BRISTOL - The Greeneville Greene Devils once again found themselves playing another high-profile team in the Arby's Classic on Friday, and this time the Patriots from Madison-Ridgeland Academy in Mississippi took down the Devils 71-59.
The Patriots featured one of the top players in the country and University of Mississippi signee Josh Hubbard.
It looked early as if the Patriots were going to have their way with the Devils when Sam Hailey started the scoring with a deep three from the elbow followed by an easy layup off the baseline by Hubbard for a 5-0 lead.
The Devils came right back when Kam Lester powered up a lay in from in front, then Adjatay Dabbs stole the ball and found Trey Thompson all alone at the top of the key for a three-pointer that tied the game.
Hubbard drove the lane for a short jumper, but Dabbs found the open man again, this time it was Jayquan Price for a floater to knot the score again at 7-7. Hubbard found Harrison Alexander wide open under the goal for an easy layup, but Thompson muscled up a layup to once again tie the score with 3:30 left in the first quarter.
Just when it looked like the Devils might have something for the team from Mississippi Madison-Ridgeland went on a 13-2 run to finish out the quarter at 22-11.
The Devils played much better in the second quarter, erasing a 15-point deficit at one point. Thompson hit a triple form the top of the key and a hook shot down low, then Ty Williams powered up a shot from in from of the rim and the Devils were with in 10 points at 34-24.
Hailey sank a three for the Patriots but so did Williams to bring it back to 10. Thompson was whistled for a foul as he blocked Ashton Magee’s dunk attempt, but Magee missed both free throws and J.D. Woolsey turned it into a little floater in the lane as time was winding down to close the gap to 37-29
The Patriots built their lead back to double digits as Hailey hit another three. Hubbard then stole the ball and the 5’10” All-American guard went in for an uncontested two-handed dunk. The Patriots would go up by as many as 15 points in the quarter and led by that margin when the quarter ended, 58-43.
Dabbs drove the lane and used his left hand for a layup as the fourth quarter started, then he hit a short jumper in the lane, but Magee was open for a wide open dunk to quiet the crowd a bit.
Dabbs followed with a three from the elbow before the Devils the stole the inbounds pass and Isaac McGill cut the lead to nine at 62-53 with a triple from the top of the key with 3:42 left to play.
Ryan Russell hit a pair of free throws then Dabbs fouled Hubbard, trying desperately to make a play for his team. It was Dabbs' fifth infraction and Hubbard would hit both free tosses to dash any hope the Devils had of rallying.
The Patriots would go on to win 71-59, and you got the feeling that the four minutes in the first quarter when the Devils were out scored 13-2 was the difference in the game.
Coach Brad Woolsey said, “We had a little segment there …we turned the ball over some, our effort wasn’t good after the turnovers, and they knocked down shots. But the best things I saw today was the play of Ty (Williams) and Kam(Lester) being able to do some things that I really believe they can do. Both can shot the ball and both can finish inside, that was probably the most encouraging thing I saw today”.
Thompson 16, Dabbs 15, Lester 9 Williams 7, Woolsey 2, Price 4, McGill 6
Hubbard 21, Hailey 15, Magee 8, Smith 2, Yates 6, Russell 4