The South Greene Rebels will continue their post-season run after securing an impressive 82-55 win at home against Pigeon Forge Friday night.
With this win, the Rebels advance to the Region 1-2A semifinals where they will play the Gatlinburg-Pittman Highlanders on Tuesday at David Crockett.
Despite their explosive finish, the Rebels initially struggled to match the Tigers’ fast-paced scoring.
“I wasn’t very happy in the first half,” said South Greene head coach Terry Hoese. “We came out flat and missed a bunch of shots, [and] they took it to us. I looked up and half my team was sitting on the bench in foul trouble…but we finally settled in there in the second half.”
Even with a slow start, South Greene adjusted and proved they were a champion-caliber team by putting up 60 points in the second half alone.
While Coach Hoese believes the win was an all-around team effort, there were a few standout players.
Senior point guard Zane Winter has been injured on and off throughout the season, but was a crucial player for the Rebels in the first half.
“He came in and gave us that spark,” Hoese said. “We might have been out of it in the first half without him.”
Winter had seven points for the Rebels by the end of the game.
Junior Cooper Kelley led the Rebels in scoring with 18 points. Kelly flexed his skill as a shooting guard throughout the night, including an effortless three-pointer near halfcourt that left South Greene fans cheering.
Kelly’s on-court aggression picked up in the third quarter after a quick steal from Pigeon Forge that resulted in an explosive drive down the court for a basket.
Sophomore Jase Roderick’s agility and height provided an important advantage as well. The 6’5” point guard was runner-up in scoring for the Rebels with 15 points. Senior forward Hayden Birdwell and junior T.J. Buckner both had 14 points.
Even with South Greene’s star players, Pigeon Forge did not allow for an easy win. The scoreboard was tied 32-32 with less than five minutes left in the third quarter.
By the end of the fourth quarter, the scoreboard read 82-55 with the Rebels walking away with the win.
For South Greene all eyes are set on the Regional Semifinals, and Coach Hoese knows that the competition will only get tougher.
“Everyone can play at this point,” he said. “We better be ready to go.”
South Greene will take on Gatlinburg-Pittman in the regional semifinals at David Crockett High School on Tuesday with a start time set at 6:00 pm.