By Maurice Patton
SUMMERTOWN – If, as Catie Embrey says, the Summertown girls basketball team is “the total package”, then Katie Burdette may be the bow.
The 6-2 junior post scored a team-high 14 points – and was as prolific on the boards – Tuesday night as the Lady Eagles defeated visiting Page 66-52.
“She probably had a double-double (double digits in scoring and rebounding). She’s really good at reading where the ball is coming off,” Embrey said of Burdette following the team’s third win in as many outings.
“They played zone (defense); nobody was responsible for her, so that left her available to go to the ball.”
Perhaps, rather than the bow holding the package together, Burdette is the gift box within the gift box.
“It’s nice, knowing she can get a bucket in multiple ways, and the guards are great about finding her,” Embrey said. “But also defensively, when they send kids to the middle, she’s there. She protects the paint and does a great job for us.”
Against a taller, talented Class AAA team, Burdette made her presence felt on both ends of the floor throughout the night – scoring in the low post and converting offensive rebounds into points, as well as disrupting the Lady Patriots’ attack.
Summertown took a 19-6 lead before the end of the opening quarter, but Page rallied with nine straight points to end the period and tied the game at 22-all on an Abigail Ward 3-pointer midway through the second quarter.
Burdette scored from point-blank range, then followed a Jenna Brazier 3 with a putback to help spark an 11-0 run, and the Lady Eagles never looked back.
“Their size and speed – we have to make sure we understand, offensively. We’ve got to shorten our passes,” Embrey said. “We’ve got to do a better job handling pressure.”
That aside, Summertown held up well despite a 23-point outing from Page’s Lili Wilken.
Seven different Lady Eagles scored, including Hailey Jones (12 points) and Brazier and Ansley Burleson with 11 points and three treys each.
“I think our depth really bothers people,” Embrey said. “We’re constantly sending fresh people, fresh legs.
“With our depth and size, I think we’re the total package.”
Inside/outside attack frustrates Eagles: Page’s senior ‘twin towers’ – 6-10 Jaime Hernandez and 6-5 Thomas Seamen – teamed for 33 points to offset Gavin Burleson’s 31 points and push their team past the hosts 73-65 in the nightcap.
“I’ll be interested to see where they finish,” Summertown coach Wes Long said regarding the District 11-AAA Patriots. “With their size, and the way they shoot it, they’re a tough matchup, especially for us.”
Page took control of the contest in the early moments, as Ethan Overstreet hit four 3-pointers in the first six minutes and Seamen scored 10 of his team-high 21 points before halftime. The Patriots led by as many as nine points in the opening half, but a late surge keyed by Gavin Burleson’s seven points made it a 35-33 game at intermission.
Leading by six, 52-46, at the end of the third quarter, Page kept the Eagles at bay down the stretch behind three timely Seamen treys in the final eight minutes.
“Their size wound up being the difference, the way they can get it off the glass,” Long said. “But we’ve still got to execute and make our free throws at the end.”
Next up: Summertown’s girls take on the host RedHawks at Friday’s Stewarts Creek Thanksgiving Classic. Summertown’s boys are idle until Tullahoma visits Dec. 1 for the first of three homecourt doubleheaders over five days.
Summertown girls 66, Page 52
P 15 9 13 15 – 52
S 18 17 17 13 – 66
Page (52) – Braley Bushman 3, Lili Wilken 23, McKenzie Cochran 10, Abigail Ward 6, Mary Clair Pike 8, Sadie Porter 2
Summertown (66) – Kaley Campbell 9, Jenna Brazier 11, Hailey Jones 12, Rylee Long 7, Katie Burdette 14, Ansley Burleson 11, Carlee Emerson 2
3-pointers – Page 7 (Wilken 4, Cochran, Ward 2), Summertown 6 (Brazier 3, Burleson 3)
Page boys 73, Summertown 65
P 20 15 17 21 – 73
S 11 22 13 19 – 65
Page (73) – Grant Snider 6, Ethan Overstreet 12, Pierce Bruehl 6, Gunner Gist 3, Thomas Seamen 21, Joey Casella 9, Jaime Hernandez 12, Seth Cable 4
Summertown (65) – Skylar Trousdale 12, Zane Akins 2, Jake Smith 2, Grayson Burleson 6, Gavin Burleson 31, Grant Burleson 9, Kaden Trotter 3
3-pointers – Page 9 (Overstreet 4, Gist, Seamen 3, Casella), Summertown 3 (Gavin Burleson, Grant Burleson 2)