High School

West Greene Drops A Pair On The Road At Unicoi

West Greene Drops A Pair On The Road At Unicoi
Written by 
Tyler Nichols
December 3, 2022

The West Greene girls started red hot, but couldn’t keep up in the end losing 64-50 on the road to Unicoi County.

“We had a hard time getting shots to fall. Our defense wasn’t that bad. We started really good shooting wise, but we had a hard time getting shots to fall,” West Greene Coach Betsy Shaw stated.

West Greene controlled the early stages with Breanna Ellis sinking a wide-open shot inside the perimeter on the Lady Buffs' first possession. Kinsley Ellenburg spotted up along the three-point arc and stripped the nets from long range next.

Allie Lingerfelt ran a back door cut and gained an easy layup to break the scoring drought for the Lady Devils.

West Greene’s offense remained perfect for the first five minutes of the game without missing a single shot. Taylor Lawson banked a long two-point shot and Ellis knocked down a three-point bucket. Ellenburg kept the perfect shooting streak going with another triple in the corner.

The Lady Buffs offense started to slow down with only two points in the final three minutes while Unicoi County started heating up. Lingerfelt, Haley Rush, and Abigail Vidrio took their turns in busting three-point buckets from outside the arc.

They’d use that run to go ahead 19-15 at the end of the first quarter.

West Greene switched things up on defense and moved into a 1-3-1 zone and benefited from that with Breanna Ellis stealing a pass.

Taylor Lawson banked in a short turnaround in the post from straight on.

Haley Rush spread the floor out and made another three-point bucket for Unicoi. Jocelyn Metcalf gained a wide-open transition layup and then turned right back around for another after Lingerfelt stole the ball on defense. Lingerfelt made a shot through contact and added a free throw for a three-point trip down the floor.

Morgan Brown out-sprinted the defense and laid the rock off the glass for an easy two. Maddie Bryant added an elbow jumper before the end of the half.

West Greene trailed 33-22 going into the intermission.

The second half started with each team taking their turns making shots from long range.

Jocelyn Metcalf dialed up a three and Morgan Brown jogged down the court and returned fire with a triple of her own. Haley Rush chalked you another trey for her fourth of the game up to this point. She’d finish with six total from outside the arc.

Taylor Lawson high pointed the ball off the glass for a tough bucket. Olivia Bailey canceled that out with a basket in the post.

Morgan Brown and Abbey Cox kept the motor running for the Lady Buffs offense with a three-pointer each.

Unicoi County led 44-34 going into the fourth quarter. Rush extended the lead with yet another long ball from outside the perimeter.

Kinsley Ellenburg answered with another three-pointer to add to her total.

Jocelyn Metcalf racked up another bucket from deep to distance the Lady Devils away late in the contest.

Madi Brown had a tough night on offense and was keyed in on for most of the contest. Unicoi’s plan worked with Brown’s only made shot coming late in the fourth quarter.

“They face guarded Madi the whole time so she didn’t get off many shots all night,” Shaw mentioned.

Hailey Ripley came away with a steal on the defensive end and assisted Morgan Brown with a layup on a fast break play.

Time would run out for West Greene to attempt a comeback as Unicoi County’s offense proved to be too much in a 64-50 road loss to the Lady Blue Devils.

Coach Shaw said, “This was our fourth game this week and they need a break. It’s good to get two days off and come back Monday.”

Kinsley Ellenburg led West Greene with 17 points. Breanna Ellis followed behind her by adding eight points. Nine different Lady Buffs entered the scoring column in the loss.

Haley Rush scored a game-high 21 points for Unicoi. Jocelyn Metcalf contributed with 15 points.

West Greene returns to action Tuesday night for their first conference matchup with county rival Chuckey-Doak.

BOYS

UNICOI 78, WEST GREENE 63

Unicoi County’s outside shooting was too much for West Greene to handle as the Blue Devils knocked off the Buffs at home 78-63 on Friday night to complete the sweep.

“When all five of them aren’t bought in to what we’re doing and not doing what they’re supposed to, we don’t look like we belong on the basketball floor,” West Greene Coach Allen Tolliver said. “That’s on me it’s my responsibility.”

Unicoi's Eli Johnson splashed a wide-open triple in the corner to crack the game open.

Leyton Frye downed a bucket on an iso play before Lucas Slagle came right back with a three-pointer from the top of the key to take a 6-2 lead.

West Greene's Ethan Turner muscled his way to a basket in the post and Frye sank a pull-up jumper to tie the game back at six apiece.

Jackson Simmons and Grant Hensley distanced themselves from the Buffs with back-to-back three-point jumpers. Simmons laid the ball through the net in transition before Coach Tolliver decided to call a timeout with his team facing a 16-8 deficit.

Grant Hensley stepped in front of a wild pass and shot the ball up the floor to an open Mason Hensley for a transition layup. Slagle ripped down an offensive rebound and used his size to go back up for a second chance layup.

Leyton Frye slashed trough the paint and handed the ball off to Ethan Turner cutting to the hoop for a layup.

The Blue Devils used the clock to their advantage and added a layup from Grant Hensley right before the buzzer sounded to end the first quarter with a 22-10 lead.

Simmons scored three points the old-fashioned way by dropping a bucket through while getting fouled on the way up. The free throw would swish through the net to complete the play.

West Greene found their most success in the second quarter by outscoring Unicoi 21-15. Frye hit a tough fadeaway on the elbow and Turner pump faked to get his man to jump out of position and allow him to swim under and kiss the ball off the glass for two. Mason McCamey spotted up along the three-point line and made his defender pay by splashing a three to cut the score to 25-17.

Hensley rose up and landed a mid-range jumper to add two more on the scoreboard for the Devils.

Turner faded away in the paint for another bucket and McCamey downed another open three-ball to keep the offense flowing. Austin Wampler’s three-point shot cut the deficit to single digits with the score at 33-25.

Eli Johnson put a tough pull-up through the net in the paint for a hard two.

Conner Campbell came to life with two three-point buckets toward the end of the half to cut the lead down to a manageable six-point margin. The Buffs would get a key stop going into the half to keep it there with the score sitting at 37-31 as both teams headed to their locker rooms.

Once play resumed, Hensley grabbed his own miss and went back up for two. Jackson Simmons laid the ball off the glass for a quick fast break layup.

Ethan Turner’s four-point stretch cut the deficit back to six points.

“Ethan battled with Slagle all night. I don’t believe he ever came out of the game. He pushed and pushed and pushed,” Coach Tolliver said. “He never complained and boxed out and got rebounds like I asked him to. Another double-double for him.”

Jackson Simmons answered that with a five-point run. His elbow jumper and three-point basket strengthened the Blue Devil lead to a 46-35 advantage.

Turner managed to get a tough layup to fall with a defender attached to his hip.

Unicoi started to pull away with the lead after  Hensley made an and-one layup under the rim and sank the free throw. Garrett Sellars knocked down a triple in the corner next.

“Defensively we weren’t good. We let three players get in double-digits and one of them had 31,” Tolliver mentioned. “You’re not going to win a ball game giving up 80 points a game.”

Grant Hensley was knocked to the floor but still managed to get a layup to fall through contact. Sellars made it a 20-point game on the last possession of the quarter with a mid-range make. The Blue Devil lead rose to 65-45.

Leyton Frye put the ball high off the glass for a two-point play at the rim to start the fourth quarter.

Hensley caught a swing pass in motion and nailed a three on top of the key.

The Buffs out-scored Unicoi 18-13 in the fourth quarter, but the deficit was too deep to climb out of with not enough time on the clock for a comeback.

Austin Wampler pulled up from beyond the three-point line and splashed a three-ball in transition. Jaden Gregg caught a pass in the lane and missed on his first try but made sure to correct his shot on his second attempt and added a bucket in the paint. Wampler and Frye added two more three-point baskets.

The Blue Devils would remain persistent through the rest of the quarter en route to a 78-63 victory over the Buffs.

“We’re going to work on things. This one’s on me. This was our eighth game in ten days. Our bodies are a little tired this early in the season. Already playing four games a week is tough. We’re going to keep working and pushing forward and conference play starts next Tuesday.

Frye scored 22 points to lead West Greene.  Turner added 16 points in another double-double performance. Wampler contributed with 11 points.

Grant Hensley scored a game-high 31 points for Unicoi County. Jackson Simmons piled in 19 points while Eli Johnson produced 14 points.

West Greene’s next matchup will be on Tuesday night with county rival Chuckey-Doak visiting Jimmy Jones Gymnasium for the Buffs first conference matchup of the season.

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