JONESBORIUGH - The South Greene girls used a dominant defensive performance on Thursday night at David Crocket High School to top West Greene 63-27 in the District 1-2A Tournament semifinals.
“The first half was really great,” South Greene coach Stephen Gregg said. “The last time we played them we started down 20-14, and we told the kids we needed to start with a sense of urgency. We came out and played an aggressive man defense for a half, and then in the second half we worked on half-court stuff.”
With the win on Thursday the Lady Rebels advance to the district championship game on Monday where they will take on Chuckey-Doak at 7:30 p.m. West Greene will take on Happy Valley at 6 p.m. for third place. All four teams will advance to the Region 1-2A Tournament.
The Lady Rebels pressure defense held West Greene to just two points in the first quarter, and they took the lead eight seconds in the game when Hailey Brooks knocked down a three-pointer from the corner after Jordyn Roderick won the tip.
Next it was Madison Hensley who scored after taking a steal the distance.
Midway through the quarter South Greene’s lead grew to 12-2 after a series of passes found Haley Susong open for a three-pointer.
In the late stages of the quarter Kortni Bailey came off the bench and scored six straight points in 36 seconds to stretch the lead to 18-2. Bailey finished the night with 18 points and eight rebounds to lead South Greene.
Bailey then came up with a steal that set up Susong for a lay in and a 20-2 lead at the close of the first quarter.
“Kortni has been nursing an injury, and we took some precautions or she could have had an even bigger night,” Gregg said. “She came in and gave us spark, and she plays bigger than her frame. She doesn’t care to mix it up. She finds ways to score, and it’s always good to have that type of spark.”
The second quarter started with Ryleigh Gregg sinking a three-pointer for South Greene, and then Kinsley Ellenburg got three points the old-fashioned way for West Greene. The Lady Rebels then scored the next 11 points with Bailey and Roderick both hitting from deep on the way to a 34-5 lead.
Taylor Lawson broke the streak with a layup through contact for the Lady Buffaloes and Breanna Ellis closed the gap to 37-12 when she drove thorough the paint for two points.
In the final minute of the first half South Greene got two points from Hensley and four from Susong to take a 43-12 lead at the break.
South Greene’s defense forced West Greene into 23 turnovers on Thursday, with the majority of them coming in the first half. They also held the Lady Buffs to 25 percent shooting from the field, including just 11 field goals.
“We wanted to play with urgency and we did a good job of that in the first half,” Gregg said. “Any time you can hold a team to less than 30, that is a really good defensive effort.”
In the second half South Greene elected to confine its defense to the half court, but it still managed to stretch to lead 53-15 with a strong start to the third quarter.
West Greene’s Madi Brown started the second-half scoring with a three-pointer, but then South Greene scored the next 10 points. Roderick scored on a pair of jump shots from the paint and Brooks scored twice in transition. Bailey capped the run with a jumper from the elbow.
Brown broke the streak with another triple, but South Greene took a 55-20 lead into the fourth quarter.
West Greene scored the first five points of the fourth quarter with Lawson laying one off the glass and Brown getting three points the hard way.
Arianna Hoese scored South Greene’s final eight points as the Lady Rebels finished with a 63-27 win.
Roderick was also in double figures with 10 points, six assists, and five rebounds for South Greene. Brown led West Greene with nine points.
South Greene 20 23 12 8 63
West Greene 2 10 8 7 27
South Greene: Bailey 18, Roderick 10, Brooks 9, Susong 9, Hoese 8, Hensley 6, Gregg 3
West Greene: Brown 9, Lawson 6, Ellenburg 3, Ripley 3, Reagan 2, Bryant 2, Ellis 2