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Play by Johnson, D-B bench key in quarterfinal win

By PAT KENNEY, Sports Correspondent • Feb 23, 2019 at 2:57 AM

KINGSPORT — Facing the cold sting of a season-ending defeat, the Dobyns-Bennett Lady Indians simply turned up the heat.

D-B used a 14-1 run to close out the game and subdue pesky Jefferson County 56-41 in Friday’s Region 1-AAA basketball quarterfinals in the Buck Van Huss Dome.

The Lady Indians (27-6) moved on to Monday’s Region 1 semifinals at Daniel Boone, where they will take on Sevier County at 6 p.m. The Lady Smoky Bears edged Cherokee 43-40 on Friday to advance.

The Lady Patriots (21-10) led 11-6 midway through the first quarter only to see D-B respond and take a 15-14 lead into the second period. By halftime, the Lady Indians led 29-19 and had the game seemingly in hand.

View the photo gallery from the game

With a 42-34 D-B advantage starting the fourth quarter, a semifinal berth in the regional seemed all but assured.

But the Lady Patriots had one last gasp. Back-to-back 3-pointers brought Jefferson County to within 42-40 with 7:06 left in the contest.

The Lady Indians forced two straight turnovers and converted both into Jabrea Johnson layups and a 46-40 lead.

From there it was all D-B, and the victory celebration began with the final buzzer.

“I told the girls before the game we needed a good start, get a good lead and then we could play the game the way we wanted,” said Lady Indians coach Bill Francis. “All the kids contributed tonight. It was all about belief and the will to compete.”

D-B got 22 points from its bench, and Johnson had 10 of those points.

Senior Courtney Whitson led the Lady Indians with 25 points and nine rebounds.

“As a senior, I know this time of year is all about survive and advance,” Whitson said. “Everyone played their roles tonight.”

The Lady Patriots got close, but that wasn’t good enough.

“We fought hard to get back to where we wanted to be,” said Jefferson County coach Rick Sinard. “Then once we got there, we went back to doing the things that got us in that hole in the first place.”

Madee Denton had 15 points and Makayla Alvey 10 for the Lady Patriots.

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