Kingsport Times-News: Hunley's buzzer-beater lifts Volunteer over North in OT
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Hunley's buzzer-beater lifts Volunteer over North in OT

Jeff Birchfield • Dec 28, 2018 at 1:59 AM

KINGSPORT — Brody Hunley hit a 12-foot shot at the buzzer and Chance Johnson scored 27 points to lift Volunteer to a 72-70 overtime victory over Sullivan North on Thursday in the opening round of the Kelly Services Christmas Tournament at J. Richard Carroll Gymnasium.

The nightcap concluded Day 1 of a boys basketball tourney that saw Sullivan South beat Chuckey-Doak 60-41, Cherokee defeat Happy Valley 68-47 and West Greene rally for a 58-55 win over Cloudland.

Hunley’s game-winning shot came after North’s Yancy Dolen had tied the contest just seconds earlier. It also followed the Golden Raiders’ Isaiah Pruitt hitting a big 3-pointer near the end of regulation to send the game into overtime.

“I got super excited and started running to my teammates,” Hunley said of his winning shot. “We have a never-give-up attitude and try to get that win every time.”

The Falcons (4-8) rallied from a 34-24 halftime deficit, which saw the Golden Raiders (2-9) control most of the action. Volunteer trailed by just one point, 43-42, heading into the fourth quarter, setting up a back-and-forth battle throughout the final eight minutes of regulation and into overtime.

Johnson took over late for Volunteer, scoring the team’s last five points of regulation and its first four of overtime. That included an old-fashioned three-point play the North side thought was clearly a charge instead of a blocking foul.

Regardless, the victory marked the third time this season the Falcons won on the last possession.

“They play hard and they just keep playing,” Volunteer coach Mike Poe said of his Falcons. “They don’t care what the score is, they keep playing. It’s easy to get frustrated, but you had two teams out there playing as hard as they could play, and in games like that, you’re going to have emotions. Our kids just happened to make one more play at the last play of the game.”

North’s Trey Williams scored 22 points and Pruitt contributed 18. Tyler Depriest and Dolen each scored seven.

“Isaiah made a really big shot in a clutch moment to put us into overtime and Trey Williams played the best he ever had tonight,” North coach Travis Cain said. “The kids played hard with great effort. We had a lull in the third quarter, when we had a 10-point lead, that really came back and hurt us.

“The whole team, we’re seeing improvements. At times, our inexperience came back and hurt us — but I’m really proud of the boys. They deserved to win tonight.”

Ethan Dean added eight points and Hunter Skelton had seven for the Falcons.

Sullivan South 60, Chuckey-Doak 41

The Rebels wasted no time gaining an advantage over the Black Knights.

South jumped out to a 12-2 lead and ended the first quarter up 20-7, and the Rebels’ lead never again dropped below double digits.

“It was our effort tonight defensively,” South coach Michael McMeans said. “We met them at the half-court. I challenged Gannon Chase and Gavin Parker today to really be good. We knew (Jordan Morelock) and (Alex Maupin) were good players on what we saw on tape. We challenged them to step up and defend those guys. They got them out of what they normally do.”

Chase Bowery scored 16 points, Ben Diamond had 12, Cole Layne 10 and Chase eight to lead South.

"Chase is a great kid and he's worked hard," McMeans said. "He gets a lot of his points off second chances with the offensive rebounds and put-backs. He ran the floor well tonight and outworked everybody. That's a testament to the type of kid he is."

Morelock led the Black Knights with 13 points. Ethan Palazzo finished with 10 points.

Cherokee 68, Happy Valley 47

The Chiefs scored the game’s first nine points and got out to a 13-2 lead in the tournament opener.

Wyatt Watson, Cherokee’s 6-foot-11 center, dominated the inside early. He scored 10 points on the offensive end and contested many shots on the defensive side.

“That’s twice this season that Wyatt has shown that capability. Both those games we came out with wins,” Chiefs coach Ty Webb said. “We need him to do that on a consistent basis.”

Freshman point guard Carter Metz led Cherokee with 14 points. Ryan Bledsoe, Jason Satler and Watson each scored 10 and Bailey Broyles and Breiy- don Gilliam eight apiece.

“Carter Metz had a big game and we had scoring up and down the bench tonight. That was big for us,” Webb said. “I thought we did a good job tonight of executing the offense and taking what the defense gave us.”

Bryce Carter scored 12 to lead the Warriors.

West Greene 58, Cloudland 55

Lucas Bennett scored a game-high 21 points, including a crucial layup in the final seconds, for the Buffaloes. Grayson Potter scored 12 and Allen Vaughn added 10 for West Greene, which overcame a 42-34 deficit near the end of the third quarter.

Robert Leeper had 14 points to lead Cloudland, and Hunter Shell scored 10.

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