On Friday night in the 1-AA regional opener at Treadway Gym, one team missed the boat while the other saw its ‘Ship-ley’ come in.
Senior post Madison Shipley led a Greeneville comeback against the Lady Cyclones, who saw their offense dry up in the last 11 minutes of the contest in a 45-43 loss that ends Elizabethton’s season.
Shipley scored a game-high 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as the Lady Greene Devils erased a 37-30 Cyclone lead late in the third period and held on down the stretch to move on to the next round at Chuckey-Doak High School.
“I think, at the end of the day that rebounding was the difference,” said Lady Cyclones head coach Mike Wilson. “We knew we had to stop 23 (Shipley) and 5 (Chandler Christopher), and for the most part I think we did a good job. A lot of their points, not having seen the film yet, I think came on the offensive boards. We just didn’t get enough rebounds.”
The Cyclones (20-12) and Devils kept it close in the first quarter with Greeneville (16-17) taking a 13-12 advantage, but EHS forced turnovers by the bushel in the second period and went into the break with a 25-22 lead.
With both Morgan Depew and Reazyn DeMoss slashing to the basket on dribble drives the Cyclones took a 37-30 lead with less than three minutes remaining in the third period, but at this point the offense went into a prolonged slump.
Five consecutive Cyclones possessions ended with either no shot or a one and done shot as Greeneville began to exert defensive pressure on EHS in the post.
Meanwhile Christopher hit a bucket in the lane for the Devils and Shipley had a put back of a shot by Madison Grubbs to cut the EHS lead to 37-34. A basket by Betsy Shaw at the end of the period brought Greeneville to within 37-36 as time expired in the third period.
“Basketball is a game of runs,” Wilson said. “You knew that both teams were going to make some runs, that’s the way basketball is played. Tonight, we came up one basket short.”
Shipley scored a pair of deuces to open the fourth period and give the Devils a 40-37 lead that they never relinquished. DeMoss was one-for-two from the free throw line but Baylie Foulks dropped in a bucket in the paint for a 42- 38 Devils lead.
EHS junior post Whitney Roberts scored inside for ’Betsy but Shipley answered at the other end before another dribble drive by Depew made it 44-42 with 1:42 remaining in regulation.
“They played good man-to-man defense tonight,” Wilson said. “We weren’t able to score late. We had some opportunities that we didn’t make. When you have dribble penetration that hurts you on the boards because you can’t help out.”
Depew stepped to the free throw line moments after a time out with a chance to tie the score, but missed the second of two and the Devils held a 44-43 lead.
Shipley then missed the front end of a one-and-one giving EHS another chance but a Cyclone turnover gave the Devils possession back and Christopher made one-of-two to make it a two point game once again.
Christopher finished with 12 points for Greeneville.
“We knew that rebounding would be a key for us,” said Lady Devils head coach Leslie Murray. “Free throws have been something we have struggled with and it almost bit us again. For us to advance we are going to have to get better at the free throw line. This was big for our team to come here and get a win. Elizabethton is always a rivalry game and in a tournament atmosphere it’s even bigger.”
Christopher had another opportunity to salt the game away but once again missed the front end of her free throws and the Cyclones rebounded with 7.8 ticks left on the clock.
“We called for a high screen for Morgan and she found Reazyn in the corner,” Wilson said. “I thought the shot was going in to be honest, but it caught rim and we came up a basket short.”
For EHS, DeMoss had a quiet second half, finishing with 13 points after scoring 10 points in the first. Depew added 12.