By: Lee Ramsey
The Seymour Middle School girls’ basketball team just finished an incredible season by winning the County regular season, the County (Sevier) Tournament, and the Area 3 Tournament before being eliminated n the Region 3 Tournament.
Seymour Middle defeated Sevierville Middle for the County Championship and Heritage for the Area 3 Championship. Both wins were on the losing teams’ home courts. Seymour Middle beat Heritage by 25 after losing to them in the regular season.
The SMS Lady Eagles under the leadership of first year Head Coach Emory Cain compiled a record of 21-3. Seymour’s only three losses were to Alcoa and Heritage in the regular season and their final game in the Region to T A Duggar Middle from Elizabethton.
At the young age of 25, Cain had an exceptionally successful season for a first year coach at any level. He is from White County High School in Georgia where he played basketball.
Cain then played four years at Tusculum College before being hired to be an assistant for then Seymour High School’s girls’ coach Andy Ryans where Cain coached for two seasons before being hired by Dr. Faye Nelson at Seymour Middle.
“I really liked it (coaching middle school). I had a great group of girls,” Cain said. “They were well prepared to play basketball when I got them. I think I just got blessed. Hopefully I didn’t steer them wrong.”
According to Cain, he used basically an 8 girl rotation.
Cain added that the team’s best player was Kayla Tillie. She was the leading scorer and outstanding in all phases of the game.
“She was really the motor to our team. She wasn’t one of those leading scorers that just scores points and that’s it. She gets on the floor, dives after loose balls, and gets steals and boxes out,” Cain said. “It’s rare that your leading scorer does all those things. Many times they’re just there to score.”
Another valuable player was Cheyenne King.
“Cheyenne really came on strong,” Cain said. “She was a little timid at the beginning of the year but got stronger as the season went along.”
Victoria Nelson was another valuable starter who played with pulled abdominal muscles most of the season. She was the second leading scorer.
Camille Davis and Hanna Schrimpsher were the guards. According to Cain, they were the smaller, quicker players who were “always making things happen on defense.”
A top player coming off the bench was Kelsie Keck. Cain said, “She was instrumental in our defensive attack and a good 3 point shooter.”
Two other players he mentioned were Caroline Ford, a great rebounder and one of the team’s best free throw shooters; and Reed Ballard, post player and best defensive rebounder.
Cain mentioned how much his assistant Brittany Michaels helped the team especially working with their post players.
“Ever girl on this team contributed in some way especially on defense creating steals. We attack. We don’t lay back. We don’t hold the ball,” he said. “Our offense is created off of defensive turnovers using our full court pressure and aggressive man defense. Our strength was our intensity.”
The Seymour Herald would like to congratulate the Coaches and players for a great season.
SMS Girls Have Championship Season
By: Lee Ramsey