Cookeville Sweeps Meeting With York Institute

Story and Photos by Rusty Ellis

The Cookeville Lady Cavs ran their record to 17-0 with their 45-31 win over York Institute on Tuesday night.

The two teams battled defensively in the first frame, with the Lady Cavs taking a slim 7-6 lead into the second quarter. There, they outscored York 18-13 to take a 25-19 advantage into the halftime locker room.

The lead great to double digits in the third due to the Lady Cavs’ defense, as they allowed a mere five points to the Dragonette offense. Heading into the fourth, Cookeville maintained a 34-24 lead and remained solid on defense to win 45-31.

Chay Cunningham led the way with nine points, while Isabel Garcia added eight points for head coach Jamie Gillies.

“York is a hard place to play and we knew we were coming into a battle,” Gillies said. “My kids just played hard. I didn’t have anyone finish in double-digits, but I had seven that scored…we’re just playing really well right now.”

The defense was on full display, something Gillies attributes to her players’ effort-level and their attention to rebounding.

“We did a good job just protecting the rim,” Gillies said. “Playing good defense and boxing out, rebounding was a big key for us tonight. I think we didn’t give them many second shots, so that was big.”

The Cavaliers followed the girls game with a 60-48 win of their own over the Dragons.

Cookeville came out on fire from three, and it led to them taking 19-7 lead at the end of the first. York didn’t back down, and cut the lead down to single digits at 35-26 at halftime.

The third quarter saw the Cavaliers extend their lead to double digits again, this time by a 50-39 margin heading into the fourth quarter. York was unable to get the stops they needed in the final frame, as Cookeville closed out the 60-48 victory.

Josh Heard led the way for Cookeville with 25 points, while D.J. Potts-Heard added 18 for head coach Josh Heard’s squad in their fourth consecutive win.

“We’ve changed up some things with our lineup and our defensive presence,” Heard said. “Playing six games in eight days allowed us to do some soul-searching…for us to play defense the way we did tonight, I’m proud of that.”

With their recent success, it appears the Cavaliers could be turning the corner to get to where they want to be as a team. Even with that, Heard knows there’s still work to be done.

“We’ve still got to keep working,” Heard said. “After Friday, we start district play with the best teams on the road in Lebanon and Green Hill…it’s going to be a good continuation for us to try to keep this going.”

As of now, Cookeville is slated to take on White County at home on Friday at 6 P.M. with weather permitting.