High School

'That Was Fun': Huskies Stay Alive After Wild Win Over Jellico

'That Was Fun': Huskies Stay Alive After Wild Win Over Jellico
Written by 
Tyler Nichols
February 26, 2023

JELLICO - In a wild back-and-forth battle with everything you could ask for, North Greene survived on the road to reach the Region 1-1A Semifinals after knocking off Jellico 83-76.

“That was fun. That’s a good team and there’s a reason they won that league. Really good players especially McNealy and Bolton,” Huskies Head Coach Sam Tarlton said. “I thought we grew up tonight. They could’ve laid down time after time. Jellico made run after run and shot after shot and we just matched them. I’m so proud of them for stepping up and making big free throws at the end.”

It didn’t come easy at all for the Huskies. After being down as much as eleven points, they clawed their way back and eventually thrusted themselves ahead and played smart basketball in order to pull out a big-time win.

Jason Britton shook off a slow start and delivered another 40-point performance to help lift the Huskies over the Blue Devils.

“I just thought it was impressive because of how tough of a defender Bolton is,” Tarlton expressed. “I told him he’s going to have to man up tonight and show me that’s he’s a Mr. Basketball finalist, and he responded. He’s a stud.”

But without the clutch free throw shooting of Sam English, the win wouldn’t have been possible. Four huge free throws with less than thirty seconds left helped North Greene prevail.

“Sam stepped up and made huge free throws with four in-a-row. We expect that out of Sam he’s been a two-year starter and maybe that catapults him. He did really good tonight,” Coach Tarlton stated.

North Greene drew first blood when Luca May caught a pass in the post and rolled off his left shoulder for a quick hook shot.

Dre Webb provided a spark right away for the Blue Devils with a three-point basket from the corner and an assist to John Zecchini in the lane.

Britton was pestered by Carson Bolton on defense all night and had a tough time getting shots off and getting passes to go his way in the first quarter. His cold streak was snapped with a layup following his own missed three-pointer.

Bolton responded right back with a three-ball of his own.

After getting caught behind 10-6, the Huskies would work their way back to tie the game after a put back from Bennett McLain and a layup from Dennis Malone.

Jellico then went on an 8-0 run to end the first frame. Triples from Bolton and Webb put the Huskies behind 18-10 after one quarter.

Webb would steal the ball on North Greene’s first possession of the second quarter and take it to the hoop for a layup to make it a double-digit deficit right away.

Malone helped North Greene break a cold spell from the field with a step-back three. Britton got a layup to fall and cut the deficit down to eight. Britton added another three points onto the scoreboard the old-fashioned way to cut the lead down to 25-20.

Luca May euro-stepped around a potential charge to get a smooth layup to fall off the glass. Tyler Britton attempted a three-point shot in the corner and was knocked to the ground. He stepped to the foul line and knocked down two-of-three attempts to put North Greene one possession away from the lead.

Jason Britton went up strong and downed a layup with added contact to tie the score right before the break.

North Greene fought back from an eleven-point second quarter deficit to even things at 33-33 going into halftime.

English stripped the nets for a three-point bucket right out of the intermission to give the Huskies their first lead since early in the first quarter.

Carson Bolton helped Jellico fight back with a five-point run to regain the lead. A three-point bomb and a transition layup put them back ahead by two.

Jason Britton started to find his rhythm in the early stages of the third quarter with eight points. Britton’s right hand started really heating up with a pair of three-point buckets from outside the arc.

Isaac McNealy found his stride also with nine points in the quarter. McNealy and Bolton scored all of Jellico’s first thirteen points of the quarter and worked the score into a 46-46 tie midway through. Bolton’s put-back layup after a missed free throw thrusted them back ahead.

The Blue Devils held a 55-52 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

May ran straight through the paint and rose up to lay in a finger-roll layup to put the Huskies back ahead early in the final frame.

Jason Britton then put North Greene back on top with four free throws at the charity stripe. He then fired a pass through traffic to English for a huge three-pointer that put North Greene ahead 64-59.

The Huskies' lead would grow to 69-61 for their largest of the night before McNealy landed a mid-range pull up for Jellico.

Dennis Malone wasted no time with a layup off the glass during an inbounds play under the basket that pushed their lead back to eight with a little over two minutes remaining. Malone came up clutch with a triple in the corner with a minute and-a-half remaining to lift the energy on North Greene’s sideline.

Bolton would not lay down and give up, and he single-handedly put Jellico right back into the ballgame with a pair of steals and layups in a span of only eight seconds. With 42 seconds left on the clock, the score read 75-70.

The Devils were forced to start fouling and North Greene made every free throw down the stretch. Britton clutched up and sank his two opportunities.

Another wild sequence of events saw Webb sink a three-pointer in the corner and get fouled on the shot for a four-point play that drew Jellico even closer to only one possession at 77-74.

English made his free throws when they mattered most and drained four attempts in as many tries to seal the game. The Blue Devils last attempt at a bucket would clank off the iron and allow the Huskies to escape with a win.

North Greene survived a tough road contest with an 83-76 win over Jellico to advance into the Region 1-1A semifinals. They’ll meet up with Hampton for the third time this season in a win-or-go-home scenario at West Ridge on Tuesday.

“They’re a good team. We’re going to have to show up. We wouldn’t want it any other way. What do they say? If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best? That’s a Ric Flair quote for you,” Tarlton said.

Jason Britton dropped another gem scoring 40 points in the victory. English added 14 points and Malone contributed with 13 points.

Carson Bolton led his team with 28 points and five three-pointers. Isaac McNealy produced 24 points and Dre Webb accounted for 16 points.

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