High School

Lady Knights Get Right Response And Earn Spot In District 1-2A Title Game

Lady Knights Get Right Response And Earn Spot In District 1-2A Title Game
Written by 
Tate Russell
February 17, 2023

JONESBOROUGH – The Chuckey-Doak girls got pushed to the brink on Thursday night, but just when it looked like they might let the lead slip away the Lady Knights found the right response and pulled away for a 45-31 win over Happy Valley in the District 1-2A Tournament.

With the win on Thursday the Lady Black Knights advance to Monday’s district championship game, and also earn the opportunity to host a Region 1-2A Tournament game for the first time since 2018.

“This is something special, it’s something that doesn’t come around every day, and it’s something we’ve worked hard for,” Chuckey-Doak coach Kyle Donahue said. “It has not been our goal. Our goal has been to get better every day, and let the wins come as they come. This was a great response from our girls. It wasn’t our best game, but they kept fighting and we got to where we needed to be.”

The fourth quarter began with Chuckey-Doak leading 30-23, but the Lady Warriors did not go away easy. Cayden Anderson started the period with a three-pointer on Happy Valley’s first possession and followed by going one-of-two at the foul line to close the gap to 30-27.

With 4:07 left Mailey Guy made a pair of free throws which cut Chuckey-Doak’s lead to one point at 32-31.

Those were the last points Happy Valley scored on Thursday as Chuckey-Doak found new life on defense and smothered the Lady Warriors the rest of the way.

“Some nights are not your night, some nights things don’t go your way,” Donahue said. “But the response is what we are proud of. We keep talking about fight, and we keep talking about the next play. If we keep that in mind, like you saw, we can do some great things. To shut them out at the end was great. I was proud of the fight, we could have folded when things got tough, but I’m glad they rose to the occasion.”

Chuckey-Doak’s high-intensity defense paid dividends at the 3:43 mark when Taliah Johnson took the ball away at midcourt and set up Saniah Atchison for a transition triple.

Before the ball could get  back to midcourt Atchison stole it again and was fouled going the other way. She made both free throws to give the Lady Knights a little breathing room at 37-31.

Next it was a block by Johnson that set up Bri Lowe for a transition layup before Atchison took a steal the distance for a 41-31 lead with one minute left to play. Chuckey-Doak finished the night on a 13-0 run.

“This is a credit to these girls,” Donahue said. “In practice we try to put them in positions where they have to deal with adversity. They are learning to win, and it’s a great thing to see. In years past they may have not won this game, but their growth in those games set the foundation for this game.”

Thursday’s action started slow paced but Chuckey-Doak was able to hold a 9-5 advantage. Kennedy Brown scored four points for the Lady Knights while Atchison sank a three-pointer. Marcida Moore scored all five of Happy Valley’s points.

Josephine Zeoli got the second quarter started with a triple for the Lady Warriors and they took the lead at 12-11 on a layup by Moore.

With 1:41 left in the first half the Lady Knights regained the lead for good when Hayleigh Hensley sank a jumper from the block to make it 15-14.

Brown followed by turning a steal by Johnson into two points, and then Atchison turned an offensive rebound by Tavyn Southerland into three points for a 20-14 halftime lead.

Chuckey-Doak’s lead grew to 26-18 in the third quarter when Hensley gave Faith Yokley a high-low feed to the left block for a lay in.

Moore then made three free throws for Happy Valley and Kadie Bailey added a runner to close the gap to 28-23.

Adyson Ripley ended the quarter with a put back for the Lady Knights.

Atchison led all scorers on Thursday with 13 points. Moore had 11 for Happy Valley while Anderson scored 10.

Chuckey-Doak will be back in action on Monday at 7:30 p.m. at David Crockett High School against South Greene in the District 1-2A championship game. Happy Valley will play at 6 p.m. against West Greene in the third-place game.

Chuckey-Doak 9 11 10 15 45

Happy Valley 5 9 9 8 31

Chuckey-Doak: Atchison 13, Brown 8, Yokley 8, Hensley 6, Ripley 4, Jones 2, Johnson 2, Lowe 2

Happy Valley: Moore 11, Anderson 10, Guy 5, Zeoli 3, Bailey 2

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