Almqvist Scores 14 To Pace
Greeneville At Grainger
By Marlin Curnutt
Special to the Sun
RUTLEDGE- Trailing midway through the fourth period at Grainger Friday night, the Greeneville Greene Devils needed something big to happen for them to remain undefeated in conference play. They got that in the form of what amounted to a nine point play.
Grainger led 42-41 when Quan Harrison scored and Anton Almgvist scored and was fouled. He missed the free throw but Greeneville was able to get the rebound. Hays Culbreth banged home a three pointer and Almqvist was awarded two free throws on an intentional foul. The Greene Devils went from being down to up 50-42 on that sequence and went on to grab a 52-42 win over the Grizzlies.
With the victory, the Greene Devils improve to 15-7 and a perfect 6-0 in the district. Grainger slips to 14-8, 5-3 in conference action. Almqvist led Greeneville with 14 points. Grainger was paced by Bailey Lamb's 15 points and 10 from Clint Holt.
"Our effort was a lot better in the second half," head coach Brad Woolsey said after his team's big victory. "I wasn't pleased at all with our effort in the first half. Our execution wasn't great the whole game but we came out and played much harder in the second half."
"This was a huge game for us because they were nipping on our heels. They came out and played really well and really hard but this was a big win for us to put a little bit of distance between us and Grainger," Woolsey said.
The first period was a low scoring affair. Almqvist hit a three pointer for the Greene Devils to begin the game and Thomas Burkey scored four points but that was it as Grainger led 9-7 at the end of one.
The Grizzlies got their offense going to begin the second period. Grainger went to guard Clint Holt and he scored nine points to give the home team a 21-15 lead. Almqvist kept the Greene Devils within striking distance as he scored four points and Matt Miller chipped in with two three pointers and eight points. His three pointer from the corner late in the period cut Grainger's lead to 26-20 at the half.
The Greene Devils began to chip away at the lead early in the second half and got a big boost when Trevor Wright was fouled on a three point attempt and hit all three freebies. Thomas Burkey tied the game at 32-32 midway through the third period. The two teams swapped the lead until Culbreth scored the final five points of the period to give Greeneville a 39-38 lead going into the final frame.
no. 1 lady grizzlies pull away for win
RUTLEDGE- The Lady Greene Devils had lost only one conference game this season and they were looking to avenge that loss Friday night. They faced a steep test however as they faced the state's top ranked AA team.
Grainger overcame a sluggish second period and held Greeneville to only four points in the third period as they downed the Lady Greene Devils 63-29. The Lady Greene Devils stand at 12-9 overall and fall to 4-2 in conference play. Grainger improves to 21-3 and remain perfect 8-0 in league play.
Allison Hodge led all scorers with 20 points. Blake Lamb added 12 for Grainger. Madison Shipley and Melissa Scott each scored eight points to lead Greeneville.
Greeneville head coach Annette Watts was pleased with her team's performance in the second period but said they need to keep up the pressure in the third. "We really held them in the second period but I don't know what happens to us in the third period. This is the second game where in the third period, we lose our confidence when we don't get shots. Grainger is a very good team and I guess that's why they are the number one team in the state."
It appeared the Lady Grizzlies would have an easy run of it as Grainger built a 20-6 lead in the first period. The Lady Greene Devils didn't get on the board until the 2:44 mark as Grainger scored the first 12 points of the contest. Madison Grubbs' basket at the buzzer pulled the visitors to within 14 points going into the second.
Greeneville went to Shipley to begin the next period and she delivered as she reeled off eight straight points. The Lady Greene Devils defense was suffocating in the second as they held Grainger to only four points in the period. Scott scored the final four points of the half to pull Greeneville to within striking distance of the Lady Grizzlies at 24-18.
Grainger opened the second half on fire, scoring 10 straight points with Hodge and Lamb leading the way. Scott finally got the Lady Greene Devils on the board with a short jumper at the 4:10 mark. Hodge scored six points and Lamb had nine for Grainger and that allowed the Lady Grizzlies to stake a 43-22 lead at the end of three.
Grainger proved why they are one of the toughest and deepest teams in the state as Lady Grizzlies head coach Justin Combs went to his bench in the fourth and the reserves continued to keep the pressure up. Seven different players scored for Grainger in the final period as the Lady Grizzlies rolled.
The Lady Greene Devils have played Grainger tougher that anyone else in the district in the first half this year and Watts said she looks forward to a possible third game against the Lady Grizzlies. "I still want to play them again. But that third period will be critical for us because we know that we will have to turn it up in the second half."