Bearettes score 26 straight to finish game, spoil Hawk’s return


SEVIERVILLE – There were several storylines heading into this key district matchup for both teams. The major storyline being the return of senior Jefferson County star Madi Hawk. The Wofford signee went down with her second concussion of the season on December 29th at Carter and the Lady Patriots have been winless without her.

Aubree Laney

Sevier County’s Aubree Laney (21) drives to the hoop against Jefferson County’s Emma Lindsey. Photo by Brian Hamilton

“I heard that she’d been cleared, so I expected her to play,” Sevier County coach Jonathan Shultz said. “We let her get to the free throw line too much, but only allowed her to make two threes. Other than that, I felt we contained her pretty good.”

For much of the game, Shultz used Aubree Laney to guard Hawk. The two seniors were part of a young talented Lakeway Christian squad as sophomores, but became rivals once each transferred within the same district in 2022.

“Aubree’s got the length,” Shultz said. “Madi is a long, tall guard and Aubree has the length, so I like that matchup and Aubree sort of likes it too.”

The other big storyline was that Sevier County junior Cybil Penland entered the game with 985 career points, leaving the Bearette sensation just 15 points shy of the milestone.

Sevier County jumped out to a hot start, followed by Hawk engineering a comeback in the second quarter. The Lady Patriots just ran out of steam in the second half, however, as the Bearettes reeled off 26 straight to close the game and came away with a resounding 63-26 win to stay unblemished in the district.

“I told them during the first timeout of the third quarter that we’ve got to protect the three, so we adjusted our zone,” Shultz said. “Instead of them covering the blocks, which is what they’re taught to do, I told them to stay out and cover the three-point shot and we’ll let Cybil, or whoever is playing the middle, take that girl one-on-one, to take away the kick out.”

Kinley Loveday put Sevier County in front 2-0 with a layup, but Madi Hawk answered for Jefferson County on the other end to tie the game at 2-2 with 5:21 left in the opening quarter.

Cybil Penland then grabbed a rebound and putback, followed by a three-pointer to put the Bearettes in front 7-2. Another rebound and stick back by Penland stretched the lead to 9-2 with 2:33 left in the first quarter.

Two straight layups by Kaliyah Burden pushed the Sevier County lead to 13-2 with just over one minute remaining. The Bearettes would finish the first quarter on a 15-0 run and led 17-2 going into the second period.

Kayliah Burden

Sevier County’s Kayliah Burden (2) drives to the hoop during the Bearettes’ 65-26 win over Jefferson County on Friday night. Photo by Brian Hamilton

Hawk would get fouled and open the second quarter with a pair of free throws to end the Lady Patriots’ scoring drought and make the score 17-4.

A basket by Penland would give Sevier County a 21-4 lead, but Brylee Lin would score to trim the Jefferson County deficit to 21-6.

A three by Hawk would pull the Lady Patriots to within 21-9. After a pair of Hawk free throws, Jefferson County found itself on an 8-0 run and right back in the game, trailing 21-12 with 2:43 left in the half.

Carsyn Loveday would end the drought for Sevier County with a rebound and putback to make the score 23-12 with 1:45 left in the second quarter.

Two free throws and a layup by Maggie Townsend would stretch the Bearettes’ lead to 27-12, but a pair of three-pointers by Jefferson County’s Brylee Lin and Madi Hawk would pull the Lady Patriots to within single digits, at 27-18 with 15 seconds left in the half.

Aubree Laney would answer with a three-pointer with five seconds left, sending Sevier County to intermission with a 30-18 lead.

The Bearettes opened the third quarter with a 34-20 lead, but a three by Brooke Satterfield would trim the Jefferson County deficit to 34-23 with just under five minutes remaining in the quarter.

Laney answered with another three to stretch the Sevier County lead to 37-23.

Madi Hawk drained a three with 3:28 left in the third to pull Jefferson County to within 39-26, but that would be the last points the Lady Patriots would score in the game.

Sevier County embarked on a 17-0 run to close the third quarter, capped by a steal and short jumper at the buzzer by Laney, as the Bearettes’ lead ballooned to 56-26 at the end of the period.

Aubree Laney

Sevier County’s Aubree Laney goes up for a basket against Jefferson County’s Emma Lindsey (1). Photo by Brian Hamilton

Penland remained in the game along with Sevier County reserves during the fourth quarter, as the junior was closing in on the 1,000 point mark. She opened the quarter with a short jumper to make the score 58-26.

Penland grabbed a rebound and scored for her 998th and 999th points, giving the Bearettes a 63-26 lead with 4:47 remaining. That would be the last basket she would make, however, as Sevier County came away with a 65-26 win.

“I thought it would be really cool for her to get it when all of (her family) was here,” Shultz said. “I told her that’s the only reason that I put her back in. She needed just one more bucket and I wish she had got it with her family watching. She’ll get it Tuesday at Fulton, but I thought it would be better if she got it at home.”

The Bearettes ended the game on a 26-0 run and held Jefferson County scoreless for the final 12-plus minutes of the game. The run started after a Madi Hawk three-pointer made the score 39-26 midway through the third quarter.

“I really don’t pay attention to it,” Shultz said of the late game scoring run. “I look up at the scoreboard, but I don’t sit there and calculate.”

Aubrey Laney led all scorers with 17, while Cybil Penland finished with 14, needing 15 to reach the 1,000 point mark. Kinley Loveday also scored in double figures with 13.

Jefferson County was led by Madi Hawk’s 12 points, while Bylee Lin finished with seven.

Sevier County (20-2, 4-0 Class 4A District 2) has won 14 straight and will travel to Fulton (7-17) on Tuesday, as Penland prepares to reach the 1,000-point mark with her first basket.

Jefferson County (9-9, 0-3 District 2) will look to get back on track at Morristown East (17-6, 1-2 District 2) on Monday.


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