By Scott R. Fisher
A strong individual effort can steal the occasional game. On Friday night South Greene proved a total team effort is a recipe for success.
South Greene captured two Blue Ridge Athletic Conference wins over visiting Claiborne County. The Lady Rebels opened the night by racing past the Lady Bulldogs 62-32. In the nightcap, South Greene earned a hard-fought 70-63 victory.
The win improves the Rebels to 4-13 overall and 1-3 in the conference. The Lady Rebels moves to 13-5 overall and 3-1 in the BRAC. South Greene travels to Cumberland Gap on Tuesday for another conference matchup.
Rebels Earn Win With Team Effort
The Rebels overcame the huge scoring effort by Claiborne's Tristan Noe and proved it takes a team to win basketball games.
Noe finished with a game-high 35 points for the Bulldogs but could not get the win.
South Greene used a balanced attack with four players reaching double-digit scoring to pace the team.
"The kids played their butts off," Rebel head coach Terry Hoese said. "I am proud of their effort."
After a close first half, the game changed drastically changed in the third quarter. The Bulldogs started strong and turned a five-point lead at the half into a commanding 11-point cushion in less than three minutes.
South Greene responded by going on a 12-3 run to claw back into the contest. Leading the charge was junior Logan Tweed with seven points during the spurt.
The Bulldogs counter-punched and maintained their lead until the Rebels scored the final five points of the quarter. It was Tweed who scored the last bucket before the buzzer to give South Greene the lead heading into the final period.
Coach Hoese admitted the shot selection by Tweed was not ideal.
"Some of those shots, I did not like" Hoese said "Logan has the ability to make shots."
A big factor in his team's ability to comeback, according to Hoese was better ball management.
"We had 10 turnovers in the first half," he said. "We took care of the ball late in third quarter."
In the final quarter, South Greene never relinquished the lead. Most of the Rebels' scoring came from the free-throw line. They converted 15 of 24 foul shots.
The Rebels made enough shots at the line to account for the lack of shots failinig from the field. South Greene made only three of seven from the field in the fourth.
The opening quarter was tight most of the way and finished deadlocked at 13. The second quarter was where the Bulldogs gained a little control. Claiborne built a seven-point lead. The Bulldogs held a 28-23 lead at the intermission.
Tweed and junior Nick Fillers each led the way with 16 points. Senior Bo Woods chipped in 14 points while Cody Robinson added 10 points. Junior Daniel Lowery collected nine points.
Hoese said his team had a choice to make on who to guard.
"(Claiborne) was running a high-low (offense)," Hoese said. "We defended the post and allowed their guards to shoot."
Noe definitely shot the ball. He connected on 13 shot attempts on his way to 35 points.
Hoese hopes this conference win will be a momentum builder for his squad.
"I told them we just played five conference games," he said. "There are 12 games in a season. Maybe it is time to catch fire."
Lady Rebels Get Defensive In Win
The South Greene Lady Rebels used a solid defensive effort to easily defeat Claiborne 62-32 on Friday night.
The Lady Rebels started strong and never were challenged Claiborne was held to 10 points in the first half and could not recover.
"We have improved our defense in the last month," said Lady Rebel head coach Stephen Gregg. "They have dedicated to play defense."
On Friday, good defense led to easy offensive trips. South Greene capitalized on Lady Bulldog turnovers to get fast-break baskets.
South Greene led 13-5 after the first quarter. The two squads then both scored the same amount of points in the second period. The lead at the half was 26-10 in favor of the home team.
Leadin the way offensively for South Greene was junior Cheyenne Upton with a game-high 21 points. She added nine rebounds as well. Senior Maelyn Cutshaw contributed 12 points in the win. Junior Alora Ricker collected 11 points.
Senior Javan Wilhoit was held to two points but contributed in many other areas to help her team. She had six rebounds and five assists.
"It is not always about scoring," Gregg said. "It is what you can do to help the team."
Despite the large lead, South Greene continued to play hard and force the issue against Claiborne. It was the fourth quarter when Upton most of her scoring with 11 points.
"I thought they passed the ball well in the fourth," Gregg said.
South Greene increased the 16-point halftime lead to 41-21 by the end of the third quarter. The continued to grow as the Lady Rebel offense it's stride.
Heather Bolden led Claiborne with 14 points in the loss.