BY DARREN REESE
SUN SPORTS EDITOR
In a battle of what figures to be two of the top teams in District 2-AA this season, it was Greeneville who claimed the key early-season victory Tuesday night.
The Devils only had one player reach double figures in scoring but saw 12 different boys contribute to the score book as they pulled away for a 67-42 victory over Chuckey-Doak at Hal Henard Gymnasium.
Greeneville went a perfect 12-0 in regular season district play last season, while Chuckey-Doak won the district tournament title. This was the league 2013-14 league opener for both schools.
"It's certainly good to start conference play with a victory, particularly over a good Chuckey-Doak team," Greeneville head coach Brad Woolsey said. "The second half we started running and found some gaps in their zone and that really made a huge difference."
The game was back and forth early on, with Chuckey-Doak leading 11-10 a couple minutes into the second quarter.
The Devils rallied to take a 24-18 lead at intermission, led by the six second-quarter points from Sam Whitehead.
"I think we were maybe a little too settled early on," Woolsey explained. "Transitional wise, we didn't get out and run. We didn't try to push it, and that's my fault."
"It's hard to just go down the court and pound it inside when they (Chuckey-Doak) are 6-3, 6-4 and 6-5 across the bottom. So we tried to get gaps. Shooting is what we do, so we kept on shooting it, but we wanted to make sure we got some paint touches as well."
Chuckey-Doak's size advantage didn't deter the Devils as the home team held a 29-22 advantage on the boards and shot 42 percent from the field.
Greeneville was only 7-of-27 from three-point range and 8-of-15 from the foul line - both percentages that Woolsey would like to see higher - but the Devils shot it well from inside the arc.
Chuckey-Doak was 14-of-31 from the field (45%) but only 13-of-24 from the foul line.
Hays Culbreth led Greeneville with 11 points. Trevor Wright added nine points and five rebounds. Desmond Dabbs and Quan Harrison each contributed seven points. Raheem Young posted a team-high six boards.
"It was good to see the balanced scoring," Woolsey said, "but at the same time we would like to see some better shots taken."
"There is no selfishness on the team though, and that's what we want to see."
Jared Meredith had a game-high 17 points for the Black Knights, followed by Josh Lamb with 10 and Ben Gridley with seven.
Wright scored seven of his nine points in the third quarter as Greeneville out-scored the Knights 25-13 to pull away. A total of seven different players scored for the Devils in the frame.
A three-pointer by Culbreth at the 6:20 mark of the third quarter first pushed the lead to double digits. Another basket by the senior roughly five minutes later made it 47-27.
Greeneville (4-4) has now won three straight after beginning the season 1-4. Chuckey-Doak falls to 5-5 overall with the loss.
Greeneville girls' coach Annette Watts found plenty of room for improvement in her team's performance against Chuckey-Doak Tuesday night, but she couldn't have been more happier with the result.
The Lady Devils jumped out to an early double-digit lead and maintained it for much of the first half before having to hang on for a 56-50 victory in the District 2-AA season opener for both schools.
"Foul trouble really got to us tonight, and then we only shot 57 percent from the foul line ourselves," Watts pointed out. "Those are things we really have to work on."
"But it was a good win against a well-prepared Chuckey-Doak team. They came in here with a good game plan and ready to beat us."
Greeneville came out firing on all cylinders, sinking 10 of its first 14 shots to lead 21-12 after the first quarter. A total of six different players scored for the Lady Devils in the opening frame, led by Madison Shipley with six points.
Alyssa Broyles was a one-person show for Chuckey-Doak in the second quarter as she scored all eight of her team's points. Greeneville maintained a 31-20 advantage at intermission.
The Lady Knights finally got things going in the third as they used an 8-0 run to get to within 37-31 at the midway point of the stanza. They continued to chip away, and a pair of baskets by Asialyn Manuel in the final 1:08 made it 42-39 heading into the final quarter.
That was as close as the visitors would get, though, as Lorena Leon and Shipley combined for 11 points down the stretch to help keep Greeneville in front.
"I think it was a case of we expended so much injury trying to come back that we didn't have enough left at the end," Chuckey-Doak head coach Beth Frye said. "You just can't put yourself in a hole like that right out of the gate, especially against a good team like Greeneville."
Both Leon and Shipley finished with 14 points to pace the Lady Devils. Ten of Leon's came in the second half.
"Those were big points for us," Watts said of Leon's performance. "I though she played hard - she played very well for us."
Melissa Scott also reached double digits for the Lady Devils as she finished with ten points. Reagan Lowery added seven to the victory.
Broyles paced Chuckey-Doak with 14 points, followed by Andy Lamb with 12 and Manuel with 11.