by tate russell
sun sports writer
GREENEVILLE - Mendy McNeese and the North Greene girls turned in one of their best efforts of the season Monday night.
McNeese scored 15 of her team-high 18 points in the first half, and North Greene rolled to a 59-35 win over visiting West Greene.
It comes at a key time for the Lady Huskies.
The Lady Huskies will hope to continue the strong play in their next two games, when they go on the road for key district games at Cloudland (Friday) and Hampton (Tuesday, Feb. 5).
"I thought that was an outstanding game (we played)," North Greene head coach James Buchanan said.
"We got it done on both ends of the court. We played on of the better games we have played lately."
McNeese started things off for the Lady Huskies (19-7 overall) when she launched a deep three from the left corner over top of West Greene's zone on the game's first possession. The Lady Huskies knocked down three treys in the opening quarter to jump out to a 17-11 advantage.
McNeese finished the quarter by swiping the ball from Candy Majors at mid court then blowing by Baylee Jarrell with a behind-the-back crossover before laying it off the glass.
Buchanan said, "(McNeese) was all over the court out there scoring a lot of baskets and getting everyone else involved. She seemed to be having a lot of fun out there and that is what we like to see out of her."
The Lady Huskies point guard started the second quarter in much the fashion when she and Katelyn Weems trapped Haley Vrandenburgh in front of the scorers table. McNeese cleanly picked her pocket and took it all the way.to the hoop The Lady Huskies turned up the defense in the second quarter and held West Greene (4-15 1-6) to five points.
"We tweaked the defense a little bit and it made a difference. When we did, it didn't kill us if they beat press because we weren't giving up easy baskets," Buchanan said. "We were able to use our defense to create offense and get some points. We've worked hard on defense the last couple of days and they did a good."
Weems finished the quarter strong scoring seven points in the final four minutes before intermission as part of her 13 point evening.
Post players Laiken Morrow and Charlotte Murphy battled each other for much of the night. Both showed their ability to go inside and outside as Murphy led the way with 18 points for the Lady Buffs while Morrow dropped in 10 for North Greene.
Late in the game both teams got some younger players into the mix. Guard McKenzie Reynolds came off the bench and knocked in five points including a triple. For West Greene post Kaci Ray was big on the boards in late action and was able to earn three points.
North Greene was able connect from deep all evening finishing with nine three pointers.
The North Greene boys used their inside edge to bang their way to a 52-43 win over West Greene.
"We played hard, when you get into these county games you know you'll have to battle and these kids did," North Greene head coach Brandon Broyles said. "We had two kids get bloody noses and that tells you that these teams were going at it. Coach Douglas really coached his kids up, and they're getting better and will be a very good team down the road."
Garrett Harbin led the way with 16 points for the Huskies.
"Garrett played great for us tonight and really led us. I was very pleased with how he played," Broyles said. "If I had a son I would want him to be just like Garrett Harbin."
Harbin scored 10 of those points in the first quarter,allowing North Greene (12-11 0-6) to jump out in front 17-9. 16 of those 17 points came in the paint. The exception was a Brett Pollock free throw to start the evening's scoring.
In the second quarter West Greene (1-14 0-7) kept pace the Huskies led by freshman Jordan Fillers who came off the bench and knocked down two from behind arc in the second quarter.
Fillers led West Greene with 12 points on four three-pointers.
With 1.2 seconds remaining in the first half Tyler Bailey released the ball from a stride beyond Volleyball front row line and zipped it through the net to give North Greene their biggest advantage at 32-21.
Bailey finished the night with nine points.
In the third quarter West Greene was able to chip away at the lead but only made up one point on the margin. Tanner Earley led the Buffaloes with six point in the third quarter. Pollock scored five in the third for North Greene.
Pollock pounded his way inside and scored eight points in the contest.
Broyles said,"Pollock is getting better for us. He'll get down on himself sometimes but he's a great kid who helped us a lot tonight."
The Buffaloes continued to hang around in the fourth cutting the lead to as few as six points when Toby Bostoem connected from deep with 2:50 remaining. The margin would never get closer and North Greene would manage to pull away to a nine point victory.
Broyles said, "I'm really happy for my kids, they've been fighting in ball games and coming up short but they have still been going really hard in practice. They haven't quit and good things happen to people who practice hard, tonight showed that."