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April 16, 2014

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Morristown West Downs Archer For Classic Title

Originally published: 2013-12-31 21:59:20
Last modified: 2014-01-02 09:54:03

by darren reese

sun sports editor

Morristown West head coach Johnny Galyon doesn't hide the fact that he loves bringing his team to Greeneville for the holidays.

It's safe to say he is extra fond of it this year.

The Lady Trojans showed off their full arsenal of weapons Tuesday night as they got off to a fast start and rolled past Archer (Ga.) 61-51 in the championship game of the 2013 Landair Ladies Classic at Hal Henard Gym.

West averaged 65.2 points per contest in winning all four of their four tournament games by double digits. Galyon hopes his squad can use the momentum to help propel them to a deep playoff run in Class AAA.

"This is one of those tournaments that we just love to be in because it's set up exactly like the tournament down in Murfreesboro for state," Galyon said.

"Anytime we can get on this floor here and play in this tournament, it's definitely going to help us down the road and in the postseason. I'm just ecstatic that the girls came out and played four strong days of basketball and came out undefeated."

Morristown West (15-2) was led in scoring by All-Tournament performers Abbe Craine and Jenna Potts with 17 points apiece.

Jecca Simerly recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds and earned Tournament MVP honors for her efforts this week.

Despite being at a size disadvantage at several positions, the Lady Trojans held a 38-27 advantage in rebounds and outscored Archer 24-14 in the paint.

"We've got solid players, there is no doubt about it," Galyon said. "They play a lot of basketball."

"Our big emphasis is teamwork and chemistry. We are definitely undersized and maybe a little bit slow, but as a group we have a lot of heart. I think they proved that with their effort tonight."

West came out firing on all cylinders, shooting 61.1% from the field in the opening half to take a 27-22 lead into intermission.

Archer stayed within striking distance the majority of the way, but Potts came through with three momentum-building three-pointers to keep the Lady Trojans in front.

The game was tied at 14-all when Potts made back-to-back threes as part of a 9-0 run for West.

Archer had nine steals in the first half while forcing 11 Lady Trojans' turnovers.

"We had to come out (shooting as well as we did)," Galyon said. "Archer is a phenomenal team. To beat a team that is undefeated in a tournament of this magnitude, it's only going to help us."

Archer came into the contest sporting a 13-0 record. The school, from Lawrenceville, Ga., is only in its fifth year of existence.

Two of the Lady Tigers have already committed to Division I colleges - Amber Skidgel to the University of Georgia, and Madison Newby to Georgia State.

They paced the Archer offense Tuesday with 15 and 16 points, respectively.

Skidgel and Autumn Newby were named to the All-Tournament team. Autumn Newby tallied seven points and nine rebounds in the win.

Morristown West opened the second half with nine straight points and extended its lead to as many as 16 in the third quarter when Potts sank her fourth three-pointer to make it 41-25.

The margin grew to 17 with 5:50 left in the game, but Archer fought back with a 16-5 run to pull within 52-46 with 2:57 remaning. Newby had eight points in the stretch, while Amber Skidgel drained a pair of three-pointers.

The comeback bid ended there, though, as Morristown West made enough free throws down the stretch to keep the Lady Tigers at bay.

For more information and stories, see The Greeneville Sun.

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