BY TATE RUSSELL
SUN SPORTS WRITER
The Greeneville basketball teams were at home for the first time in nearly three weeks Tuesday night, and the results were to the crowd's liking against District 2-AA foe Claiborne.
The Lady Devils saw Madison Shipley and Melissa Scott combine for 28 points in recording a 54-46 win. The Greeneville girls are now 6-11 overall and 3-3 in the league.
The Devils scored 43 points in the first half and held on for a 63-52 win to remain firmly atop the standings with a 6-0 district mark. They are 13-6 overall.
Greeneville will be at home against Friday night, this time to host Cumberland Gap.
LADY DEVILS RALLY IN SECOND HALF
The Lady Devils came out of halftime on fire and swung a three-point deficit into a 10-point lead as they went on to defeat Claiborne 54-46.
"It's always good to get a win," Greeneville head coach Lesley Murray said. "We were able to cut down on some of the mistakes we were making. We had fewer than 10 turnovers tonight. We put a major emphasis on keeping that number down and we only had eight tonight."
A strong post game was integral for Greeneville as forwards Madison Shipley and Melissa Scott scored 15 and 13, respectively.
Down 28-25 going into half time, the offense began to click when the Lady Devils exited the locker room. Scott laid in four points off the glass to get things started, and Katelynn Hadjopoulos connected from behind the arc twice before the Lady Bulldogs could earn their first basket as part of 17-4 Greeneville run.
Murray said, "We made a little bit of an adjustment in our press and got some things going there, and then we got some good looks for our post players, getting them easy baskets. I think those both contributed to that (third quarter run)".
Greeneville built a 42-32 lead, but a pair of buckets late in the quarter by the Lady Bulldogs sent the game into the fourth quarter with only a six-point differential.
Claiborne was able to close the gap to one point with 1:11 left in the game when Haley Bolden scored on a drive in the paint.
The Lady Devils free throw shooting improved significantly down the stretch as Lorena Leon connected on a pair to give Greeneville a three-point edge.
Hadjopoulos missed on the front end of her one-and-one attempt but Scott capitalized with a put-back to make it a two possession game with 26 seconds left. Hadjopoulos and Shipley finished things at the stripe to give Greeneville a comfortable margin.
Claiborne's Heather Bolden led all scorers with 17 points.
The game didn't start as the Lady Devils might have hoped but they were within three points at both the end of the first quarter and at half time.
Greeneville was able to work the Lady Bulldogs' defense, earning 17 attempts from the free throw stripe in the first half but they only connected on seven of them.
DEVILS START FAST IN WIN
The Greeneville boys turned up the defense and it translated into quick offense as the Greene Devils scored 43 first-half points and defeated Claiborne 63-52.
Greene Devils head coach Brad Woolsey said, "I was really pleased. We came out in the first half and got after it defensively and we got a lot of easy buckets because of that effort."
The game got exciting two minutes in when Jacob Cobble drove the left baseline, leaped toward the cylinder and powered home a slam dunk.
Cobble said of the play, "The guy that was on me was playing three or four feet off and I saw that the baseline was open. So I drove the baseline. A guy came up but he didn't jump with me so I put it in. It was unexpected It just kind of happened."
Not long after, the officials stopped play to reveal that the game was being played with a women's ball. It was immediately replaced with a larger men's ball.
Cobble was adamant the dunk still would have gone down. even with a regulation ball.
"Oh, I would have for sure gone for the dunk. I had the open baseline and nobody was on me," Cobble said.
Four Greene Devils scored in double figures, led by Cobble with 13 points. Landon Duncan scored 12, Hays Culbreth added 11, as did Cory Waddell.
Claiborne held close for much of the first quarter but a 13-3 run in the last three minutes of the opening quarter looked to put the game out of reach. Cobble was a huge part of stretching the lead, scoring six to close the quarter.
In the second quarter the Greene Devils doubled the Bulldogs' point production and went into half time up 43-24.
Claiborne cut the lead to 11 late in the third but Culbreth earned three the old-fashioned way then Quan Harrison hit a deep two as the Greene Devils closed the quarter up 20 points.
In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs crept back to within 11 points. Claiborne big man Nick Roberts scored five in the final period and guard Shawn Logan scored nine against the Greene Devils bench.
Woolsey had enough of the Bulldogs' comeback and with a minute and a half remaining, brought his starters back in. Waddell, Duncan and Culbreth dribbled and passed around Claiborne defenders to close the game out with no more damage being done.
No Bulldogs finished in double figures. Logan, Roberts and Tristan Noe each scored nine points.