BY ADAM GREENE
The girls from Grainger came to South Greene Friday night with a perfect record and a No. 2 Class AA state ranking. After beating the Lady Rebels 71-44 in the match up of District 2-AA powers, the Lady Grizzlies leave that same way.
"They're ranking is well-deserved," South Greene coach Stephen Gregg said. "We knew we had a challenge tonight and didn't step up. Our defense wasn't there and offensively we didn't shoot it well either. Nothing we did could stop them."
Grainger (20-0, 7-0 District 2-AA) came out of the gate strong, with forward Allison Hodge taking over the game from the opening whistle. The Lady Grizzlies outscored South Greene (14-6, 4-2) 19-12 in the first period, with Hodge pouring in 12 points. Hodge's night wasn't done, she added eight more in the second period and finished with 28 in the game, though she barely played at all in the fourth quarter.
"We tried fronting the post and they shot layups at will," Gregg said. "We tried backing it and they were still getting offensive rebounds. We're discouraged with our defense."
South Greene's best quarter was the second where they matched the Lady Grizzlies shot-for-shot. Cheyenne Upton scored consistently in the lane for the Lady Rebels and finished the half with 11 points.
"Cheyenne has a tough assignment in a game like this," Gregg said. "They out-manned us at every position. She was in there having to take a lot of force down low. Cheyenne has found a way to get her some points and that's good. It should open up some things for other players. It's hard to look at an offensive positive when we're giving up so much inside the paint."
The Lady Grizzlies ran away with the game in the third period, scoring quick transition baskets and capitalizing on South Greene turnovers. The Lady Rebels have had trouble shooting the three all season and the lack of any runs or big long-distance shots put South Greene too far down.
Grainger outscored the Lady Rebels 21-11 in the period. A few minutes into the fourth and both teams emptied their benches.
"They had a good gameplan on us," Gregg said. "We've not been shooting the three very well as a team. I wasn't concerned with the offense. It was about how many points we gave up in the paint as a team."
Grainger post Blake Lamb scored 16 points and Amber Farmer scored 11. The Lady Rebels got 15 points from Upton and 14 from Maelyn Cutshaw.
South Greene will get a chance to bounce back today against North Greene (14-6, 1-3) at North Greene High School.