High School

Devils Lock Down Late To Take Down Morristown East

Devils Lock Down Late To Take Down Morristown East
Written by 
Tate Russell
February 15, 2023

MORRISTOWN - Through three quarters the Greeneville could find little separation from Morristown East, but defense made the difference in the final period as the Devils were able to finish the regular season with a 62-54 win.

“You look at this game and so many times different guys just did their job,” Greeneville coach Brad Woolsey said. “It was really great team effort. This was a good situation for us tonight. It was good crowd, a loud place, a good team on the road thea. I think this was a good opportunity for us before the tournament starts, and it was good to see our kids step up.”

Through the first 24 minutes on Monday Greeneville big man Trey Thompson and Morristown East guard Kyle Cloninger seemingly traded buckets with each other as the Devils held a narrow 49-47 advantage.

In the final period Greeneville was finally able to lock down on Cloninger and held him to just four points and a single field goal. Woolsey credited that effort to the play of Isaac McGill who was the first Devil able to figure out how to stay in front of the speedy guard.

“Isaac just did a great job,” Woolsey. “He is guy you have to stay in front of and you have to stay on the floor. If you let him get a half step he’s going to make a play. That was the big thing, staying in front and making him make somebody else make a play.”

Thompson gave Greeneville a little breathing room at 54-49 with 6:31 left to play when he knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key. On the next possession Thompson made a leaping save on the baseline which set up Jayquan Price for two points.

Greeneville’s biggest lead of the night came with 2:10 left to play when Thompson converted a third-chance opportunity to make the score 60-51.

Morristown East quickly answered with a triple from Carter Gilliam, but then Greeneville’s defense held the Hurricanes scoreless for the remainder of the evening.

“I really feel like Adjatay took over the flow of the game in the second half,” Woolsey said. “That was such a huge difference maker. In the first half East’s energy was higher, they were getting loose ball and offensive rebounds, but in the second half we took a step in the right direction.”

Thompson finished the night with 32 points for the Devils while dominating the board on both ends of the floor.

“The guys did a great job of looking to get Trey the ball, and he really works inside. He did great job of sealing up when he had advantages and giving us something to throw at,” Woolsey said.

Greeneville took the lead first on Monday, and after Thompson sank a pair of triples and finished a nice high-low feed from Kam Laster the Devils were in front 10-6.

The Hurricanes answered with a 14-5 run in which Cloninger scored scored seven points and A.J. Hubbard stepped outside for a three pointer and a 20-15 lead.

Hayden Goad closed the quarter with a three-pointer that closed the gap to 20-18.

Adjatay Dabbs started the second quarter with a three-pointer that gave the lead back to Greeneville, and seven points from Thompson moved the advantage to 28-25.

East took the lead back on a put back by Keagan Mink, and Cloninger followed with five points.

McGill finished the period with a driving layup for the Devils to tie the score at 34-34.

Morristown East played from in front for most of the third quarter and took its biggest lead at 47-41 when Mason Smith connected from deep.

Goad quickly answered with a triple for the Devils and then Thompson tied the game by knocking a triple from the left wing.

Just before the horn sounded Dabbs drove the lane and dished to Thompson for a lay in that gave the Devils a 49-47 lead.

Dabbs was also in double figures for Greeneville with 12 points.

Cloninger led Morristown East with 25 points, and Mink had 12 points.

The Greene Devils now turn their attention to the postseason which will begin on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Cherokee. Greeneville will play the winner of Claiborne and Cherokee.

Greeneville 18 16 15 13 62

Morristown East 20 14 13 7

Greeneville: Thompson 32, Dabbs 12, Goad 6, Woolsey 4, Price 4, McGill 4

Morristown East: Cloninger 25, Mink 12, Gilliam 7, Smith 5, Hubbard 5

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