Claiborne loses district tournament opener, Video: Peoples hits a three while being fouled
The Bulldogs of Claiborne High had the unwanted task of traveling across Clinch Mountain to battle the Grizzlies on their home floor. It was win or go home for Claiborne as the two teams tipped off, February 18.
Grainger got off to a 6-0 start that caused CHS to call the first time out.
Landen Wilson broke the drought, Seth Morelock and Tyler Myatt both added three more and George Smith scored one.
The issue at hand was Grainger scored 21 during the opening period to lead 21-9 going into the second.
Claiborne had their best period of the game during the second and scored 11 with Zack Bailey, Ethan Cupp, Wilson and Myatt doing the scoring.
The score at the half was 39-20 after a Wilson long three pointer to beat the buzzer.
During the third, Grainger took control again and outscored the Bulldogs 20-4.
Claiborne only managed six points the entire second half and the home team advanced to the second round with a 49 point win, 75-26.
Brody Grubb led the Grizz with 22, Tristan Warfield had 13, Ty Overbay had 12 and Logan Foster had 10. Grubb also reached the 1,000 point milestone during the second half.
Claiborne had no players in double figures. Three Bulldogs scored five including Wilson, Myatt and Cupp. Levi Peoples scored four, Morelock had three, Tommy Hicks had two, Smith and Bailey both finished with one point.
With the loss, Claiborne ended it’s season but is a young team with only two graduating.
Coach Corey McGinnis said this about the good things he learned about the team, “When I look back I see a young team that had to go through all kinds of stuff with COVID-19 and to see the improvement of our young athletes was a good thing. On the other side of things some of our young players just didn’t have the mental toughness I thought they would have but we are very young and talented.”
McGinnis also said this, “I allowed them to kind of go at their own pace because of how they played together last season and I now think I should have punted them along a little harder but that’s all on me. I’m excited about next season.”
A few of the athletes will now join practices for the upcoming baseball and soccer seasons.
By ALLEN EARL