Greenback basketball falls at Wartburg

Greenback School’s Hazen Carlton puts up a shot Dec. 14 in the Cherokees’ 64-40 loss to Hancock County High School.

The Greenback School boys and girls basketball teams saw mixed results last week with games against Loudon, Tennessee School for the Deaf and Wartburg Central high schools.

The Lady Cherokees (6-5, 3-0 District 2-1A) picked up wins against Loudon and TSD on Dec. 17 and 19.

“Just in general, we had a busy week with three ball games and got two wins, so that was a big win against Loudon,” Angie Lucier, Greenback girls head basketball coach, said. “That was a good win. The girls played really good defense. We went to TSD and had another district win. They’re down this year from what they normally are, but it was good to get the district win there. We’ve got a lot going this past week with finals.”

The week capped Friday with a 69-48 loss to the WCHS Lady Bulldogs.

“We traveled to Wartburg, and they’ve got a really good ball team,” Lucier said. “It was a very physical game. We had a really good first quarter. Anna (Morris) was on fire ... we had 16 points, and she had 14 of those in the first quarter. Really, I don’t think she missed a bucket. The second quarter, they kind of keyed on her and turned up their pressure on the press. We turned it over, and that combined with things just not going well on the offensive end and they were able to get a lead there in the second quarter that we could just not rebound from.”

The Lady Cherokees will not be playing in a Christmas tournament for the first time in more than a decade to rest up before returning Jan. 3 for a crucial district matchup against Cosby High School.

“It just seemed like, especially the last couple of tournaments, we’ve been banged up and needed a break,” Lucier said. “At times, that can be exactly what you need, but it just seems like the past couple of years, it’s been exactly opposite of what we’ve needed. We are taking this time off and we’ll get in the gym to practice and go hard in there. Hopefully, that will be a positive for us.”

The Cherokees also saw mixed results, falling 62-29 to Loudon, but came away with a 58-50 victory over TSD.

“(Loudon) is just an impressive team, and (Josh) Graves does an amazing job there,” Bryan Powers, Greenback boys head basketball coach, said. “We would love to get to that level eventually. They have a lot of basketball players there, and we’re trying to develop a lot at Greenback right now, but it’s a process.

“This TSD team is not your typical TSD team, I mean, they had two really athletic guards,” he added. “It’s tough situation to play in, for a lack of a better word.”

The Cherokees struggled with fouls Friday en route to a 30-point loss to the Wartburg Central Bulldogs.

“It’s another tough place to play, the officiating was really inconsistent,” Powers said. “We had three technicals in the first half — it was two kids that never get technicals, and I got one myself. It was a little rough, hostile situation Friday, but I feel like last week we saw what we can do. Friday night, it’s a loss, but the kids kind of came together. We’ve got a big week coming up with the Christmas tournament at Berean Christian School.”

Powers said the transition to basketball from football for some players has been a slow adjustment.

“It was good and bad for us when you have games Tuesday, Thursday and Friday,” he said. “The games are good, but we need to be in the gym more. The holidays don’t help that much.”