Ryans felt just awful about it.
“It was all my fault,” said Ryans, whose clutch bucket closed the gap to 43-42.
“I heard coach (Jeremy Parrott) yell ‘drive’ and thought he said ‘quick.’ What he wanted me to do was to drive and kick (for a 3-point goal). We had no timeouts left, so after the layup there was nothing we could do.”
Nothing except foul the Patriots’ Kyle Briggs on the subsequent inbounds play. Briggs sank his second free throw with 0.3 on the clock for the 44-42 final score.Ryans, who scored 14 points for the Chiefs (19-11, 10-4), was commendable for taking the blame. But given that Cherokee hadn’t hit a 3-pointer all night, Ryans getting fouled for a possible three-point play — while a remote prospect in that situation — might’ve been equally plausible.
As far as Parrott was concerned, there was plenty of blame to go around.
“We didn’t make enough plays to win that game. We had some chances to hit some free throws that would’ve made a difference a the end. We had some chances to get some better looks in the halfcourt and we didn’t get it done,” said Parrott, whose squad likely enters the upcoming District 2-AAA tournament as the third seed.
A win would’ve given Sevier County the No. 1 seed and poised the Chiefs on the opposite bracket at No. 2.
Jefferson County (21-7, 12-2) was in position to control its destiny, however. The Patriots did just that, earning the top spot for themselves with Friday’s defense-heavy effort.
Tanner Trent scored 17 points to lead Cherokee, which lost ground late in the first quarter to a pair of wide-open treys from Briggs. The Chiefs spent the rest of the night playing catch-up. They got close several times, but never got over the hump.
In the girls’ game, Autumn Dodson hit five trifectas on her way to 27 points and the Lady Patriots rolled to a 58-47 win over the Lady Chiefs.Kate Fawbush fired up 18 for Jefferson County (13-15, 7-7). Tori Griffin added eight.
Pattie Taylor scored 19 to lead Cherokee (9-21, 4-10). Sam Marlow scored eight and Kasey Fleenor contributed seven.