Two-time defending state champion Greeneville continued its run of postseason dominance with an 80-48 win over Sullivan East on Saturday night in the Region 1-3A quarterfinals at Hal Henard Gymnasium.
Greene Devil coach Brad Woolsey said it’s good to have another win – especially this one – in the books and keep playing.
“This is the longest day of every year for me, the Saturday that we play this game,” he said. “It seems like it takes forever. I’m miserable most of the day. It’s always good to get this one under your belt.”
The Devils took control of the game from the very start thanks to seven points each from Trey Thompson and Adjatay Dabbs and five from Kameron Lester in the opening quarter. All three, along with Jayquan Price hit a basket from beyond the arc.
“Our forwards were great on the offensive end,” Woolsey said. “Kam had another great night. Trey had a great night. We wanted to try to get the ball in the paint, and I felt like early on we took some threes and missed a few, but we got it inside off the drive to the post, and that opened some things up outside, and our guys did a great job of knocking it down.”
As a team, Greeneville finished the night with 11 baskets from three-point territory.
Woolsey said the game plan for Greeneville going in was simple. The Devils’ offense would take care of itself. Defensively, they had to keep Sullivan East’s big guys Drake Fisher and Corbin Laisure off their game.
“We told our guys that (Fisher) and (Laisure) would be their bell cows, and we had to keep (Fisher) out of the paint,” Woolsey said. “We had to keep (Laisure) from where he likes to get the ball inside and keep him off the glass. Trey did an unbelievable job on the big guy early. He worked so hard to keep him from getting the ball. Adjatay did a great job.”
The Devils led 46-23 at halftime.
Thompson led Greeneville with 22 points, including three three-pointers, and five rebounds. With each game, the freshman is going deeper into the postseason against stiffer competition, but he continues to play like a veteran.
“He has a lot of maturity, and he’s getting better,” Woolsey said of the Twin Lakes Conference Player of the Year. I was watching the film of the first time we played them. He’s improved so much in a lot of ways since the beginning of the year. He’s got a lot of ‘want to,’ and when you’ve got a lot of ‘want to’ you’ve got a chance to get a lot better. He’s already a great player, but he’s got a chance to be really, really good.”
Lester scored 16 for Greeneville. Dabbs finished the night with 13. Isaac McGill scored 10 off the bench.
Fisher led the Patriots with 21 points.
The win moves Greeneville on to the Region 1-3A semifinals where the Devils will continue their hunt for a fifth-straight region crown. They will play Tuesday night at 7:45 against Unicoi at Elizabethton. Woolsey said the victory over Sullivan East was nice, but he is already changing focus.
“Now we’ll get on to Elizabethton,” he said.