Greeneville (20-10) hit a series of five free throws in the final three seconds to advance with a 71-68 win to the semifinals scheduled for Wednesday.
The Greene Devils’ next opponent is Sullivan South at Happy Valley.
Unicoi County’s season ends at 9-24.
“We were not good tonight on the defensive end and that’s on me, I didn’t have them ready like I thought I did,” Greeneville coach Brad Woolsey said. “We were not real tough today and honestly didn’t feel like we played in the way we deserved to win. As a coach I didn’t deserve to win that one, but the players made the plays to save us.”
Greeneville enjoyed a 62-53 lead, but the Blue Devils did not go away. The margin was trimmed to 64-61 after Austin O’Dell hit a pair of free throws with 2:22 left. Gavin Casey did his part with two free throws with 1:18 to go to put Unicoi County up 65-64. Casey ended his Blue Devil career 12 points.
The lead went back to Greeneville when Jaevon Gillespie went around for a layup.
Unicoi County avoided a 10-second violation with a timeout as the clock showed 28 seconds left in regulation. The play drew up by Smith saw Casey find Brock Thompson who laid in two of his team-best 22 points. He was fouled on the play and the free throw stretched the advantage to 68-66 with 20.1 seconds left.
A series of two Greeneville timeouts set up a play where Gillespie was in the corner for a three-point attempt. A foul was called on Thompson with 3.0 left. Gillespie hit all three free throws to give Greeneville the 69-68 lead.
The in-bounds pass sailed to the Unicoi County bench giving the ball back to Greeneville before Reid Satterfield was fouled with a second left. The free throws gave him 11 points for the contest.
Gillespie led all scorers with 28 points thanks in part to going 10-for-12 at the free throw line which included going 7-for-9 in the fourth quarter.
“We told them not to have a wide open shot out there,” Unicoi County head coach Michael Smith said about the play in the final seconds. “Brock did a good job contesting him on that. The official said he pushed him so that’s what we have to go with. That’s just a tough way to lose.”
— — —
Johnson County 62, Chuckey-Doak 47
AFTON — Blake Atwood scored a game-high 22 points, including going 8-of-10 from the free-throw line, and 12 rebounds to lead the Longhorns to the Region 1-AA boys semifinal win over the Black Knights.
Gavin Reece finished with 15 points, including a pair of clutch 3-point shots, for Johnson County, which also got 13 points and four steals from Zach Eller. Troy Arnold added five rebounds and five assists, while holding Chuckey-Doak’s talented post Ethan Palazzo to six points.
Down by one point at halftime and ahead by three entering the fourth quarter, Reece hit a 3-point goal followed by a 3-point play by Atwood to spark a 24-12 final quarter.
Jordan Morelock paced the Black Knights with 16 points. Nicholas Jennings scored 11 pointa and Alex Maupin added 10.
Greeneville 71, Unicoi County 68
UNICOI COUNTY (68)
Thompson 22, Casey 12, Adkins 8, O’Dell 8, Lingerfelt 7, Thelen 6, Holt 5
Jaevon Gillespie 28, Marsh 15, Satterfield 11, Banks 6, Loven 4, DeBusk 3, Buchanan 2, Jordan Gillespie 1, Crumbley 1
Unicoi County 19 8 21 20 — 68
Greeneville 16 13 24 18 — 71
3-point goals — Unicoi County 4 (Thelen 2, Lingerfelt, Holt), Greeneville 7 (Banks 2, Jaevon Gillespie 2, Satterfield 2, DeBusk).
Johnson County 62, Chuckey-Doak 47
JOHNSON COUNTY (26-5)
Eller 13, Atwood 22, Oxentine 4, Reece 15, Arnold 3
Morelock 16, Maupin 10, Jennings 11, M. Palazzo 4, E. Palazzo 6
Johnson County 14 10 14 24 — 62
Chuckey-Doak 12 13 10 12 — 47
3-point goals—Johnson County 8 (Reece 4, Atwood 2, Eller 2), Chuckey-Doak 5 (Morelock 2, Maupin 2, Jennings)