SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, Tenn. – Soddy Daisy didn’t have much go its way in the second half of Monday’s game at Signal Mountain, but fortunately for the Trojans, they had Tucker Landreth on their team.
Landreth, who hit eight 3-pointers for Soddy, finished with a game-high 33 points, and after a second-half surge by the Eagles, the Trojans needed just about every one of them in their 61-55 victory.
“I wasn’t thinking about it much,” Landreth said. “If I got it and had a look at the basket, I shot it. The goal just looked really big to me. My teammates driving the lane and setting screens, that had everything to do with it too.”
Soddy Daisy (5-5), which held a 14-point halftime advantage, led by as much as 17 after Landreth’s seventh trey early in the third quarter, but the Eagles came soaring back.
“We’ve just got to put four quarters together, and we’re not doing a good job of that,” Signal Mountain coach Steve Redman said. “We just got down and weren’t ready to play. We really haven’t played four quarters in any game this year. We can’t get down like that and expect to win.”
Signal Mountain (7-3), which topped the Trojans 71-68 back on Nov. 20, trimmed their deficit to single digits by the end of the third period and actually took the lead in the fourth.
The Eagles, who had trailed since the opening tip, got the Trojans in some second-half foul trouble and were in the double bonus before the midway point of the third quarter. Signal shot just 1 of 9 from the free-throw line in the first half, but knocked down 12 of 14 in the final two quarters.
“There’s no doubt they were the aggressors in the second half, and that’s usually the way it goes,” Soddy Daisy coach Kevin Templeton said. “The aggressor usually gets the calls. We were on our heals and they were being aggressive and taking it to the bucket.”
Signal pulled to within two on B.J. Wilkerson’s 3-pointer with 5:09 remaining, but once again, Landreth was there to bail Soddy out as he knocked down his final trey of the contest on the very next possession.
“They were driving it and we were fouling,” Landreth said. “We weren’t taking charges. We were almost being lazy on defense, and our offense was rushing.”
Wilkerson, who finished with a team-high 18 points – 16 in the second half – buried another 3 moments later, Jack Teter sunk a free-throw and Lanom Sowell’s layup with 4:35 left gave the Eagles their first lead of the game, 51-50.
“We fought back,” Redman said. “If we played like we did in the fourth quarter the whole time, it shouldn’t have been a ballgame.”
The Trojans found their footing down the stretch, though, and they finally got a couple calls to go their way. Wilkerson was whistled for a charge, negating what would have been the go-ahead bucket, and Landreth completed a three-point play at the other end to give his team a 55-53 edge.
“That charge and that blocking foul was kind of like the game shifter,” Landreth said. “We really needed that. Then we made a couple baskets at the end.
Wilkerson tied things up on his jumper with 2:51 to play, but Soddy outscored the Eagles 6-0 in the final 2:16 to seal the victory.
“It’s pretty much the reverse of what happened up there,” Redman said. “It’s kind of karma I guess.”
Andy Wright finished with 14 points for the Trojans and Christian Amos added 10, while Teter (15) and Sowell (12) were the other two Eagles to finish in double figures.
Signal Mountain returns to action Tuesday with a game at Grundy County, and Soddy-Daisy will play road games at Grace Baptist and Central on Thursday and Friday, respectively.