BY TATE RUSSELL
SUN SPORTS WRITER
The North Greene girls got hot from behind the arc to build a quick lead that only kept growing as they beat Providence Academy 61-37 on Tuesday.
The Lady Huskies(7-4 overall) started the game a perfect 4-for-4 from behind the arc and hit ten triples on the evening as their balanced attack made life difficult on the Lady Knights.
Mendy McNeese led the way with 14 points, Lauren Baxter had 13 and all eight players in the lineup scored in a true team effort.
"That's a pretty scrappy team and they did some things defensively that we don't see normally so that was a good experience," North Greene coach James Buchanan said. "All of our kids got some quality playing time and they all got in the scorebook, so that's a confidence booster for us."
Providence started the game running a triangle and two on the defensive end, hoping to clog the lane and slow center Baxter while keeping a hand in the faces of McNeese and Katelyn Weems on the perimeter.
What the alignment left open was the corners, and that is where Kaylin Bowser and Macy McNeese made them pay.
Bowser struck first with a trey from the right wing then McNeese hit a pair from the left side to go with a Baxter triple to give North Greene an early 12-5 lead.
The bombs kept dropping for the Lady Huskies as they started the second quarter with Baxter hitting back-to-back threes from the top of the key and Mendy McNeese firing one in from the left wing.
On both of Baxter's shots, Mendy McNeese drove the lane to draw the defense in then kicked it back to the center for an uncontested attempt.
The sweet shooting from the post forced the Lady Knights to adjust their defense and bring their interior defenders away from the goal. That opened up driving lanes for North Greene and allowed them to continue to extend their lead.
"It's big time for to hit those shots because most of the time her man is battling down in the post. When she can step in there and knock those shots down it really stretches the defense and give our guards an opportunity to attack the paint."
A step-up triple with three minutes left in the second quarter by Mendy McNeese gave North Greene a 13 point lead. That was the margin the Lady Huskies took into half time, up 34-21.
In the second half Buchanan got his short bench plenty of minutes as the lead grew to as many as 28 points by the end of the third quarter.
The Lady Huskies outscored Providence 21-6 in the third quarter.
Buchanan hopes the extended minutes his reserves got and the balanced attack the Lady Huskies used as whole will carry over to Friday's upcoming contest with Unaka.
It will be the Lady Huskies second district game of the season and will be their last until January.
"That can be a confident boost and we have got to get everyone involved in several games this year," Buchanan said. "Hopefully it will carry over to our big conference game on Friday. It helps a lot to get some of those girls extra minutes and we'll be adding two more players after Friday so that will help us as well."
After Friday's game Taylor and Kristen Payne will be eligible to play for the Lady Huskies after sitting out a year after transferring from West Greene. Buchanan is optimistic about what the sisters can add to his lineup as they approach the heart of their schedule.
Four Huskies scored in double figures as North Greene ran away from Providence Academy in a 76-61 win on Tuesday.
Brett Pollock led the way with 16 points and dominated the boards on both ends of the floor.
Sharpshooters Tyler Bailey and Troy Hall added 12 and 11 respectively while Hayden Mullins dropped in 10. For good measure Will West put in nine and Zane Britton scored 8, both off of the bench.
The balance of the attack kept the Knights guessing and was key in North Greene building and maintaining their lead.
"It's important to be able to spread the ball around if you can do that," North Greene coach Brandon Broyles said. "It keeps teams from being able to run gimmick defenses on you but the main thing is we have to keep shooting the ball better. I feel like we shot the ball well tonight and if we do that we're pretty good."
The Huskies (6-5, 0-1) fell behind 19-10 in the first quarter as the up-tempo Knights ran the court on offense and forced turnovers on defense to go on a 13-1 run.
North Greene tightened up to close the quarter and made it a one possession game by the time the buzzer sounded. Hall started the comeback when Brett Bolton skipped him a pass and he knocked down a triple from the left corner with 59 seconds on the clock.
Pollock followed with pair shots on the block to make it 19-17 going into the second quarter. Pollock's size advantage was evident all evening as the big center controlled the game in the paint with Providence having no answer for his size.
Broyles said, "Pollock has been playing really well for us. I told the guys at practice just yesterday that we're going to have to start feeding him the ball, if the horse is going to work for it we have to feed him. We have to look to him and he has to keep getting better every day."
The offense really began to click for North Greene in the second quarter as they dropped in 24 points and only allowed 12 to build a 10-point half-time lead.
A pair of free throw by Bolton gave North Greene a 24-23 lead two minutes into the quarter and after that point they never trailed again.
The free throws were part of a 12-0 run started by Bailey who knocked down a trey from beyond the left elbow. During the big second quarter North hit four three pointers, two of them by Bailey.
The lead stretched to 20 points by the end of the third quarter with the Huskies finding their way to the rim early and often.
Mullins showed up big time in the final period after sitting much of the game in foul trouble and dropped in eight points in the period to thwart any hopes the Knights had of a comeback.
The Huskies now turn their eyes to Unaka who they will take on Friday, with North Greene looking to pick up their first district win of the year.
"Hopefully this was good preparation for Unaka," Broyles said. "We'll start focusing on them tomorrow and hopefully we'll be ready for them. If I know my kids they'll come out and work their tails off and we'll be prepared on Friday."
Cody Sprouse led Providence with 18 points, Jake Weaver added 11.
NG 17 24 19 16 76
PA 19 12 9 21 61
NG: Brett Pollock 16, Tyler Bailey 12, Troy Hall 11, Hayden Mullins 10, Will West 9, Zane Britton 8, Brett Bolton 6, Tanner Collins 3, Kameron Taylor 1.
PA: Cody Sprouse 18, Jake Weaver 11, Aaron Lewis 9, Caleb Sprouse 7, Trevor Tujillo 6, Jacolby Darr 6, Neil Stoltzfus 4
NG 16 18 21 6 60
PA 12 9 6 10 37