The Chuckey-Doak girls earned their first regional tournament victory in five years after a 65-40 beating of Union County on Friday night. The region win comes as the Lady Knights’ first since the 2017-18 season and sets them up with a semifinal matchup against Gatlinburg-Pittman on Monday night.
“We talked a lot about history, but we wanted tonight to be about business and it feels great,” Lady Black Knights Coach Kyle Donahue mentioned. “They came out and performed well. A lot of people stepped up and a lot of people made big plays. It was great to watch.”
The Sisterhood of Chuckey-Doak’s girls basketball program was in attendance to help support the current crop of Lady Black Knights on Friday night. Multiple past players and coaches donned the black and gold and sat behind their bench to help keep the energy high and fuel them to a victory.
“Tonight was about our girls. We had the sisterhood show up tonight. We had a lot of members in t-shirts and a lot of former players and coaches come to cheer on our girls. We wanted them to know that we were backing them,” Donahue expressed.
The Lady Knights thrived off offensive rebounds on their first three possessions. Their efforts on the glass led to four second-chance points to begin the game.
Hayleigh Taylor knocked down the first basket from the baseline and Faith Yokley grabbed a miss off the iron and laid it back through the net. Both Taylor and Yokley led Chuckey-Doak in the scoring column with 14 points and 11 points respectively.
Kelsey Holt fired away from the corner and sank a triple to put the Lady Patriots on the board.
The Lady Knights started to really get their momentum going when Saniah Atchison stepped past her defender and floated the ball through the net with a foul at the end. Courtnee Jones sank a three-point bomb in transition and Adyson Ripley knocked down two baseline jumpers as the lead grew to 15-5 halfway through the opening quarter.
Bri Lowe was money from the mid-range with back-to-back running floaters.
Chuckey-Doak found its stride early and took a commanding 19-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Kennedy Brown found herself ahead of the defense and sprinted toward the basket for a transition bucket to start the second quarter. Lowe used the glass to her advantage once again with a long two-point shot high off the backboard. Yokley got a kind roll on the rim to add another two points through a mid-range jumper.
Kelsey Holt snagged a long offensive rebound and finally got another basket to fall for Union County with a high-arching bank shot. Taryn Carter posted up in the paint for a short hook shot to put a small run together for the Lady Patriots.
Taylor capped off the half with four-in-a-row on offense. The Lady Knights held a 32-16 lead at the break.
Yokley used the glass to her advantage and put a quick layup through the hoop. On the ensuing inbounds play, Taliah Johnson snuck up and tipped the pass away for another quick layup.
Holt was Union County’s main source of offense through the contest. She scored five-straight points on a layup and three-pointer to keep the Lady Patriots in it.
Jones downed a mid-range jump shot to break a cold spell for the Lady Knights.
Chuckey-Doak still held a sixteen-point, 46-30, lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Ripley scored two more buckets off the glass to keep the Lady Knights moving in the right direction to start the final frame.
Carter also scored two layups for the Lady Patriots.
Johnson took over late in the fourth quarter to help seal their victory. A catch-and-rip along the perimeter allowed her to beat her defender to the basket for a layup. On defense she provided a huge block at the rim to keep a shot from going up.
Johnson has been one of the main pieces to Chuckey-Doak’s success all season. She was the only starting senior and earned herself one more home game after a win in the District 1-2A semifinals last week. Johnson exited her last home game with 1:32 left to a standing ovation from the home crowd in Lower Afton.
“How huge is that? Being a senior and being in the program and having some down years. For her to not only win on senior night, which may have been her last game here, but also win tonight and to see the program grow from where she started. That’s huge. It was great to be able to give her that moment so the fans can give her a standing ovation and she’s earned it. She’s worked really hard and she’s led us in a lot of different ways this year,” Donahue stated.
Hayleigh Taylor waited patiently in the short corner and knocked down two baseline jumpers with ease. Kennedy Brown put the game away with a strip-steal that led to a wide-open layup.
Chuckey-Doak took a commanding lead early and never let off the gas on their way to a 65-40 win over Union County in the Region 1-2A Tournament quarterfinals.
Taylor led the way for the Lady Knights with 14 points followed by Yokley with 11 points and Brown with 10 points. A total of nine players added their name into the scoring column in the victory.
“Everybody took a turn to carry us and that’s what we’ve been preaching the entire time. Our defense has to play well. Defense carries into offense and then on offense we just need to get a great shot for our team. Whoever’s got the ball and whoever’s going to score is going to be a good shot for all of us. And that’s kind of our mantra,” Coach Donahue stated.
Kelsey Holt poured in a game-high 22 points for Union County. Taryn Carter provided 14 points.
The Lady Black Knights face off with Gatlinburg-Pittman in the semifinal round. That game will be played at David Crockett High School at 7:30 PM on Monday night.