It’s hard to beat a team three times in one season, but the Lady Buffs did just that with a 71-63 win over Johnson County at home to pick up their third win over the Lady Longhorns this season.
“I thought we did a great job sharing the ball and moving the ball tonight,” West Greene Head Coach Betsy Shaw said. “I thought our defense really came up big for us in the end.”
Three seems to be West Greene’s magic number with three different players touching double figures in the win. Madi Brown led the charge with 22 points and five three-point field goals. Kinsley Ellenburg finished with 20 points. Taylor Lawson also added 14 points and dominated the boards with 19 rebounds.
“Kinsley had a great first half and Madi had a great second half. They stepped up when we needed it,” Coach Shaw mentioned.
Ellenburg had a strong first half scoring 13 points in the first two frames. She scored West Greene’s first six points to put them ahead with an early 6-5 lead.
Madi Brown found her stride early with a three-point bomb. Taylor Lawson finished a layup while drawing a foul for an and-one play.
Sierra Greene found the bottom of the net from outside the three-point arc to close the gap to one possession at the end of the first.
The Lady Buffaloes held a 15-12 lead after the first eight minutes of play.
Ellenburg got the ball fed to her in the low post and rolled off her right shoulder for a left-handed bank shot. The senior post expanded her range for a three-point bucket next.
Johnson County worked their way back to briefly take the lead late in the first half. Aubree Glenn laid the ball off the glass and Peyton Gentry lined up for a three-pointer to tie the game at 23-23. In a weird sequence, Izzy Thompson watched the ball fly over her shoulder and bounce perfectly into her hands for a layup in transition to put the Lady Longhorns in control.
Mara Reagan picked up a loose ball in the paint and got the shot off just before the buzzer sounded to tie the game at 25-25 going into break.
The Lady Buffs quickly took the lead back to start the third with a bank shot from Madi Brown after being in the right place at the right time for a long offensive rebound. Kinsley Ellenburg drained another three-point shot from the wing.
But after Sierra Greene downed a layup and Desirea Robinson knocked down a three, the score sat tied once again at 32-32.
It was back-and-forth for majority of the third quarter. Maddie Bryant stripped the net for a triple, but Robinson knotted the score again with a free throw and layup. West Greene managed to take a six-point lead with Madi Brown launching another three-pointer through the net.
Aubrie Baird sank another three-ball to cut the lead back down to three.
Hailey Ripley banked the ball off the glass for a quick two points. Madi Brown drained another three-point basket to extend their lead even further.
Baird knocked down her second triple of the quarter.
Madi Brown shot lights out in the third quarter with eleven points and three triples but none bigger than the last. With one second left on the clock, Brown let go from deep three-point range for a buzzer beater to close out the third quarter with West Greene ahead 51-44.
Eight three-pointers were made in the third period alone.
Bre Ellis didn’t let the offense slow down any with another trey to start the final eight minutes. Desirea Robinson responded with another three of her own. Madi Brown still had the hot hand and splashed another big three-point shot.
The Lady Longhorns held their own and stayed hot on their heels by cutting the score to three with an and-one play from Robinson. Aubrie Baird banked in another three from the top of the key a few possessions later to cut it down to two.
Kinsley Ellenburg boosted West Greene’s lead back up to five with an and-one play in the paint.
Desirea Robinson made an impact again by downing a layup with 1:40 left to make it a three-point game at 65-62.
Both teams started playing the free-throw game late in the contest and West Greene handled business by making clutch foul shots down the stretch.
The Lady Buffs held on for a 71-63 win at home to earn another conference victory. The win serves as their third over Johnson County this season.
Madi Brown dropped a game-high 22 points in the win. Desirea Robinson scored a team-high 20 points for the Lady Longhorns.
With the win, West Greene secured the fourth seed in the district tournament and will host the play-in game versus Johnson County on February 14th.
West Greene returns to action Tuesday night at home against Gibbs.
JOHNSON COUNTY 58, WEST GREENE 51
Neither team could settle their differences in regulation on Friday night, but Johnson County outlasted West Greene 58-51 in overtime to steal another win on the road in the District 1-2A.
“We came out good. Sharing the ball and moving around quick. Then we kind of went sloppy and lopsided. We weren’t moving the ball as much,” Buffaloes Head Coach Allen Tolliver said.
The Buffaloes finish their conference season with a 4-4 record and will enter the District tournament as the three seed.
West Greene jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the opening stages after quick baskets from Mason McCamey and Austin Wampler.
Connor Pierce and Connor Simcox evened the score with a layup each.
Leyton Frye sent a baseline jumper through the net and Wampler nailed a three-pointer from outside the perimeter. Ethan Turner earned enough separation after a head fake to drain a mid-range jump shot.
Pierce pump-faked his way to another layup to tie the score again. Frye broke the tie with a two-point field goal to put West Greene back ahead 13-11 at the end of one.
The Longhorns controlled the second quarter from the start with a three-point basket from Dillon Robinson. Simcox’s finger-roll layup regained the lead. Peyton Pavusek scored four-straight points on two layups.
Leyton Frye’s put back with one second remaining would serve as West Greene’s only field goal of the entire second quarter. Frye and Turner each made three free throws in the period.
Even though they only managed to make one shot during the second quarter, the Buffs only trailed 22-21 at the break.
“We got held to 21 points in the first half. It was a pretty low scoring game but our defense was on point too,” Tolliver stated.
The entire second half was a knock-down-drag-out affair with neither team gaining more than a two-point advantage over their opponent at any time throughout the sixteen minutes of playing time.
Nine total lead changes and three ties occurred in the third quarter. The first lead change happened when Leyton Frye got a layup to fall through the net.
Dillon Robinson regained the lead with a three-point basket. Frye fired back with a triple on the other end of the hardwood.
Connor Simcox and Mason McCamey traded layups for two more lead changes. Skylar Lawson sprinted through the lane for a wide-open lay in at the rim.
Leyton Frye gave West Greene a two-point advantage with another three-pointer from beyond the arc.
Johnson County would gain their own two-point advantage on four-straight points. Peyton Pavusek tied the game at 33-33 with another layup down low and Robinson broke that tie with a layup of his own.
Austin Wampler knotted the score by going two-for-two at the charity stripe. Austin West secured two free throws at the foul line soon after.
Ethan Turner’s mid-range jumper tied the game at 37-37 heading into the final quarter of play.
The fourth quarter was no different with neither team letting each other out of their grips. There were six total ties in the fourth and the game would fittingly get sent to overtime.
The Buffs took control of the back-and-forth scoring by landing the first blow. Austin Wampler notched a layup off the backboard.
Connor Simcox and Leyton Frye traded layups next.
Every point of the fourth quarter was decided on either a layup near the basket or from the free throw line.
Connor Simcox used his size to his advantage with an offensive put back.
Ethan Turner scored with a layup off the glass and had a chance to separate the Buffs with a free throw after but missed on his opportunity at the line.
Dillon Robinson netted two free throws to even the score again.
Turner muscled Simcox out of the way to grab an offensive board and threw it back up for two more.
The Longhorns would go on the only run of the quarter with a four-point stretch from Simcox and Robinson.
Leyton Frye hop-stepped through the paint for a layup with 1:30 left to knot the score again at 47-47.
Connor Simcox had a chance to also put a three-point separation between the teams but failed to convert an and-one at the line and would have to settle with just a layup.
West Greene would go down and miss their next attempt and would be forced to start fouling. Graham Reece missed the front end of a one-and-one and left the door open for the Buffs to tie the game.
After two fouls, West Greene would finally enter the bonus and step to the free throw line. Leyton Frye would get fouled with eight seconds remaining and have a chance to send the game into overtime. After making the first, Johnson County would try to ice him by calling a timeout. The icing attempt didn’t work on Frye as he clutched up and dropped the second free throw through the net to even the score.
The Longhorns failed to put up a high quality shot on their final possession. Neither team could gain an advantage in regulation and would have to settle their differences in overtime with the score tied at 49-49.
The extra period started slow with no points scored for the first two-plus minutes.
The Buffaloes took their biggest blow of the night when Leyton Frye committed his fifth foul and would have to leave the game with 1:44 remaining.
Dillon Robinson made both from the line.
Coach Austin Atwood loves playing the possession game in crunch time and will do anything to chew the clock away and sit on a lead. West Greene was forced to start fouling and sent Connor Pierce to the free throw line. Pierce made the first, but missed the second and kept the window of opportunity open for the Buffs.
Conner Campbell missed a shot, but Dawson Daniels made a huge effort on defense to gain their possession back with a steal. That strip would lead to a layup from Ethan Turner and he drew a foul to create the chance to tie the game at the line. The foul shot wouldn’t fall through and Connor Simcox grabbed the rebound before quickly getting fouled.
Simcox sank both at the line and put Johnson County ahead 54-51.
West Greene made one last chance effort with a three-pointer from Turner, but the shot wouldn’t fall.
The Longhorns would make the rest of their free throws and run away with a 58-51 win to steal one on the road over the Buffs.
“They shot free throws at 62% and we shot at 55%. If we make one in regulation, we win,” Coach Tolliver stated. “They went seven-for-eight in overtime and we went zero-for-two. Free throws win ball games”
Connor Simcox piled in 20 points and Dillon Robinson produced 18 points to lead Johnson County in scoring.
Leyton Frye poured in a game-high 25 points and Ethan Turner contributed with 13 points.
Gibbs will visit Jimmy Jones Gymnasium for West Greene’s next matchup on Tuesday night.