Grainger Today Correspondent
DANDRIDGE– In the Christmas basketball tournament hosted by Jefferson Middle School and played at Jefferson County High School last Saturday, the Rutledge Pioneers and the White Pine Cyclones met in the first round of the tournament.
White Pine, which has not fared well against the Pioneers in earlier games this season, did not provide much competition for Rutledge. The Pioneers had a balanced-scoring attack that put the game out of reach for the Cyclones. In the first quarter, Colin Crider connected on three baskets and a free throw for seven points and was followed by Ryland Burchett and Landon Patterson, with six points each. Jaxon Williams added four points, and the Rutledge total of 23 points was more than White Pine scored in the entire game.
In the second quarter, the Pioneers received a trey and a deuce from Drew Branson, a trey from Emmanuel Atkins and two points from Jacob Hill to end the first half with 35 points. Although coach Todd Day played everyone on the bench, the result was the same as Ty Overbay and Williams both had seven points in the third quarter. Atkins added another trey, and Crider knocked down two points as the Pioneer total reached 54 points heading into the final quarter. With reserves playing, the lead continued to grow as Burchett connected for six additional points. Hill added an additional four points and Landon Dalton connected on a basket as the Pioneers posted a 66-19 victory.
Jaxon Williams, with 13 points, and Ryland Burchett, with 12 points, led a total of nine Pioneers who put points on the board.
Those two leading scorers were followed by Colin Crider with nine points, Ty Overbay with seven and Emmanuel Atkins, Landon Patterson and Jacob Hill added six points each. In addition, Drew Branson added five points and Landon Dalton two.