By WAYNE PHILLIPS
Sports Editor Emeritus
ELIZABETHTON - Chuckey-Doak's Lady Knights ran into a red-hot tournament team Friday night in Happy Valley High, and the Lady Warriors used a brilliant first half shooting performance to take a 65-49 victory in the opening round of the Region 1-AA playoffs here at the Warriors' gymnasium.
After taking down old rival Unicoi County in the District 1-AA Tournament last week, and playing well in the championship game before falling to Elizabethton, Happy Valley got 24 points from point guard Shalee Perry and eliminated the Knights from tournament play and thus ended their season.
"It's hard for the seniors," C-D Coach Beth Frye said after the game. "But we got great leadership from our two seniors (Hannah Riddle and Taylor Campbell), and nobody really expected us to make it this far this year considering all the players we lost after last season."
The defending regional champions closed the year at 13-17, but Coach Frye is already looking forward to next year with the wealth of experience the team gained as underclassmen in 2012-13.
"We lost four starters off that team last year, so it's a tribute to the girls and how hard they worked to get us this far," Frye said. "And we'll start it all over again in a few weeks and we're looking forward to it."
Happy Valley (17-14) shot the ball so well in the first half on their home floor, there wasn't much the Lady Knights could do. The Warriors made an uncanny 15-of-21 shots from the field, including five 3-pointers.
"We knew they could shoot, and they are very athletic," Frye said. "We've had trouble all year with athletic teams. They made some turnovers, but we couldn't take advantage, and they made just about everything they throwed up there in the first half."
Perry might be the most well-kept secret in Upper East Tennessee. The senior, in addition to scoring 24, dished out seven assists and had three steals. She hit 10-of-13 from the floor.
"She's a difference-maker, better than any guard in our league," Frye said.
Perry had some help. Mackenzie Blankenship zipped in four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points. Freshman post Kalee Johnson had eight points and 10 rebounds.
Chuckey-Doak was led by sophomore Andi Lamb with 16 points and six rebounds, while senior Riddle scored 10 before fouling out in the final quarter. Riddle also had five steals and four assists. Taylor Campbell, the other senior on the team, finished with six rebounds.
The Warriors came out on fire and quickly moved to a 10-2 lead before C-D took advantage of some turnovers and tied it at 12-12. But the home team closed out the quarter on a 5-0 run and made it 17-12.
The second quarter turned into a disaster for the Knights. After Lamb made a bucket to start the period and close to 17-14, Happy Valley went on a 21-4 run the rest of the half to coast to a 38-18 halftime edge. Perry scored nine in the quarter and Happy Valley just didn't miss much, hitting 8-of-10 from the floor.
The third quarter didn't start much better for the Knights as their hosts used an 8-2 run in the first three minutes to take total command at 46-20.
Chuckey-Doak then began to play much better, running their break well as Happy Valley finally began missing some shots. A 12-4 run over the final four minutes of the period had the Knights on the short end of a 52-34 score.
Lamb got a basket to start the fourth and close to 52-36, then Happy Valley turned it over, giving the Knights a glimmer of hope. But that quickly faded when the Warriors knocked down three straight 3-pointers -- two by Perry and one by Blankenship -- to again pull away to a comfortable advantage.
Happy Valley moves on up the road to Elizabethton on Monday night to tangle with undefeated Grainger in the Region 1-AA semifinals.
CHUCKEY-DOAK (49): Andi Lamb 7-14 2-3 16, Hannah Riddle 5-9 0-0 10, Lawson 2-2 0-1 4, Ricker 0-2 0-0 0, Broyles 1-1 0-0 2, Taylor 4-6 0-0 8, Campbell 2-5 1-3 5, Sane 0-3 0-0 0, Manuel 1-2 0-0 2, Haynes 1-3 0-0 2, Brown 0-2 0-0 0. TOTALS: 23-49 3-7 49.
HAPPY VALLEY (65): Woods 1-2 0-0 3, Mackenzie Blankenship 5-7 0-0 14, Eaton 4-7 0-0 9, White 0-1 0-0 0, Shalee Perry 10-13 1-3 24, Kinser 1-5 1-4 3, Johnson 4-6 0-0 8, Davis 0-1 0-0 0, Clark 1-5 2-2 4. TOTALS: 26-47 4-9 65.
3-Point Goals: CD-0. HV-9 (Blankenship 4, Perry 3, Woods, Eaton).
Score by quarters:
Chuckey-Doak 12 6 16 15--49
Happy Valley 17 21 14 13--65