COSBY – Period number four was a wild one for the Grainger Grizzlies and Cosby Eagles Tuesday night.
After neither team was able to get anything going consistently on offense in the third period, things totally turned around in the fourth as they combined to score 40 points in Grainger’s 61-53 win. Trey Johnson scored 13 of his game-high 29 points in the final stanza for the Eagles and Jaxon Williams had nine of his 19 points in the last eight minutes of the game for the Grizzlies.
The game was close throughout as there were 11 lead changes and eight ties. With the game tied 41-41 with just over six minutes to play, Williams hit consecutive 3-pointers and Emmanuel Atkins added another one to give Grainger a lead they would not give up the rest of the contest.
Grainger head coach Adam Wolfenbarger said it was good to see his team close out a victory at a place that is very difficult to win. “This team has the capability to finish strong and haven’t always been able to make those shots down the stretch but tonight we did. I am really proud of them for doing that. The shooting picked up and we took higher percentage shots. We shot well in the second half and that was very exciting. This was a great atmosphere and wins don’t come easy up here. You don’t sneak in here and steal a win out the back door, you have to earn it.”
“Jaxon hit those two three’s to get the lead and it just seemed like we were trading buckets the rest of the game,” Cosby head coach Kurt Brooks said. “So many times, there were 50-50 balls in our hands that went right back to their hands. That is something we have been kind of struggling with lately. We will turn the corner if we keep playing with the effort we are playing with. I told our guys to keep their heads up. There is a reason we are a single-A school who is playing the schedule we are playing, it’s not for regular season wins- even though we want to win those- it’s to prepare for the postseason”.
Cosby fell behind 17-12 at the end of the first period but bounced back in the second as they nailed three shots from outside and tied the game at 29-29 at the half. Grainger appeared to be ready to pull away to start the third as Tristan Warfield scored five of his 16 points in the game with a jumper and a long three. Riley Galler got the Eagles back in it with five points late but neither team produced much on offense in the third as Grainger only scored one basket in the final 4:17 and Cosby only netted seven points in eight minutes.
Grainger’s victory was their eighth in a row and they improve to 9-5 on the season while Cosby falls to 6-8. The Grizzlies travel to Greeneville on Thursday while Cosby hosts Morristown East on Friday.