Author: Wade Littleton / Sports Editor Source: The Rogersville Review
ROGERSVILLE --- In a close game, a team finds out its true mettle. Tanner Trent passed muster by stealing the inbounds pass by Greeneville and holding it with 0.9 seconds left. Trent then drained a free throw to put the game out of reach as Cherokee won its third consecutive “revenge” game, 50-46 over their former Inter Mountain Athletic Conference rivals.The Chiefs (16-9, 7-2 IMAC) have taken consecutive second-time meetings, first at Seymour Friday night, then against Cloudland Saturday.“Greeneville has a really nice team. To get a win on them is something we need to be proud of,” Cherokee Coach Jeremy Parrott said, “Earlier in the game they were zigging, we were zagging. It worked out for us because we kept at it. I admired our second half pluck, it was a lot better. We actually came out and made a concerted effort to try to get to those loose balls.”After trailing by as much as eight points in the third quarter, the Chiefs came back to make defensive stops and to end up taking the lead.“This win was hard-fought,” Parrott said, “They played with a lot of hustle and a lot of effort. We got a few more stops (in the third quarter). We started getting to some more of the loose balls that we were losing early and a couple of shots went in for us. I thought we managed the game better in the fourth quarter than we did in the third. There wasn’t anything coming easy.” In a close 49-46 game with 4.3 seconds left, Greeneville sought to inbound the ball from under the Cherokee basket. The Chiefs’ Tanner Trent saved the day by stealing the inbounds pass and holding the ball until being fouled with 0.9 left.Trent led Cherokee with 19 points, topping three Chiefs in double figures. Forrest Looney added 11 and Ty Ryans 10 for Cherokee.Greeneville had as much as an eight-point lead in the third quarter, 33-25, before Cherokee went to work on defense. Meanwhile, the offense started to click as Forrest Looney hit a two and Tanner Trent hit a three-point play to pull the game within 33-30 at the third rest stop.The Greene Devils ended up enjoying their last lead at 36-32 before Cherokee’s Jacob Watson hit back-to-back baskets to tie the game at 36. Trent put the Chiefs up to stay with a layup. Following a foul call, Greeneville was whistled with a technical foul. Ryans hit one of two charity tosses to build the lead to 39-36. Blake Wilt continued his stellar bench play to hit a shot, then later hit two free throws to expand the lead to five, 43-36 with 3:21 left.The Greene Devils, leaders of the Blue Ridge Athletic Conference, would not go away as a trey, then a three-point play narrowed the lead to 43-42. A Looney putback and a GHS basket made it 45-44 with 1:14 left. Looney hit two free throws to make it 47-44 with 27.1 seconds left. A Devil basket cut the lead to one with 5.2 seconds left. Ryans hit two free throws to expand the lead to 49-46 before Trent’s heroics.In spite of losing in Greeneville earlier this year, just as the Chiefs didn’t quit in this game, they fought in that one, according to Parrott. “We won the second half in Greeneville. We lost that first half miserably, I think we were down nine. We won the second half, just by not enough. I was proud of our effort there in the second half and of ours here tonight.”Parrott hopes the tough non-conference schedule pays dividends at tournament time. “We were 9-7 in it and I’ll take that. If you told me at the beginning of the year that we would have a winning non-conference slate, I’d have taken it because this is not an easy schedule. These last five games down the stretch are not going to be easy. I hope these tough games will pay us back in the postseason.”Cherokee will step back into the IMAC Friday as the Chiefs travel to South-Doyle. Morristown East comes to the Teepee on Tuesday before another critical road game at second-place Sevier County next Friday.
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