BLUFF CITY - North Greene held off a charging comeback from Sullivan East in the fourth quarter to come away with a 72-69 win in the Dyer Dome on Saturday night.
“You expect that against a good team at home, you knew they were going to make a run,” North Greene Head Coach Sam Tarlton said. “I thought we played one of our better games of the season, all but maybe finishing that out just a tad better but you can’t ask them to be perfect.”
Jason Britton was Jason Britton once again scoring a game-high 40 points in the victory. He was blazing hot from outside the three-point line with eight triples.
“He’s a Mr. Basketball finalist for a reason. He’s a stud,” Tarlton expressed. “He was feeling it. There were a couple where he got the net stuck. That means he’s true.”
That’s exactly how he started the game with a three-point bomb on North Greene’s first possession of the evening.
Corbin Laisure scored East’s first four points with a layup and two free throws. Then Bennett McLain scored North Greene’s next four in the same fashion.
The Huskies crashed the offensive glass for two rebounds that turned into three second chance points once Britton fired away from beyond the arc again. Yeshua Vaught found Britton open in the mid-range for another easy bucket.
North Greene pulled out to a 14-6 lead before Tyler Cross and Thomas Ridlehuber made a pair of three-point baskets for the Patriots.
The Huskies led 17-12 after the first quarter.
Elijah Grubb fired away for another trey to put Sullivan East on their second possession of the second quarter.
Sam English was next to gain the hot hand and he let two triples fly through the net for six-straight points.
“Sam played much better the last two games and we need that out of Sam,” Tarlton said.
The long ball kept falling for North Greene with Lance Carrico being the next player to bury a three.
East's Drake Fisher stole a pass on defense and beat everybody to the hoop for a layup on the offensive end.
Britton showed his determination to score even when his shot doesn’t fall through. He ripped the ball away from Corbin Laisure under the basket and scored an easy two points on a layup.
The teams headed into halftime with North Greene ahead 28-23.
If you thought the threes were raining in the second quarter, both teams combined for eight treys in the third frame. Britton accounted for five of those on his way to a 19-point quarter.
The first of five threes came in the corner next to his bench on the first possession of the third quarter. Jacob Witcher downed a three-point bucket from the opposite corner on the other end.
McLain then posted up for a short hook shot in the paint.
It didn’t matter if Drake Fisher had a hand in his face or not, he was determined to splash a three-point bucket to cut North Greene’s lead down to 35-31. Fisher then maneuvered around Luca May with a smooth euro step in the lane to score his next basket.
Britton found his stroke with three bombs from outside the arc midway through the third quarter. Carrico, English, and McLain added layups to extend their lead.
Tyler Cross got a three-pointer to fall to end North Greene’s run.
The Huskies scored 29 points in the third period and held a 57-45 lead going into the final eight minutes.
Sullivan East wouldn’t go down without a fight and made things interesting in the fourth. Cross and Laisure made it a seven-point game with seven free throws to open up the quarter for the Patriots.
Britton kept North Greene ahead with a running floater.
Elijah Grubb drained a step-back three and Cross intercepted a cross-court pass which turned into a wide-open layup for Jacob Witcher in transition.
Lawson Davenport and Sam English both knocked down a free throw each at the charity stripe.
Laisure backed up in the post and got a layup to fall off the glass. Grubb sank two free throws to pull Sullivan East within striking distance down 67-64 with only a minute and-a-half remaining.
The Huskies kept moving the ball around the perimeter to chew clock, but the Patriots must’ve forgot Bennett McLain was chilling on the baseline and granted him with a wide-open trip to the basket for two.
Laisure grabbed his own missed layup and got his second attempt to fall to cut it back to three with 47.7 seconds remaining.
The door was left open for the Patriots after a missed free throw by the Huskies. They would breathe a deep sigh of relief and catch a break on defense when Laisure missed two layup attempts under the rim.
Bennett McLain didn’t have any problem making two clutch free throws with 15 seconds left.
Sullivan East still found a way to cut it back to two points with a late three-pointer from Tyler Cross with 0.5 seconds left.
North Greene inbounded the ball after a timeout and seemingly won the game when the buzzer sounded, but a foul was called and 0.2 seconds were added back on the clock by the officials.
McLain stepped to the line again and made the front end of his two free throw attempts before missing the second one on purpose to ice the game.
Coach Tarlton mentioned, “He stepped up. One of our better free throw shooters was able to make big free throws down the stretch. I thought he battled on the boards all night. That was great to see out of him.”
The Huskies managed to hold on in the end and pull off a 72-69 victory over Sullivan East.
“My challenge to them this whole week was, when’s it going to change, and we can slowly see a change so hopefully we’re getting hot at the right time I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Tarlton bragged.
Britton cashed in 40 points to lead all scorers. McLain added 13 points and English entered double figures with 11 points.
The Patriots put five players in double figures led by Laisure with 18 points. Fisher scored 15, Cross added 13, Witcher and Elijah Grubb each contributed with 10.
Sullivan East 43, North Greene 42
The North Greene girls lost a heartbreaker in dramatic fashion to Sullivan East on Saturday night by the score of 43-42.
“It was crazy how it ended and it was unfortunate for us,” Lady Huskies Head Coach James Buchanan said.
The momentum swayed back-and-forth the entire night and saw both teams take commanding leads throughout. North Greene needed a three-pointer from Cambell Gaby to tie the game with less than five seconds to go. But a questionable blocking foul called on the Lady Huskies with less than a second remaining put Jenna Hare at the free throw line to win the game for the Lady Patriots.
What went unseen by the officials during the final play was that the clock had stopped after Gaby’s basket. That allowed the Lady Patriots enough time to inbound the ball and move it up court for a shot. Haley Bailey did her absolute best to try and draw a charge across half court, but was called for a blocking foul as Hare ran into her and threw up a shot. All that was needed was one free throw to win the game, and she did exactly what was needed to give her team a win on senior night.
“Down the stretch Cambell made a huge three for us and I just hate it was negated because of some craziness at the end,” Buchanan stated. “I told Haley that I admired her courage for standing in there and trying to take that charge.”
It was a slow start for the Lady Huskies as they trailed the entire first quarter.
Haire gained the attention of North Greene’s defense right away with a double team in the lane. Asia Cairns stood wide open along the three-point line and bucketed a triple on the first possession.
Cairns and Kara Hicks put the ball off the glass for two layups, but Sonya Wagner kept the Lady Huskies close with a pair of three-point field goals from outside the arc.
Hare helped Sullivan East pull ahead 13-6 halfway through the first quarter with a three-point bucket and an assist to Sophie Johnson in the paint.
The three-point baskets kept falling for North Greene with Grace Buchanan knocking down another trey.
While North Greene was mostly successful from outside the three-point arc, the Lady Patriots were dominant inside the paint. Johnson drove through the lane for another lay in off the glass, but Hannah Miller responded with one of her own to wash it out.
Hare crossed up the defense with a behind-the-back move for a pull-up three in transition to close out the first eight minutes.
Sullivan East led 20-12 after one quarter.
The second frame was a completely different ballgame than the first. North Greene’s defense played stellar forcing the Lady Patriots to go scoreless through the rest of the first half and allowed them to take the lead into the break.
Bailey, Wagner, and Mercy Buchanan worked together to score eight-straight points to start the second frame and tie the game at 20-20. Wagner handed North Greene their first lead of the game with two free throws at the foul line. Grace Buchanan padded that lead with another three-point bomb to end the quarter.
A 15-0 run by North Greene saw it jump ahead 27-20 going into the break.
In the second half Hannah Miller worked hard in the paint to get a layup to fall underneath the hoop.
Kylie Hurley finally got East going with a three-pointer.
For North Greene Bailey scored on a turnaround post move in the paint and Wagner sank one of her signature running floaters.
East's Asia Cairns cut the score down to one point with a layup.
North Greene held a slim 37-34 lead heading into the fourth.
Sonya Wagner had to play through foul trouble for most of the night after gaining two early fouls four minutes into the game. She sat for most of the third quarter and had to sit for the final 4:39 of the game after drawing her fifth foul.
The senior still managed to lead North Greene in scoring with 12 points.
“When you’ve got your leading scorer with 12 and she fouls out and doesn’t even play the back half of the third quarter and doesn’t get to play much of the fourth quarter. I just can’t help but think this one would’ve went differently,” Buchanan mentioned.
Kylie Hurley nailed a baseline jumper from ten feet out to put Sullivan East ahead.
Gaby drove along the baseline with under thirty seconds left and attempted a layup, but was blocked by Sophie Johnson.
Hannah Miller drew a charge on the next possession to give North Greene a chance to take the lead, but an empty possession took that opportunity away for the moment. Hare landed two free throws through the net to up Sullivan East's lead to three points.
With 11 seconds left on the clock, the Lady Huskies drove down the floor and had one last shot to tie the score. Gaby clutched up and got a three-pointer to bounce up and in to tie the ballgame.
When a basket falls through the net in high school basketball the clock is supposed to continue ticking. Once the ball went through the clock was stopped and it gave Jenna Hare enough time to sprint up the floor and get a shot off.
Bailey stood her ground and was knocked to the floor as Hare went through her before she sent a prayer in the air. She was called for a blocking foul and that set Hare up with an opportunity to seal the game with less than a second on the clock.
She missed the first, but made the second. The third foul shot was missed on purpose to not give North Greene any time to put a shot up.
Sullivan East escaped with a 43-42 win over North Greene.
Hare led them in scoring with a game-high 19 points. Her only field goals came in the first quarter and the rest came from free throws down the stretch. She shot 11-13 at the foul line.
Sonya Wagner led the Lady Huskies with 12 points.