Varsity boys salvage TAD victory

Photo By Dave Boyd
The Jr. 'Clones' Wendell Loving works for an inside shot.

By Michelle Pope

   After waiting expectantly for the Greeneville Jr. Devils to arrive, the T.A. Dugger boys and girls basketball teams gave it their all, but only the 8th grade Cyclone boys came out with a win. With tall girls and aggressive boys, Greeneville proved to be stiff competition for the Jr. Cyclone squads.
   The 8th grade Jr. Cyclones dropped 42 points in the basket to beat the Jr. Devils, who scored 30. TAD took an early lead, and held tightly to it after their overtime loss with six seconds left to Vance Thursday.
   Ryan Greene handled the ball like a pro for Dugger, dodging his way down the court countless times to help his team put points on the board. The Jr. Cyclones dominated early in the game, cushioning their lead with each tick of the clock.
   Wes Anderson started a 14-point Cyclone scoring run with an outside shot. Bo Carter added a rebound score and layup, while Greene added four points of his own. Jake Peters and Wendell Loving finished up with a rebound shot and steal that led to another goal to put Dugger in an 18-7 lead.
   "We needed that," said TAD boys coach James Jacobs. "At this point before the game, we were 1 and 2, and our two losses were in overtime. It's unusual to play two overtime games so early in the season. We lost last night to Vance. A kid hit a shot with six seconds left to win the game for them."
   The third quarter showed a continuing trend. The Jr. Cyclones continued to score points, and Greeneville continued to stay on their tail with a team effort of field goals. Chris Epley hit a three for the Jr. Devils in the third quarter, in addition to an inside shot.
   "We're improving," said Greeneville coach Dwayne Sane. "That's the second time varsity had played; JV hadn't played before tonight. The varsity has improved since last time -- they're looking better. We might get it together by the time our season starts, I hope."
   Seventh grade Jr. Devil Jordan Greenway scored four of Greeneville's five fourth-quarter points, while Greene and Loving controlled the court for TAD, putting up two shots apiece to win the game.
   "The important point is to come out and play hard at the beginning, and our guys responded and played really hard. I was proud of them, very proud," said Jacobs after the game.
   Junior Varsity (boys)
   Greeneville 40
   TAD 24
   The 7th-grade TAD boys put up an early fight against Greeneville, but the Jr. Devils started hitting big baskets by the second half of the game.
   The Jr. Cyclones kept the score tied at eight until the second quarter, when Greeneville started taking a leap with free throws. Greenway drove the stake in during the third quarter when he scored eight of his eleven points.
   At a 31-20 deficit, TAD failed to bounce back in the fourth, scoring only four points, while Greenway put in nine more points.
   Girls Varsity
   Greeneville 40
   TAD 22
   The Lady Jr. Cyclones had a rough start in the 40-22 loss to Greeneville, but appeared to be making a comeback in the second quarter. In the first quarter, Mariah Pietrowski scored TAD's sole point from the foul line, while a three-pointer from Greeneville's Devan McIntyre and two baskets from Jessie King helped put the Lady Devils in a 12-1 lead.
   However, the TAD girls wouldn't go down without a fight. In the second quarter, Kyla Jones sunk two of what would be a total of three foul shots during the quarter, while Hannah Fritz followed through with one of her two second-quarter points.
   Pietrowski added two baskets, and with shots from Kelli Culler and Leah Henson, the Lady Cyclones were well on their way to a 14-point quarter.
   "The second quarter was great," said TAD girls coach Angie Barker. "We had a slow start on the first quarter."
   However, the Jr. Lady Devils picked up where they left off after the half, scoring seven points against TAD's four. In the fourth quarter, the Lady Cyclones couldn't stop Nicole Dixon, who scored eight points. With an outside basket from King, and another goal by Nikki Beard, Greeneville had reached the forty-point mark. Meanwhile, the Lady Cyclones were struggling with their foul shots. Henson scored TAD's last three points with a rebounded basket and a free throw.
   "The third quarter, they started pulling ahead of us a little bit," Barker said.
   "We looked good. We played good defense, we got good rebounds, but we weren't making good shots. We were 11 for 32 in foul shots, and we were 6 for 29 in shots. You can't have six shots and win a ballgame. The free throws, gosh, they killed us."
   Greeneville girls coach Bill Muhlhahn was pleased with the game's outcome.
   "It was a group effort," he said. "I feel like both teams played really hard. T.A. Dugger is a quality team. That's why we were wanting to drive on up here and play. It's good competition for us. We'll probably see them again in the state sectional, we hope."
   Junior Varsity (girls)
   Greeneville 21
   TAD 7
   After the Greeneville squad arrived late, the quarters in the JV girls game were knocked down to four minutes, making the game fly faster than the basketball soaring through the net. Both teams played well defensively in the first quarter, which was scoreless save for an outside shot by Jr. Lady Devil Morgan Shipley.
   In the second quarter, Arin Anderson put TAD's first points on the board by making both of her foul shots. However, Greeneville took another giant leap thanks to two baskets from Hannah Abelson.
   "They're improving each game," Coach Barker said of the TAD girls. "We've got to get our shooting down, and find a ball handler to bring it down. When we get these things together, we'll be good."
   The pressure Greeneville put on the Lady Cyclone offense was detrimental to their scoring game. Double team player Pietrowski managed to make a goal in the second quarter, making the score 4-14.
   In the last quarter, Brittney Michael began to give Greeneville a dose of its own medicine with aggression on the Lady Devil handlers. Michael scored TAD's fifth point from the free-throw line and a court-long drive by Madison McKinney set Angela Miller up to hit a shot. A joint Greeneville effort from Abelson, Conner Hall, Shipley, and a free throw from Rachael Jagels gave the Lady Devils their final seven points for the 21-7 win.