On Friday night in Rutledge Greeneville head coach Brad Woolsey quoted Bruno Mars in saying, “If we show up were gonna show out”, and that’s exactly what the Devils did on Saturday in taking down one of the top teams in the state, Knoxville Catholic, 58-56.
Kam Lester broke a 7-7 tie with a three from the corner with 2:21 left in the first quarter, but Catholic's Caled Asbaty knotted the score again at 10 with three the hard way. Hayden Goad sank a triple from the key for the Devils, but Quincy Pannell hit a short jumper for the Irish just before Trey Thompson hit a triple from the top of the key as the quarter was coming to a close to give Greeneville a 16-12 lead.
With the score tied at 18-18 in the second quarter Thompson was fouled as he went to the basket for a layup, his free toss was good and the Devils had a 21-18 lead.
Adjatay Dabbs hit a three from the top of the key in transition and Goad put in triple from the elbow to give the Devils a 29-24 advantage at the 1:11 mark.
A couple of free throws by Cade Murphy got the Irish within three points but Lester threw a dart to Dabbs as he was headed to the goal for two. Goad then hit a 30-foot jumper at the buzzer to give the Devils a halftime lead of 34-26.
Trailing by eight points to open the third quarter Deondrea Lindsey, listed at 6’8”, sparked his team with an impressive dunk while running the baseline, and then just moments later he put down a two-handed flush in the lane to close the gap to 38-35 midway through the third quarter.
Dabbs gave his team some breathing room with a three from just left of the key, but the Irish came right back with Tesan Warren scoring from in front of the goal. Lindsey then used his long length to score and tie the game at 41-41 with just under two minutes to go in the third quarter. Murphy and Alex Doerger each made layups to give the Fighting Irish the lead at 45-43 going to the fourth quarter.
Pannell hit a three from the elbow to open the fourth quarter and the Irish lead was 48-43. The Irish maintained the lead for most of the fourth quarter, but the Devils chipped away and found themselves within three at 54-51 after Thompson hit one of two free throws with 1:51 to play.
With the ball and the lead the Irish were content to run the clock and let the Devils foul, until Dabbs made the play of the game. With 1:14 to play Dabbs simply took the ball away from Juice Eleam and headed the other way. He found a wide open Jayquan Price all alone behind the arc and Price was able to square up and bury a triple to tie the score at 54-54.
Lindsey was able drive the lane to put the Irish back up 56-54 at the one minute mark. Thompson was fouled and hit one of two from the line and the Devils trailed by one with 40 seconds to play.
Dabbs then intercepted a pass and went the other way. He was fouled in transition and made both free throws to put Greeneville up 57-56 with 30 seconds to go.
Catholic was looking to win the game and threw an errant pass out of bounds while trying to go inside to Lindsey with 18 seconds left. Dabbs hit one of two free throws to give the Devils a two point lead. The Irish had one last gasp with seven seconds but Asbaty’s jumper to tie was off the front of the rim and the Devils secured the win.
Coach Woolsey said of Dabbs, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, “His two steals were the difference the game, he wants the moment. He’s not afraid of it, he lives for it. He just makes plays for us”.
Woolsey went on to say “They were physical and tough on both ends of the court. Kam is just getting better and better his movement tonight was just unbelievable…he’s a big cog in our wheel”.
Still excited after the game Price said of the tying three pointer, "I knew it was money when it left my hand."
Greeneville put four players in double figures led by Dabbs with 20 points. Thompson had 13 points, Goad 11 and Lester 11.
Thompson 13, Dabbs 20, Goad 11, Lester 11, Price 3
Eleam 2m Lindsey 12, Warren 8, Pannell 7, Murphy 7, Asbaty 8, Doerger 7
Knoxville Catholic 54, Greeneville 40
The Greeneville girls let Knoxville Catholic's All-State Guard Sydney get hot for too long on Saturday and could not catch up as the Lady Irish captured a 54-40 win on the road.
The Lady Devils took a 10-6 lead when Lauren Bailey popped a triple from the key midway through the first quarter. Catholic's Tinsley Walker matched that triple with one of her own. Ensley Perry put the Lady Irish up 12-10 after one quarter of action with a short jumper.
Tambryn Ellenburg hit a deep triple over the zone defense, and Dalania Martin’s free throw line jumper gave the Lady devils a 15-12 lead halfway through the second quarter.
Then Mains woke-up. She sank three triples on three consecutive trips down the court in 1:07 of game play, and the Lady Devils were quickly down 22-15. They would trail 24-19 going into the locker room at the half.
Mains would hit two more threes early in the third quarter and the Lady Irish had a 10-point lead midway through the quarter. The Lady Devils would eventually trail by 14 by the quarter's end at 42-28.
The Lady Devils could get no closer and the Lady Irish would take a 54-40 win back to Knoxville.
Greeneville coach Anette Watts said. "(Mains) was the difference in the game. We switched, we were supposed to get out on her, we had three or four things we were supposed to try on her, but that one quarter we didn’t. We need to play two games back to back to be successful in the tournament and we haven’t done that yet. There’s no reason we can’t put together a streak, we have five seniors, we’ve got to get ready for district tournament."
Bailey 10, Ellenburg 3, Carter 2, Marsh 7, Jobe 6, Martin 4, Shaw 8
Mains 15, Williams 7, Connataser 6, Perry 2, Pettinger 2, Walker 9, Redd 7, Frana 6