©2014 NPT PHOTO BY CHRIS TAYLOR
Cosby High junior Kyal Clevenger’s shot is defended by North Greene’s Zane Britton and Tanner Collins in Saturday night’s Region 1-A tournament quarterfinal. Clevenger scored a team-high 14 in the 53-48 season-ending loss to the Huskies.
|Published: 1:26 PM, 02/25/2014
Author: Caleb Chrisman
Source: The Newport Plain Talk
COSBY—The North Greene Huskies shot 51 percent from the floor en route to a 53-48 win over Cosby in the Region 1-A quarterfinals.
The solid field goal percentage, combined with a zone defense that caught Cosby off guard, helped the Huskies advance to an intercounty semifinal showdown with South Greene on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.
The game will be played at Chuckey-Doak Middle School, with a TSSAA Class A sectional berth on the line.
“My kids played their tails off tonight,” North Greene head coach Brandon Broyles said. “I’m just tickled to death for these seniors. It’s a special moment.”
Broyles saw the Eagles struggle against a zone defense in last Wednesday’s District 2-A title win over Hancock County. The move paid off as Cosby was held under the 50-point mark for the first time since a 53-44 loss to the Huskies on November 30. Cosby, which had won 15 games since that November loss, was without leading scorers Kyal Clevenger and Jordan Self in that game.
“We didn’t want to go man-to-man against them,” Broyles said. “I just feel like (Kyal) Clevenger is a very good player. We had to do a good job of double teaming him, keeping the ball out of his hands.”
In addition to the stellar defensive effort by the Huskies, which was Cosby’s worst offensive night in its last 20 games, they also started the night with a hot hand shooting the ball. Their execution, which saw them score the first nine points of the game, continued throughout the night.
“I thought (the biggest difference) was North Greene’s execution on the offensive end,” Cosby head coach Brad Flatford said. “They were patient, very well coached, took good shots and didn’t turn the ball over much. I thought we were slow sometimes closing out on the ball, and it gave them some open looks.
“They shot the ball well, both from the floor and from the free throw line. I really felt like that was the difference,” Flatford said.
The Huskies jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game.
Cosby (18-11) was able to close the gap to 11-8 on a pair of free throws from Kyal Clevenger at the 2:36 mark, but a 6-2 run from the Huskies stretched the lead back out to 17-10.
North Greene (15-19) pushed the advantage to 10 points at the 3:20 mark in the second quarter on a basket from Zane Britton.
The Huskies effort on the defensive end helped slow Clevenger some, but he still managed to score 14 points. The Eagles weren’t able to penetrate as much as they wanted, and they settled for several outside shots throughout the night.
“Everything we had seen all year was they were a man-to-man team,” Flatford said. “They don’t play a lot of zone all year and then (Saturday) they come out and play kind of a 1-1-3 zone and really shade (Clevenger) wherever he’s at. We weren’t really prepared for that.”
A layup from Michael Hood chipped the lead to just four with 56 seconds left in the first half, but the Huskies ended the half on a quick 4-0 spurt, leaving the lead at 32-24.
The Eagles cut the lead to four again in the third on baskets from Clevenger, Self and Bryson Valentine, but North Greene extended the lead out to 10 again by the end of the period.
Cosby was trying their best to work the ball down in the post to Clevenger after having some success with it in the first half. The Huskies zone proved to make things tough, especially late.
“They were trying to take (Clevenger) away with their zone down there,” Flatford said. “Every time he caught it, they’d have somebody behind him and somebody there to help. They were really doing a good job of shadowing him.
“We didn’t do a very good job of attacking that most of the night,” Flatford said. “I really wanted us to do some more dribble penetration and we didn’t really do that a whole lot. Kyal still got it down there and scored quite a bit, but they had a good game plan.”
Cosby had the lead down to four at two different occasions again in the fourth on a pair of threes from Self.
That’s as close as they would get in the final few minutes, as the Huskies continued to shoot well at the free throw line late, and they held on for the region victory.
“My kids played with great effort,” Broyles said. “Tonight goes to our senior leaders in that locker room. We didn’t have a very good practice yesterday, just to be honest. I wasn’t very happy with it, but we came in this morning about 11, and you could just tell they were focused and ready to go.
“They’ve taken some things personal this year, and they’re on a mission. They feel like people doubt them, and they don’t feel like they’ve gotten the credit they deserve. They’re on a mission to send people to state this year.”
NORTH GREENE (53): Tyler Bailey 14, Brett Bolton 13, Troy Hall 10, Zane Britton 6, Tanner Collins 4, Brett Pollock 4, Hayden Mullins 2.
COSBY (48): Kyal Clevenger 14, Jordan Self 12, Bryson Valentine 9, Cody Valentine 8, Keenan Phillips 3, Michael Hood 2.
3-Point FG: NG (3) Bailey 2, Hall. C (6) Self 2, B. Valentine 2, C. Valentine 2.
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