Grainger Today Correspondent
MOSHEIM – Last Friday night, the Grainger High School basketball teams traveled to Mosheim to open their District 2-AA season with a doubleheader against the West Greene High School Buffaloes.
In the opening quarter of the game, the Grizzlies received a trio of treys from Darren Goen, three points from Chase Muncy, two points from Marquice Fifield and a point from Jacob Bunch to open a 15-6 lead after the first quarter. Although the Grizzlies got only two points each from Fifield, Bunch and Zac Courter and a free throw from Muncy, Grainger extended its lead to 22-10, while allowing the Buffaloes only four second-quarter points.
In the third quarter, Fifield connected on five baskets for 10 points and was followed in scoring by Goen and Kobe Evans, who each knocked down a trey, and a 2-pointer from Muncy. The Grainger lead reached 40-24 heading into the final eight minutes of the game.
With West Greene fouling in a futile attempt to get back into the game, the Grizzlies connected on 10 free throws to close out the game. In that final quarter, Grainger earned seven points each from Goen and Bunch, four points from Muncy and two from Fifield as the Grizzlies recorded a 60-47 victory.
Darren Goen, with 19 points, and Marquice Fifield, with 16 points, led the Grainger scoring attack which included 10 points each from Jacob Bunch and Chase Muncy, three points from Kobe Evans and two from Zac Courter.
In the girls game, the Lady Grizzlies took no time in imposing their will on the Lady Buffaloes. Grainger scored the first 17 points of the game on the way to a 30-4 lead after the first quarter. In those first eight minutes of play, Grainger acquired nine points from Sydney McCubbins, seven from Haley Crowe, whose seven points included a trey, six points from Isabelle Stratton, four from Tori Rutherford and a deuce from Abbey Hodge as all of the Lady Grizzly starters broke into the scoring column. In addition, Lauren Longmire added two first-quarter points.
The runaway continued in the second stanza. Grainger added 23 points to the team total and allowed only four points while pushing Grainger lead to 53-8. Isabelle Stratton led the Lady Grizzlies with seven second-period points. Hodge, McCubbins and Kolbi Walker, who came off the bench, scored four points each, while Rutherford and Crowe added two points each.
Faced with an insurmountable Lady Grizzly lead, the West Greene coaching staff requested that the mercy rule be in effect for the entire second half as opposed to not taking effect until the fourth quarter. As the second half started, the Grainger starters’ play was finished since the game was not in doubt. With coach Justin Combs playing only his reserve players to complete the quickly moving second half, a strong defensive effort continued in the final two quarters. The Grizzlies allowed only three free throws in the third quarter and seven points in the final quarter. Grainger received five second-half points from Matty Tanner, who knocked down a trey. McKenzie Stratton added four points and Longmire, Haleigh Stalsworth, Walker and Meredith Hodges added an additional two points each. The final score was 70-18.
Sydney McCubbins and Isabelle Stratton, with 13 points each, led the Lady Grizzlies in scoring. They were followed by Haley Crowe, who added nine points, while Kolbi Walker, Abbey Hodge and Tori Rutherford contributed six points each. In addition, Matty Tanner scored five points, and McKenzie Stratton and Lauren Longmire provided four points each. Haleigh Stalsworth and Meredith Hodges added two points each.
Grainger will play its first home game of the season Friday when the teams take on Chuckey-Doak. The girls game is scheduled to tipoff at approximately 6:30 p.m.