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January 16, 2018

Grizzlies undefeated in Hancock County tourney

Elmer Smith
Grainger Today Correspondent

SNEEDVILLE– The Grainger High School Grizzly basketball team opened play in the Hancock County Pizza Plus Christmas Classic played in the Hancock County gym, December 27. In their opening game, the Grizzlies faced the Cocke County High School Big Red.

In the opening quarter of the game, the Grizzlies got three baskets from Marquice Fifield, two from Jacob Bunch, one from Dalton Conn and a free throw from Chase Muncy to take a 13-10 lead over Cocke County. Conn led the way with a big second quarter which included a trey, a pair of 2-pointers and three free throws. The Grizzlies padded their lead with a basket and three free throws from Fifield and one free throw each from Bunch and Darren Goens to pull out to a 30-20 halftime lead.

It was more of the same in the third quarter, with Conn connecting on a pair of treys and a deuce to pace Grainger’s third quarter effort which put 20 points on the board. In addition to Fifield, with two baskets, and Bunch, with a basket and two free throws, Grainger received a basket from Zac Courter which pumped the Grizzly lead to 50-28 heading into the final eight minutes of the game.

With Cocke County knocking down five 3-pointers and Grainger missing six free throws, the Big Red outscored Grainger by 11 points in the final quarter. In that quarter, the Grizzlies received six points from Bunch, four from Conn and three from Fifield to hold on for a 63-52 victory.

A big night from Dalton Conn, who knocked down four treys and totaled 24 points, led the Grizzlies to the victory. He was followed in scoring by Marquice Fifield with 18 points and Jacob Bunch, who tallied 15 points. In addition, Chase Muncy added three points and Zac Courter added two points. Darren Goen added a free throw for the victory.

Grizzlies 66, Morristown West 45

In the Thursday, December 28 game in the Hancock County Classic, the Grizzlies took on the Trojans from Morristown West High School. A hot hand by Dalton Conn, who totaled 30 in the game, propelled the Grizzlies to a 66-45 victory.

Although the Grizzlies won by 21 points, it was a close game during the first half. In the first quarter, Conn connected on a pair of treys, with Marquice Fifield and Chase Muncy contributing two baskets each as Grainger held a 14-10 lead at the buzzer. In the second quarter, Conn continued his outstanding performance with a trey, a deuce and four free throws. Muncy added two free throws, and Grainger’s lead stood at 25-19 at the half.

Four deuces and a trey by Conn sparked the Grizzlies in the third quarter. In addition, Muncy added three field goals, while Darren Goen added a trey.

Jacob Bunch scored a deuce to help Grainger total 23 third-quarter points and a 48-25 lead heading into the final quarter. In the final eight minutes of play, the Grizzlies received a pair of baskets and two free throws from Bunch, a basket and two free throws from Conn and one basket each from Josh Turley and Fifield.

Darren Goen and Brody Grubb earned two free throws each and Grainger closed out a big 66-45 victory over the AAA Trojans.

In addition to the 30 points from Dalton Conn, the Grizzlies received 12 points from Chase Muncy and eight points from Jacob Bunch. Marquice Fifield earned six points, five points from Darren Goen, two points each from Josh Turley and Brody Grubb and a free throw from Zac Courter.

Grainger 58, Sullivan South 43

In their final game of the tournament played Friday, December 29, the Grizzlies took on the Rebels from Sullivan South High School. In the first quarter, the Grizzlies got a trey and a pair of deuces from Dalton Conn and two baskets from Marquice Fifield. Darren Goen hit a trey, and a basket by Chase Muncy opened a 16-11 Grainger lead after the first eight minutes of play. However in the second quarter, the only field goal was a 2-pointer from Jacob Bunch, two free throws from Muncy and one free throw each for Fifield and Goen. The Rebels outscored the Grizzlies by eight points to open a 25-22 halftime lead.

That changed in the third stanza as Fifield connected on a trey, a pair of deuces and two free throws to spearhead momentum that pushed the Grizzlies into a 43-34 lead at the end of the third quarter. A pair of deuces by Muncy, one trey each from Goen and Conn and a deuce from Bunch added to the Grizzly points total. More importantly, the Grainger defense held the Rebels to only nine points in the third quarter.

In the final eight minutes of play, the Grainger defense once again held Sullivan South to nine points. The Grizzlies received three baskets from Conn, a basket and four free throws from Fifield, a pair of free throws from Muncy and a free throw from Zac Courter to record the 58-43 win. They completed their undefeated run through the tournament and pushed their winning streak to five in a row.

In a balanced scoring effort, the Grizzlies received 20 points from Marquice Fifield, 16 from Dalton Conn and 10 from Chase Muncy. In addition, Darren Goen added seven points, and Jacob Bunch and Zac Courter added four points each.

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