BY ADAM GREENE
There was no hangover for South Greene after a tough loss in round two of the LandAir Ladies Classic. Saturday the Lady Rebels played one of their best games of the season in a 58-45 win over Wilson Central in the consolation bracket at Hal Henard Gymnasium.
"I had a fear coming in that we might have spent all our energy last night," South Greene coach Stephen Gregg said. "But I thought we were under control. We knew we had to play hard because Wilson Central wanted it just as badly as we did."
South Greene (11-5) will face off with District 2-AA rival Chuckey-Doak (7-9) today in the fifth place game of the tournament. The Lady Wildcats (5-8) were eliminated with the loss.
The game marked the return to the Lady Rebels' starting line-up of junior Alora Ricker. Ricker saw her first action in five games the day before in the tough loss to Oakland. Ricker led South Greene with 17 points and six rebounds and her injured right ankle wasn't an issue until after the game.
"Whenever I'm playing on it (the ankle), it doesn't bother me," Ricker said. "Afterward it's a little sore. I'm pretty much 100 percent. We fought hard and felt like we should have won (over Oakland) with the way we played. We brought the same intensity (Saturday) and our shots started falling. We were pretty confident."
At no time was that confidence more on display than in the fourth period. Up 45-38 after the third quarter, South Greene's discipline did not waiver. The Lady Rebels did not attempt a field goal in the final period, with all 13 of their points coming off layups or foul shots. South Greene's defense held the Lady Wildcats to just seven points.
"We were impressed with our defense late in the game," Gregg said. "Holding them to seven points in the fourth quarter was good to see. I thought we weathered the storm a lot tonight. We got in foul trouble and the bench came in and gave us a good spark."
The brightest spark came from freshman Amber Jones. Wilson Central made a run in the third period, getting hot from behind the three-point arc. Sydney Comer, Hailey Averitt and Hannah Brewer all sank big shots to try to ignite a comeback. Instead, they watched Jones hit two big threes to keep South Greene comfortably ahead.
According to Ricker, that stretch left no doubt how the game was going to end.
"She (Jones) came off the bench and made us all really excited when she hit her two threes," Ricker said. "That was a turning point for us. That's when we knew we were going to win this."
The stat sheet was nearly pristine for South Greene. The Lady Rebels turned the ball over only three times and gave up no points off turnovers. South Greene made the Lady Wildcats pay for nearly all their mistakes, scoring 17 off turnovers. The Lady Rebels shot over 42 percent and allowed only one Wilson Central player, Dominique St. Louis, into double figures. St. Louis finished with 20.
South Greene's Cheyenne Upton missed out on her third straight double-double with 12 points and six rebounds. Maelyn Cutshaw scored nine points. Javan Wilhoit had seven points and six rebounds.