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Cosby hangs on at Clinch


The Cosby Lady Eagles had the night off, but decided to
make the trip to Clinch to cheer on the Eagles Tuesday
night. From left are Whitney Hartsell, Macie Webb, Stevie
Gorrell and Jessi Daruna. Their cheering worked as the
Eagles prevailed.
Last updated: 8:44 PM, 04/07/2008

Source: The Newport Plain Talk

EIDSON-Quaint little Clinch School with a student
enrollment of just 44. Nestled on Clinch Mountain in the
outer reaches of Hawkins County, it's one thing to find the
school, and it's another to beat the Wildcats on their home
The Wildcats (1-9, 0-6) gave the Cosby Eagles (8-6, 5-1)
all they could handle and then some Tuesday night. And it
wasn't until the closing moments that the Eagles 'clinched'
an all-important District 2A victory, 47-38, in a boy's only
affair, as Clinch does not field a girl's program. But there
were moments when this game was in doubt, especially
with the Wildcats all fired up playing in front of a loud
home-court crowd. There were a few Eagle fans on hand
as well, including most of the Lady Eagles' varsity squad,
as they had the night off.
The Wildcats got on the board first on an Ethan Murrell
free throw. But the Eagles quickly went to work. Zach
Stone fired in a two-pointer to get things started at the 6:
15 mark, and Russell Valentine followed with two free
throws. Following a Cody Lamb basket for the Wildcats,
Valentine made two more free throws to give the Eagles a
6-3 lead at the 3:45 mark. But, Murrell dropped one in
from beyond the arc to tie it at 6-6 just 12 seconds later.
Brian Sneed connected on his first basket of the night, but
Toby Norris got an equalizer 31 seconds later. The Eagles,
however, finished off the first eight minutes with a flurry,
first with Sneed connecting on a three-pointer, followed
by back-to-back baskets by Valentine and Trenten Dunn
to give the Eagles seven-point advantage, 15-8, at the
end of the first quarter.
The second quarter, however, belonged to the Wildcats.
Despite a basket by Jonathan Manning, and two more
from Dunn, the Wildcats went to work, first on a three-
point play by Norris, who followed that up with another
basket, a bucket by Dustin Murrell, a three-pointer by
Lamb, and four free throws from Dustin Murrell and Ethan
Murrell. As Cosby shook their heads heading into the
locker room, the Wildcats had seized the lead at the
break, 22-21.
The Eagles went back to work in the third quarter,
however, and limited the Wildcats to just one basket, that
coming from Norris at the 5:18 mark. Valentine and
Manning hit back-to-back deuces to start the quarter,
which gave the lead back to the Eagles, a lead they would
not relinquish the rest of the way. Spencer Grooms hit his
first basket of the night, and Valentine finished off the
quarter with two buckets and a free throw to give the
Eagles an eight-point cushion, 32-24, heading into the
final eight minutes.
The pesky Wildcats, however, refused to go away, taking
advantage of Cosby turnovers and fouls. After going 0-11
from the free throw line in the first half, the Wildcats hit
10-11 over the final two quarters to keep themselves in
the game.
Dunn hit the first shot of the final quarter to give the
Eagles a double-digit lead, 34-24. But, the Wildcats went
on an 8-0 run, first with Dustin Murrell hitting a two,
followed by a free throw after being fouled on the play,
then a three-pointer from Ethan Murrell, and two free
throws from Norris. Suddenly, the Wildcats were within
two, 34-32, with 4:30 left to play. Stone stopped the
bleeding, albeit briefly, by hitting a free throw at the 3:45
mark, but Dustin Murrell hit a clutch shot with 3:03
remaining to pull the Wildcats to within one, 35-34. Over
the next 1:32, Dunn sank two sweat-drenched free
throws, and Sneed connected for two to give the Eagles a
five-point lead, 39-34, with 1:31 remaining. But, on the
Wildcats next possession, Valentine fouled out with 1:18
to go. Lamb sank a free throw to pull the Wildcats to
within four, 39-35, but Stone followed with two free
throws to give the Eagles a six-point advantage, 41-35
with 1:08 remaining. Another big play for Dustin Murrell
followed, as he hit a basket, and after being fouled on the
play, sank the free throw to pull the Wildcats to within
three, 41-38, with just under a minute remaining. The
Eagles, however, said enough of this, and took command
over the final 49 seconds with Grooms getting a hard-
fought basket underneath, and Dunn and Sneed hitting
two free throws each to give the Eagles nine-point victory,
The Eagles placed two players in double figures, with
Valentine finished with 13 points and a team-high eight
rebounds, and Dunn finishing with 12 points and five
boards. Dustin Murrell led the way for the Wildcats,
finishing with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Cosby scoring (rebounds) (47): Russell Valentine 13 (8),
Trenten Dunn 12 (5), Brian Sneed 9 (5), Zach Stone 5 (3),
Spencer Grooms 4 (7), Jonathan Manning 4 (6).
Clinch scoring (rebounds) (38): Dustin Murrell 12 (7), Toby
Norris 9 (8), Ethan Murrell 9 (2), Cody Lamb 6 (1), Matthew
Lamb 2 (4).
Cosby was 16-48 (33%) from the floor, and only 1-13 (8%)
from three-point range. Clinch finished 12-43 (28%) from
the floor, and 3-12 (25%) from beyond the arc. The Eagles
were 14-20 (70%) from the free throw line (9-13 in the
final quarter), while the Wildcats were 10-22 (45%) (10-11
in the second half). The Eagles edged the Wildcats in
rebounding 34-32, while Clinch committed nine turnovers
compared to eight for Cosby. The Eagles had 19 fouls on
the night, while the Wildcats were whistled 16 times.
The Wildcats managed to stay within five points, 10-5, in
the first quarter with the junior varsity Eagles. But, the
young Eagles used stingy defense and some great inside
play by Corey Conard to blitz the Wildcats over the final
three quarters. The Eagles led 24-9 at the break, 35-11
after three, and cruised home with the 28-point victory,
Conard finished with a game-high 18 points for the
Eagles, while Robert Herzog had nine, Nick Baxter had six,
Zach Webb and Corey Swann had three points each, and
Michael Trent finished with two.
Freddy Kammer had five points to lead the Wildcats, while
Dylan Seals had four, Cody Sauceman two and Cody
Mullins two.
Elsewhere in District 2A Tuesday night, Jellico bounced
back from their loss to Cosby last Friday night by
spanking J. Frank White 78-22. Washburn, playing outside
the District, fell to Kings Academy 50-39. On the girl's
side, Washburn defeated King's Academy 43-28, while
Jellico defeated J. Frank White.
A huge District 2A battle awaits Friday night at the Eagles'
Nest as the Hancock County Indians and Lady Indians
come a calling. The Eagles will try to avenge their only
District loss of the season at Hancock County on Jan. 4,
while the Lady Eagles will look to remain undefeated in
District play against the Lady Indians, who have only one
loss in the district. Boy's JV will tip things off at 5 p.m.,
followed by the Lady Eagles and Lady Indians at 6:30 p.m.,
and the Eagles and Indians at around 8 p.m.

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