Grainger and Greeneville have attracted the most attention among the girls’ teams in the Twin Lakes Conference this year, but Cocke County showed Thursday night there are at least three pretty good girls’ teams in that district.
The Lady Devils held off Cocke County 65-60 to gain the key league victory, but it was a dogfight from the start, which was pretty much what Devil coach Annette Watts had expected.
“I think Cocke County has been overlooked some,” she said after the Devils improved their season record to 16-4, 3-1 in the district. “I think there are three teams in our league that are worthy of top 10 rankings. They are a lot like us. They really get up in your face on defense and our teams mirror each other.”
The Greeneville boys later made it a sweep of the doubleheader with an 82-45 win over the Fighting Cockes, a game which saw the host Devils score an astounding 41 points in the second quarter and hit 16-of-20 shots from the field.
HAYES SPARKS GHS GIRLS
Senior Grace Hayes, who had been sidelined by an injury until the previous game, came on strong for the Lady Devils Thursday, hitting four 3-pointers and finishing with 14 points to spark her team.
“It sure is nice to have Grace back on the floor,” Watts said. “She does a lot of things that most people can’t see, a lot of the little things. She moved laterally real well tonight, a lot better than she did the other night against Grainger. These snow days where she’s been working have really helped.”
Watts also praised the play of senior guard Delana DeBusk, who has been sidelined for five days with COVID but returned to action against Cocke County.
“She’s still weak, but she jumped right in there and got after them on defense,” Watts said.
Chloe Marsh was again stellar, guarding in the paint despite being out-sized and finishing with 14 points and eight rebounds. The coach also praised the play of Anna Shaw, who scored seven but was an aggravation on defense to the Lady Red all night.
“Anna is a chihuahua who thinks she is a bulldog,” Watts said with a smile. “She never stops.”
In addition, it was fun to watch two of the league’s best players, Lauren Bailey of Greeneville and Gracie Gregg of Cocke County, battle it out. They wound up guarding each other most of the night and at times canceled each other out. Bailey still scored 13 and got five rebounds for the winners.
The two teams, both of which have lost to Grainger once this season, battled on even terms throughout the opening half. Greeneville was up 14-13 after one and the score was knotted at 29 at intermission.
The Devils seemed to gain a little momentum toward the close of the third when Shaw netted a 3-pointer from the wing and Marsh closed the period with a putback to give Greeneville a 49-45 advantage. Another Marsh bucket to start the fourth gave the Devils a 51-45 lead.
But the Lady Red fought back. Post Paige Niethammer scored five straight to cut the gap to 51-50 with 6:45 left. That’s when Greeneville got the surge it needed.
Marsh got a goal from the paint and Cocke County made the mistake of letting Hayes roam free on two straight trips, and she buried back-to-back 3-pointers. Tambryn Ellenburg then followed with a fast break layup and finished off a 10-2 run that put the Devils up 61-52.
Cocke County scored five straight to get within 61-57, but the Lady Red never got closer than three points the rest of the way.
The Lady Red (16-4, 2-2) got 21 points from Camryn Halcomb, 14 from Sydney Clevenger and 12 from Niethammer.
COCKE COUNTY (60): Sydney Clevenger 14, Gregg 7, A.Niethammer 2, Cofield 4, Paige Niethammer 12, Camryn Halcomb 21.
GREENEVILLE (65): Lauren Bailey 13, Carter 5, Chloe Marsh 14, Shaw 7, Grace Hayes 14, DeBusk 6, Ellenburg 4, Martin 2.
3-Point Goals: CC—6 (Clevenger 3, P.Niethammer, Gregg, Halcomb). GHS—8 (Hayes 4, Bailey 2, Carter, Shaw).
COCKE COUNTY 13 16 16 15 — 60
GREENEVILLE 14 15 20 16 — 65
BOYS GREENEVILLE 82 COCKE COUNTY 45
Looking at the final score, it was very hard to believe the Greene Devils got off to a horrible start.
Greeneville hit only 4-of-13 first quarter shots and managed a 13-11 lead at the horn.
But the second quarter was all Greeneville, and it was really amazing how the Devils piled up the points. They reeled off 41 in the period, making 16-of-20 shots from the floor, and five of those were 3-pointers.
Ja’Kobi Gillespie and Reid Satterfield had a field day, Each missed only one shot in the second quarter (Gillespie’s miss came on a dunk attempt). Satterfield, who missed his first four long range shots, lit it up with three 3s and 16 points in the eight minutes, while Gillespie scored 13.
In addition, Ty Williams came off the bench and dropped in four straight baskets, and when the buzzer finally sounded ending the half, the outcome was determined as the home team was up 58-27.
The third quarter was a highlight reel of dunks by Gillespie.
When the starters retired to the bench with 2:30 left in the third, Greeneville was ahead 71-34 and Gillespie, who scored 27, and Satterfield, who had 23, had accounted for 50 of those markers.
The victory improved the season worksheet to 14-5, 4-0 in the district, for Greeneville. Cocke County dropped to 10-10, 2-2.
Kyler Hayes scored nine points to lead Cocke County.
COCKE COUNTY (45): M.Woods 3, Swann 4, J.Woods 6, France 4, Stewart 5, Baxter 7, Costner 2, Hazelwood 5, Hayes 9.
GREENEVILLE (82): Tillery 9, Ja’Kobi Gillespie 27, Price 4, Grove 2, Reid Satterfield 23, Ty Williams 11, Woolsey 3 Goad 3.
3-Point Goals: CC—2 (M.Woods, Stewart). GHS—9 (Satterfield 4, Gillespie 2, Williams, Woolsey, Goad).
COCKE COUNTY 11 16 9 9 — 45
GREENEVILLE 13 41 20 8 — 82
Greeneville steps outside of its conference on Saturday when it travels to Knoxville to take on Farragut. The girls play at 4 p.m. and the boys play at 5:30.