Kingsport Times-News: Lady Eagles storm back for Cumberland tourney win
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Lady Eagles storm back for Cumberland tourney win

Kevin Mays • Feb 13, 2019 at 2:03 AM

WISE — Rye Cove may have come back from a bigger deficit to win a girls basketball tournament game, but coach Kelly Hood could not immediately remember it if the Lady Eagles had.

“I remember one year at Patrick Henry, a couple of years ago, we were down by 23 and it went into overtime,” Hood noted. “But we ended up dropping the game.”

Hood did know Tuesday’s 50-47 win over J.I. Burton at Virginia-Wise’s Prior Convocation Center was the biggest come-from-behind victory for her team this season.

View the photo gallery from the games

It couldn’t have come at a bigger time: the opening round of the Cumberland District tournament. Rye Cove advanced to Wednesday’s tournament semifinals to face top-seeded Eastside in the 8:30 p.m. contest at Virginia-Wise.

OVERCOMING SLOW START

Rye Cove (8-15) did not score in the first quarter and gave up the first point of the second quarter to Burton (10-12) to fall behind 17-0.

The deficit didn’t deter the Lady Eagles.

Rye Cove cut Burton’s lead to 24-15 at halftime then outscored the Lady Raiders 35-23 to take the dramatic win.

Hood had confidence her team could make a game of it despite the dismal start.

“We’ve had games where we’ve gotten blown out. We’ve had games that were tight. We’ve had losses and wins. And I just never really count this group out because of the fight that I know they have,” she said.

Rye Cove also got a pep talk from a teammate after the first quarter.

“My teammate, Kaleigh Sloan, said, ‘We’re still in this and we got this,’ ” Rye Cove’s Grace Rhoton said.

FINISHING STRONG

Rhoton scored 11 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. The senior sealed the win for the Lady Eagles by sinking two free throws with 12 seconds left on the clock.

Rhoton’s free throws came seconds after Lexi Bledsoe hit a jumper with 25 seconds remaining to give Rye Cove a 48-47 lead, its first of the game.

Sloan finished with 12 points and 18 rebounds, including 14 on the offensive end, and Ashlyn Berry added 12 points for the Lady Eagles.

Burton got 12 points and 11 rebounds from Sarah Mullins, Maggie Williams finished with 11 points, and Kaitlin Lindsey and Kaylee Jenkins had 10 each.

LADY TITANS ADVANCE

In Tuesday’s other opening-round game, Twin Springs got 22 points from Abby Castle on the way to a 57-38 win over Castlewood.

The Lady Titans (12-11) moved on to a matchup with second-seeded Thomas Walker in Wednesday’s tournament semifinals.

Twin Springs jumped ahead to a 15-7 first quarter lead and led 29-11 at halftime. Lauren Duncan added 10 points for the Lady Titans.

Castlewood (1-20) got a team-high 14 points from Hannah Ingle.

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