BY ADAM GREENE
It didn't take long for South Greene to prove it was a different team that played Grainger last Friday. The Lady Rebels needed just the first eight minutes to take the game away from District 2-AA rival Greeneville before winning 75-39 Tuesday night at South Greene High School.
South Greene (16-6, 5-2 District 2-AA) outscored the Lady Greene Devils 28-9 in the opening quarter of play. Sophomore point guard Ashton Wykle had her finest game since she hit the game-winner nearly two months ago against Morristown West, scoring 10 points the period including two from beyond the three-point arc.
"It's great to see Ashton's offense come around," South Greene coach Stephen Gregg said. "She plays good defense every night. She's guarding the toughest player, night-in and night-out, but tonight she was one of our leading scorers. She's capable of doing that."
Greeneville (7-13, 4-4) wasn't capable of doing much to stop the Lady Rebels. After a strong showing in the second period, the Lady Devils only managed seven points in the third as South Greene continued to pull away.
"We have to play a whole lot harder than that to even be in the same gym (with South Greene)," Greeneville coach Lesley Murray said. "That's a tough bunch of girls and they play hard every single possession. I've got to give them all the credit. We don't match their intensity. We don't match their toughness."
While Greeneville was having trouble on the offensive end, the Lady Rebels were rolling. South Greene grabbed quick rebounds, stayed in the full-court press and forced turnovers, leading to easy transition baskets. Already with 11 points in the first half, senior Maelyn Cutshaw added 10 more in the second to finish with a game-high 21.
Cutshaw and the team are still smarting from the blow-out loss to Grainger and want to make up for it every time they take the court.
"We didn't meet our own standards (against Grainger)," Cutshaw said. "Ever since that game, we've doubled the pressure. Districts are coming up and we need to do everything at a fast pace. Our whole team is quick. We don't have any big posts, so that's our game. We're in shape and we have the talent and ability to do it."
Four South Greene girls ended up in double figures. In addition to Cutshaw, Wykle finished with 17 points, Alora Ricker finished with 16 and Cheyenne Upton scored 14.
"My post players have to take a lot of force inside, but on the offensive end we create mismatches," Gregg said. "A lot of our offense is geared for our post to come off a screen or a curl and look for a bucket. That's based on the girls will to get into the lane. We don't have a true post that plays with her back to the basket. We have to create something for our post."
Madison Shipley led the Lady Devils with seven points. Regan Lowery scored six.
"They were able to keep even one of their players from scoring double digits," Gregg said. "That says a lot about our defense from the first of the year until now. That's what we've preached. If we play hard and play good defense, good things are going to come from that."
Up next for the Lady Devils, a short trip to Afton to take on Chuckey-Doak (9-11, 5-2) next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Greeneville will get its shot at undefeated Grainger (20-0, 7-0) Friday at 6:30 p.m.