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Claiborne boys, girls fall to Anderson Co.

The Claiborne High School varsity basketball teams participated in the opening two games of the 2017 Union County Discount Pharmacy Thanksgiving Tournament starting November 20.

The Claiborne Lady Bulldogs opened up the tournament with a game against the Lady Mavericks of Anderson County. Maci Houser led her Lady Mavs to a 44-19 victory over a Claiborne team that did seemingly everything correct but make their shots. They defended the ball well and made extra passes on offense but could not buy a basket. During the course of the game they only knocked down six shots from the field and the rest of their points were at the stripe. Claiborne was down 21-10 at the half and ended up falling 44-19. Only four Lady Bulldogs recorded scores. Cheyenne Tolliver led the team with 10 points. Kaylee Cox dropped in seven and Abby Ferguson along with Macie Sumner both scored a single point.

After the game a puzzled Claiborne Head Coach Ariel Nickell said, “We just didn’t make shots. It doesn’t matter if we are good at everything else like swinging the ball and finding an open shooter if we don’t make the shot.”

Next to take the court were the Claiborne Bulldogs and they too were matched up against the Anderson County Mavs. In a low scoring first period, Claiborne kept pace as they were only down 9-4. The offense woke up for the Bulldogs during the second period as they tied the Mavs shot-for-shot with both teams scoring 15 points. The first period advantage allowed the Mavs to hold a 24-19 lead at the half. If it wasn’t for those five points fans might have seen a much closer ending. Claiborne nearly matched the Mavs scoring in the second half as only three points separated the two teams. In the end, Claiborne fell 52-44 but it was closer than the score indicated. Claiborne was only a three point shot away from tying the game late in the second half.

Leading the Mavs in the win with 15 points each were Spencer Chandler and Braden Irwin. The Bulldogs were led by Houston Hatfield also with 15 including a second period slam dunk. Hunter Rosenbalm finished with 12, Isaac Thomas came off the bench and scored seven points. Elijah Beason dropped in four points. Three other Bulldogs recorded baskets including Evan Ickes, Kade Beeler and Jacob Williams.