RUTLEDGE – Four wins in four games was the result of the Pizza Plus Thanksgivig Classic for the Grainger High School Grizzlies basketball team.
The first game of the tournament got off to a rousing start when the Grizzlies pounded Morristown West High School, 71-34. Grainger jumped out to a 19-9 lead and never looked back. Reece Jones was too much to handle inside and he led the Grizzlies with 13 points. Drew Branson did it from outside with 13 points as well. Jaxon Williams scored 12 points and Emmanuel Atkins netted 11 points.
King’s Academy proved to be no match for the Grizzlies. The Grizzly defense forced 21 turnovers in the first half and turned those miscues into points on the offensive end of the court in an 82-43 win over the Lions. Atkins led the Grizzlies with 18 points, Branson added 15 points to go with eight rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals. Williams and Ty Overbay finished the contest with 11 points each.
Chuckey-Doak High School used to be a district foe until TSSAA realignment moved them further north, so that allowed the Black Knights to take part in the Grainger tournament Wednesday, November 24. The Grizzlies were a bit slow out of the gates but responded with 14 points compared to only six by the visitors in the first half to take the lead. They never lost the lead the rest of the night in an 87-53 win. Williams led Grainger with 24 points. Atkins had 15 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Branson also netted 15 points and Overbay added 10 points and six rebounds.
Head coach Adam Wolfenbarger’s team ran their winning streak to five games as they downed Hancock County High School 70-53 in the final contest of the Pizza Plus event. Once again, the Grizzlies had a balanced effort. Branson led the team with 20 points and both Williams and Atkins were a point behind at 19 each. Grainger built a 31-16 lead at the half but a barrage of three-point shots pushed the lead to 45-20 early in the third period. The Indians found success in the fourth period by pounding the ball inside but the damage had already been done.
Grainger, now 5-1 on the season, travels to Northview Academy and Campbell County in their next two games.