BY WAYNE PHILLIPS
SPORTS EDITOR EMERITUS
There's nothing that helps confidence like winning the first conference games of the year, and the Chuckey-Doak Black Knights should be feeling pretty good about themselves after taking a twin-bill from visiting Claiborne Friday night at the Black Knights' gymnasium.
The Chuckey-Doak boys, after trailing by as many as 11 points in the third quarter, roared from behind and went to overtime to down the visiting Bulldogs in a 48-47 thriller, while the Lady Knights had a much easier time of it, coasting to a 74-48 win.
It was the first Blue Ridge Conference games of the year for each team. Chuckey-Doak has two road conference games next week, at West Greene Tuesday and at Cumberland Gap Friday, before returning home to tangle with county rival North Greene next Saturday night.
C-D BOYS WIN IN OT
Coach Sam Broyles might age fast if this season continues to go as this week, with his Black Knights capturing a one-point decision vs. David Crockett on Tuesday before the overtime nail-biter on Friday night.
The victory moves his team to 4-2 on the year, but more importantly 1-0 in the BRAC, while Claiborne drops to 1-4, 0-1 in league play.
Senior Cory Swinney, after missing two free throws seconds earlier, converted a pair with 23 seconds left in the extra frame to put the Knights up by two possessions at 46-42. After Claiborne's Paul Estep scored with 11 seconds to go, C-D senior guard Garrett Johnson was fouled and knocked down two more to keep his team safely ahead 48-44, which meant that a late 3-pointer by Tristen Noe was not enough to pull the Bulldogs ahead.
The victory culminated a furious rally by the Knights, who jumped to a 5-0 lead at the outset before the Bulldogs scored 12 straight points and bolted to a 12-7 first quarter lead.
The Claiborne lead stood throughout three quarters, and they went to the locker rooms at intermission up 26-17, and led 28-17 after hitting the first shot of the third stanza.
But the Knights started making some noise later in the third. A 3-pointer by Garrett Johnson seemed to light the fuse. Back-to-back buckets by Taylor Johnson and Swinney had the margin down to 30-26 halfway through the quarter, but Claiborne held on and headed to the home stretch up 33-30.
C-D got even at 35-35 on a driving layup by Garrett Johnson with 3:50 left, but Tristen Noe swished in a 3-ball to put the Bulldogs back ahead by 38-35. Birkir Vidisson, the exchange student from Iceland, drove for a layup to close to a point, then after a Bulldog turnover on an offensive foul, the "Iceman" converted two free throws to put the Knights back in front for the first time since the opening minutes of the ball game.
Garrett Johnson's two foul shots with 25 seconds to go gave the Knights a 41-39 lead, but Claiborne tied the count just before the final horn on an inside bucket by 6-6 post Nick Roberts to send the game to OT.
Both teams had their chances in the extra period, but the Knights went ahead at 44-42 on two foul shots by Johnson with 1:26 left and never let the Bulldogs have the lead back.
Garrett Johnson scored 15 to pace the Knights, while Vidisson scored eight. Swinney had six rebounds and four assists.
Claiborne was paced by Noe and Roberts with 14 points each and Estep chipped in with 13.
LADY KNIGHTS PULL AWAY
Chuckey-Doak's girls evened their record at 3-3, 1-0 in the league, and led throughout. They were up 19-7 at the first rest stop and maintained a 29-18 spread at halftime.
The Lady Bulldogs (2-3, 0-1) made one brief rally, cutting a 31-18 lead early in the third down to 35-28 with 4:30 to go. But it was all Chuckey-Doak from that point on as the Lady Knights went on a 21-7 run over the rest of the period to take a 56-35 lead at the horn.
Subs got a lot of playing time in the fourth as the lead continued to grow.
"It was a conference game, so it was a good win for us," C-D Coach Beth Frye said. "Their No. 32 (Dakotah Turner) had 13 rebounds in the first half, so that was a point we tried to make at the half. We don't do a very good job of boxing out, and we've worked hard on that."
The Knights showed good scoring balance and got a team-best 13 from junior post Alyssa Broyles. Sophomore Andi Lamb scored 12, plus she added seven assists. Junior Hailey Taylor scored 11. Freshman Kerri Ricker scored 10. Senior Hannah Riddle led on the boards with nine caroms.
Turner, after raking in 13 first half rebounds, finished with 16 for the game and she led all players in scoring with 18. Heather Bolden was just a step back with 17.