Bulldogs finish as district runner-up

Published 4:38 pm Monday, February 26, 2024

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Claiborne County Sports Zone

Carl Green Gymnasium was the site for the 2023-24 district tournament, and the Claiborne Bulldogs played some of their best basketball when it counted the most. Claiborne entered the championship game against Greeneville as one of the teams that gave the Green Devils all they wanted in an earlier meeting during the regular season. Brady Hamlin got the Bulldogs off to a fast start with back-to-back three-pointers. His play fired up the crowd and energized the student section. Claiborne led the game after one period of play, 15-12.

Everyone knew that Claiborne would have to slow down the district player of the year, Trey Thompson, and they held him to eight points during the opening period; however, Thomson caught fire during the second and scored 14, finishing the half with 22 points. Greeneville had a great game plan to slow down Bulldog Ethan Cupp and they held him to five first half points. At the half, Greeneville led 32-21.

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From that point on, Claiborne tried to make a run, but it wasn’t long-lived as the Green Devils had all the answers. Thompson finished the third period with 31 points, but Claiborne had held everyone else to six points or less. During the fourth, more Green Devil players got it rolling, and they secured the 69-46 victory and the district championship.

Claiborne was led in defeat by Brady Hamlin with 12, C.J. Cox scored 10, Ethan Cupp had seven, Cole Holt along with Evan Thomas had four each, Jake Smith had three, Vince Bolden, Josh Bolton, and Drew Epperson finished with two each.

Greeneville was led by Thompson with 33, and Yordan Mills had 11. Cole Franklin had six, Isaac Mcgill had four, Dom Tweed had three, Hayden Goad and two others had two, including J.D. Woolsey and Nick Thomas. * All scores are unofficial.

Claiborne was picked to finish third or fourth but overachieved, finishing as district runner-up. The Bulldogs will compete in the sectional tournament, and Claiborne High will also serve as hosts.