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Panthers end season at Grainger

Cumberland Gap got a little revenge against West Greene, February 21, during their opening game of the 2020 District 2AA tournament in Grainger County but February 22, they battled the host school Grainger High. Grainger was the tournament’s three seed and had defeated the Panthers during both regular season meetings so they were ready for the Panthers.

When the game tipped off Grainger went on a 9-0 run and ended the first period leading 14-4. The Panthers defense and offense were both struggling to get anything going. Jake Templin was working hard in the lane and he got his first points just under seven minutes in the second. Jaden Schertz scored his first points on a put back down low. Grainger pulled out to a 22-8 lead and Brennan Murphy went to the rim for two. Down 23-10 Schertz hit his first three of the game but the Panthers couldn’t stop the grizzly attack. Murphy and Schertz went for back to back baskets in the lane but Grainger was unstoppable on the offensive end and led big at the half, 38-17.

Coming out of the break it was Templin doing the scoring as he hit the first six points. Trey Turner put back a miss and made the scoreboard read 47-25. Turner hit another one down low but the Grizzlies ended the third period with another three, 53-27. Turner then hit one of two after being fouled down low. The Grizzlies were efficient during the final period and were able to secure the victory at 64-34.

Coach Cory Cheek, “Our season is over but I have to say we had a tough, resilient team and I’m proud of them. At one time throughout the season we had eight players miss games due to sickness or injury but we aren’t using that as an excuse. Man, I’m proud of their toughness.”

Leading the Panthers in scoring was Jake Templin with eight, Nate Fuson was sporting a swollen, black eye but managed to score seven, Trey Turner worked hard in the paint and dropped in five, Elijah Lawson and Brennan Murphy both scored four and Jon Graves along with Caden Brunsma dropped in three each. Emmanuel Atkins led Grainger with 24 points.