MARYVILLE — McMinn County’s girls got it together just in time to put an emphatic end to their skid.
The Lady Cherokees trailed Maryville 22-9 after the first quarter before erupting to a 62-44 win over the Lady Rebels on Saturday to finish off the Heritage High School Thanksgiving Tournament, snapping a three-game losing streak.
Peytyn Oliver scored 31 points against Maryville, as the Lady Tribe (2-3) closed its deficit to 31-23 at halftime, then burst ahead with a 25-7 third quarter. McMinn led 48-30 heading into the fourth.
“We’re making progress there, and everything’s going,” said McMinn coach David Tucker. “The girls are still playing hard, and we’ll get better.”
The Lady Cherokees made seven 3-pointers as a team, including four from Oliver. Aubrey Gonzalez, who added 18 points, made two from behind the arc and Addie Smith another.
The Cherokees (2-3) fell behind 23-10 after one quarter and trailed 43-27 at haltime. McMinn cut into some of its deficit in the third quarter, trailing 58-47 entering the final period.
Hayden Smith added 15 points, including two threes, for the Tribe. The Cherokees made 10 3-pointers, but the Rebels made eight themselves.
Maryville had four double-digit scorers, led by Charlie Rice with 21 points. Robbie Eldridge added 20 points, Bryson Stewart 14 and David Coon 11.
The Cherokees were down 43-34 at halftime in a game they were playing catch-up all afternoon. McMinn had tied the game in the third quarter before Heritage went on a run to go ahead 64-51 entering the fourth.
The Tribe continued rallying, tying it up 73-73 before the final shot from the Mountaineers.
Ty Runyan led McMinn with 28 points, and Monroe and Trent Peak scored 14 points each.
Oliver finished as McMinn’s lone double-figure scorer with 11 points. Gonzalez scored nine, Smith eight, Allie Hansford seven and Brooklyn Stinnett six.
Both McMinn basketball teams went on to play Monday at area rival Meigs County, after deadline for Tuesday’s edition of The Daily Post-Athenian. McMinn is back in action Friday at Walker Valley to begin District 5-4A play, with the girls tipping off at 6 p.m. and the boys at 7:30.