Friday night featured the fourth annual “We Back Pat” night at J.R. Tucker High School. The Tigers’ gym was decorated with posters and banners in honor of legendary Tennessee Volunteers women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt, in support of her and millions of other people’s ongoing battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
“I never would’ve imagined that a simple idea I brought up my freshman year would be something this big my senior year!” noted Annemarie Beran, “There truly are no words for how appreciative I am of not only my teammates but also the entire Tucker community!”
Students and fans of both Tucker and Hermitage packed the stands wearing purple “We Back Pat” t-shirts and a silent auction featuring an autographed picture of former Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning ran throughout the evening. 100% of the night’s ticket sales, concession sales, and silent auction bids went towards The Pat Summitt Foundation for Alzheimer’s research.
The Tucker girls took on Hermitage in the first game of the night. The Tigers, led by Beran, played an intense fast tempo game, and put away the visiting Panthers with ease, 66-25. The dominant Tigers held Hermitage scoreless in the first 7 minutes of the contest, heading into quarter two with a sizable 18-3 lead. That lead would only grow and by the half Tucker held a 25 point advantage, leading over the Panthers 32-7. The second half would be no different, and Hermitage fell further and further behind before the final whistle blew.
Beran finished with a game high 21 points, and teammates Briana Payne and Tiera Johnson each put up 11. Victoria Cheatham led Hermitage with 11 points in a losing effort. “Throughout the game, we did a great job looking for easy transition points and setting each other up! Going into the end of the regular season, I hope we continue to play our game, but play with intensity from start to finish!” explained Beran.
The second match of the double header was next, as the #8 ranked Hermitage boys faced off against the Tucker boys. The game started close, but after 10 minutes it was all Hermitage thanks to numerous turnovers by Tucker and hot shooting by standouts Rahki Person and Robbie Osborne as the Panthers went on to win big, 74-29.
Hermitage jumped up early thanks to back to back treys by Person, but Tucker battled back to keep it close, 14-10 after one. After the first, it was all Hermitage for the rest of the game. The Panthers outscored the Tigers 21-
the second quarter thanks to 7 more points from Person and took a 33-14 into
the half. Osborne picked up where Person left off in the second half, scoring
12 points before the final whistle. Hermitage would extend its lead to 53-21 by
the fourth, and outscored Tucker 21- 3 in
the final quarter before winning 74-29.
Person finished with 18 points on the night. Osborne hit a layup with 2:54 left in the third quarter which marked his 1,001st career point as a Panther, he would finish with 17. Robbie Beran led Tucker with 8 points in the defeat.
The Panthers go on to play a doubleheader at Atlee on Monday February 1st, while Tucker will visit Maggie Walker for a double header on Tuesday February 2nd.