BY ADAM GREENE
First-half turnovers and a three-point third quarter doomed Greeneville Thursday in round two of the LandAir Ladies Classic. The Lady Greene Devils turned the ball over 30 times in a 54-23 loss to Morristown West at Hal Henard Gymnasium.
"We faced pressure and we struggle with that a little bit," Lesley Murray said. "My two point guards are a sophomore and a freshman. It's not all on them, but we've got to be able to handle pressure better."
Greeneville (5-9) will face a familiar foe in the consolation bracket today in District 2-AA rival Chuckey-Doak (6-9) at 4 p.m. The Lady Devils still have a chance, with two possible games left in the tournament, to end 2012 on a positive note.
"That's our goal," Murray said. "We're playing a team in our conference. We're familiar with them and they're familiar with us. Hopefully we can do what we did last night (Wednesday) and carry that over."
The Lady Trojans (9-5) continue on to the semifinals and will face Rockcastle (Ky.) at 8:30 p.m.
Greeneville fell behind early in the opening period but tied the game twice thanks to quick transition baskets from Mindy Neas and Reagan Lowery. With less than two minutes to go in the first, the Lady Devils couldn't add to their nine points and consecutive turnovers helped Morristown West take a 13-9 lead after one.
Both teams traded two turnovers apiece in the second period before either scored. Madison Shipley ended the drought with two foul shots to pull within two. Again any chance to build on that momentum eroded with two quick turnovers that stretched on to five consecutive turnovers. The Lady Trojans took command with a nine-point lead.
"We rely on our defense a lot," Murray said. "We were able to pressure and force turnovers, but we have to be able to turn turnovers into points. That's where we aren't successful right now."
Two free throws from Lorena Leon cut that lead to seven, 22-15 right before the half.
"I felt like our defense was there and kept us in the first half when we weren't executing," Murray said. "We haven't played a complete game yet. We're trying to get better, but we have to take care of the ball. If we can't do that, then we can't execute offensively"
The wheels came off in the third, with a 17-3 run from Morristown West. Reserve post Jazmine Williams took over in the paint for the Lady Trojans, ending the game with seven blocks and three steals. Tia Dailey was the only Morristown West player in double figures scoring with 10 points. Senior wing Jenna Potts scored eight, including two big three pointers to pull away in the second half.
"When things get down and don't go our way, we lose a positive mentality," Murray said. "We've got to be able to get over that. We're young and inexperienced and when things don't go our way, we get down on ourselves. Not a whole lot was going our way the second half. Hopefully we'll forget about this one, bounce back and regroup."
Greeneville got seven points and three rebounds from Shipley. Hannah Holt scored five points. Lowery had five rebounds and Melissa Scott had four.