan was happy to see his team perform well offensively after not playing for 17 days.

“Obviously, it has been a long while (since we’ve played), so we had to get back into the swing of things,” Ragan said. “Credit to the guys, they come to work every day and some of them are starting to see the results from putting in hard work every day.”

Cocke County (8-13, 2-4, Class 3A District 3) will face Carter (8-9, 4-0 District 3) for senior night on Friday, January 29, in a must-win game if the Fighting Cocks want to stay alive for second place in the district.

Tuesday’s win keeps the Fighting Cocks alive for second place in the district, behind Fulton, but a win against Carter (unbeaten in region play) will be crucial for that to happen.

“Defensively, we’re going to have to get ready to go (Friday),” Ragan said. “We know that (Carter’s) point guard can play. He shot about twenty-something free throws against us the last time we played, so we know we’ve got to keep him in front of us. We’ve got to study our game plan and be ready to go on Friday.”

Seymour (3-17, 0-6 Class 3A District 3) will face reigning 3A champ Fulton (16-2, 3-0 District 3) on Wednesday, January 31. Fulton has not played since its loss to Austin-East on January 13.




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