Lady Red pick up season sweep of Seymour despite 17-day layoff


NEWPORT – Cocke County played its first game since January 6 on Tuesday night and the Lady Red showed no signs of rust, leading Seymour from start to finish for a 52-45 win.

“It seemed like, tonight, every time they made a run, we were able to hit a big shot,” Cocke County coach Boddie Bible said after the game. “That’s huge. That’s how you win games. Credit Seymour, they made shots and they made us play until the buzzer.”


Brooklyn Clevenger (5) goes up for a basket while Seymour’s Caiden Russell (23) and Chloe McCoy (12) defend. Photo by Brian Hamilton

“Our shots weren’t falling tonight, which is usually uncharacteristic, maybe it’s the time off, maybe it’s not,” Seymour coach Brandy Stallings said. “I’m proud of their effort, but it’s unfortunate that it ended the way it did.”

The Lady Red have now won four straight and have yet to lose in 2024.

Cocke County took an early 4-0 lead, but Seymour would bounce back with a bank shot by Caiden Russell and a layup by Jaden Cummings to tie the score at 4-4 with 3:22 left in the first quarter.

Halle Kitchen grabbed a steal and took it for a layup and a 6-4 Lady Red lead, but Seymour’s Chloe McCoy sank a pair of free throws to knot the game again at 6-6

A three-pointer by Kitchen would reclaim the lead for Cocke County again, at 9-6, with 1:43 left in the period. Blakelyn Clevender then spun between two defenders for a layup, followed by two free throws, as the Lady Red finished the quarter on a 7-0 run to lead 13-6 heading into the second period.

A steal and layup by Kali Fisher would pull the Lady Eagles to within 13-9 early in the second period, but Clevenger would answer with a three to stretch the lead to 16-9.

Kali Fisher

Seymour’s Kali Fisher (1) drives to the hoop while Cocke County’s Hayden Carter (10) and Destiny Reese (30) defend. Photo by Brian Hamilton

Russell answered with a three to pull Seymour to within 16-12, while a Fisher triple would make the score 18-15 with 5:45 left in the first half.

The Lady Eagles had pulled to within 19-16 when Adisen McNealy drained a three to stretch the Cocke County lead to 22-16. Fisher hit two free throws to make the score 22-18 with just over one minute left in the first half.

However, Seymour would not pull any closer in the first half, as Russell’s buzzer-beater attempt was off the mark, sending the Lady Red to the locker room with a 22-18 lead.

Cummings opened the third quarter with a spinning layup to trim the Lady Eagle deficit to 22-20, but a steal and layup by Karmine Carmichael would put Cocke County back ahead 24-20.

A triple by McCoy trimmed the Lady Red lead to 24-23, but Clevenger and Celeste McNealy made consecutive threes to stretch the lead back to 30-25.

Makenna Sharp hit a three to trim the Seymour deficit to 31-28 with just over four minutes left in the quarter, but Cocke County then went on a 7-0 run to end the third quarter, as the Lady Red went into the final stanza with a 38-28 lead.

A three-pointer by Adisen McNealy put Cocke County ahead 41-28 early in the fourth quarter, but McCoy would grab a rebound and make a layup to trim the Lady Eagles’ deficit to 41-31.

Jaden Cummings

Seymour’s Jaden Cummings (15) attempts to drive while Karmine Carmichael (23) and Adisen McNealy (1) defend. Photo by Brian Hamilton

Cocke County led 47-38 when Fisher drained a three-pointer to make the score 47-41 with 1:14 remaining. The sophomore would then convert a four-point play, when she hit a three while getting fouled, slicing the Lady Red lead to 50-45 with 30 seconds left.

Seymour was unable to get any closer, however, as seniors Jaden Cummings and Caiden Russell fouled out of the game late. The Lady Eagles were already playing without senior Kaylen Shultz, who was injured in practice on Monday. Cocke County would go on to win 52-45.

Bible said that while the Lady Red had a 17-day layoff between games, only one game was scheduled during the winter weather cancellations.

“We only lost one game during that whole thing,” Bible said. “Our schedule had worked (to where) we had a seven-day layoff and then a 10-day layoff, so we only had one rescheduled game. It probably didn’t affect us as much as it did other teams, who were having to rush in games and things like that. Our schedule was front loaded, so it probably didn’t affect us like it did other teams.”

While Seymour had to cancel and reschedule multiple games during the stretch of winter weather, Stallings refused to use that as an excuse for her team’s play on Tuesday.

“I could sit here and make that excuse, but everybody in east Tennessee is in the same boat,” Stallings said. “I’m proud of our kids, having as many days off as they did and having a lack of practice time. I felt they were focused and executed our defensive game plan. Their effort was there, but we’re still dealing with a couple injuries. Shultz got hurt in practice yesterday, so she’s going to miss a couple games.”

Adisen McNealy led Cocke County with 14 points, while Blakelyn Clevenger finished with 12. Senior Halle Kitchen and freshman Karmine Carmichael also added eight points apiece.

Bodie Bible

Cocke County coach Boddie Bible instructs his Lady Red during a fourth quarter timeout on Tuesday night. Photo by Brian Hamilton

“Adisen McNealy has been on a tear for us the last month-and-a-half,” Bible said. “She’s shooting the ball at an extremely high level right now and a lot of that is her shot selection. We’re moving the ball better and that’s a testament to her. She works hard and she plays as hard as any kid I’ve ever seen. It’s fun to sit there and watch her be able to succeed like that.”

Seymour was led by sophomore Kali Fisher’s 14 points, while Chloe McCoy added 12. Caiden Russell finished with eight points, while Jaden Cummings pitched in with six.

Seymour (12-7, 3-3 Class 3A District 3) will face Fulton (5-10, 0-4 District 3) on Wednesday, January 31, while Cocke County (16-7, 5-1 Class 3A District 3) will host Carter (4-16, 0-4 District 3) on Friday, January 26, which is senior night.

With the win, Cocke County is still in the running for first place in the district, which will likely be decided on Tuesday, January 30, when Northview Academy visits the Lady Red.

“If we want a chance to finish first place (the game against Seymour) was a must win,” said Bible. “Carter is a must win and then that sets up a shootout between us and Northview here (on Tuesday). We hold the tiebreaker over Northview, but they’re undefeated (in the district) and they’re a great basketball team and are well coaches. Our focus is on Friday night (against Carter), but I am looking forward to it.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *