BY WAYNE PHILLIPS
SPORTS EDITOR EMERITUS
West Greene's boys won but three games during the regular season, but they will well remember that third one, a resounding 86-69 win over cross-county rival South Greene Saturday night at a crowded Rebel gymnasium.
The Buffs, in claiming their first Blue Ridge Athletic Conference victory in two seasons, scored 86 points, the second straight night they had reached that offensive plateau after netting 80 in a close loss to David Crockett on Friday.
Earlier, the South Greene girls reached the coveted 20-win plateau, blitzing West Greene's zone defense by hitting 10 3-pointers in an 83-47 victory.
It was the regular season finale for West Greene, while the Rebels have a Tuesday night date at home to another county foe in North Greene.
Both schools are preparing for the start of the District 2-AA Tournament, which begins Thursday night at Claiborne High School. South Greene's girls will play on Thursday against Cumberland Gap in the tourney opener at 6 p.m., while the West Greene boys are scheduled to play Thursday at 7:30 against Cumberland Gap.
HIGH SCORING BUFFS
West Greene (3-19, 1-11) used the senior Earley twins, Tyler and Tanner, along with a freshman, Jordan Fillers, to apply the most damage to South Greene in the 86-69 win.
Tyler Earley scored 24 points, Fillers came off the bench to have a double-double effort with 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Tanner Earley chipped in with 16 as the Buffs suddenly looked like an offensive machine during the final week of the regular season.
They trailed the Rebs throughout the first half and midway into the third quarter before going on a 16-3 scoring run to gain the advantage, and they never let up.
Tyler Earley scored 13 points in the third period as West Greene gunned in 28 points and the Rebels were unable to answer as they consistently turned the ball over and set the Buffs up with some easy hoops.
West Greene went from a 44-44 tie with 4:14 left in the third to go on their spree as Tyler Earley scored six straight during that surge and the Buffs led 60-51 heading down the home stretch.
South Greene kept battling and got it down to 69-63 with 4:19 left in the ball game, but the Buffs weathered that storm with an 8-3 run, sparked by Fillers with a pair of buckets and the Rebs never threatened again.
It was a foul-marred game, with 65 free throws attempted, 40 of them by the Buffs. They hit 24 of them. But they were much better from the field, getting good shots, often in transition, and hitting 29-of-53 field goals.
South Greene (4-22, 3-9) got a game-high 27 points from Nick Fillers, who converted six 3-pointers in the game, including four in the opening quarter as the Rebs jumped to a quick 19-11 lead. Senior Bo Woods had 19 points and seven rebounds.
West Greene cut the gap to 36-32 by intermission, then completely turned the game around with the big third quarter.
WEST GREENE (86): Christopher 2-5 2-3 6, Tyler Earley 7-18 9-12 24, Julian 2-2 3-6 7, Tanner Earley 6-6 3-4 16, Lambert 2-5 0-0 4, Jordan Fillers 6-9 6-8 20, Livingston 3-4 1-3 7, Bostroem 1-4 0-0 2, Payne 0-0 0-2 0, Hurst 0-0 0-2 0. TOTALS: 29-53 24-40 86.
SOUTH GREENE (69): Lowery 4-8 1-3 9, Tweed 1-7 0-0 2, Nick Fillers 8-13 5-5 27, Bo Woods 4-11 8-11 19, Yates 0-0 2-3 2, Brown 1-3 2-2 4, Robinson 3-6 0-2 6, Worley 0-2 0-0 0, Alcantara 0-1 0-0 0, Worrells 0-2 0-0 0. TOTALS: 21-54 18-25 69.
3-Point Goals: WG-4 (Fillers 2, Ty.Earley, Ta.Earley). SG-9 (Fillers 6, Woods 3).
Score by quarters:
West Greene 11 21 28 26--86
South Greene 19 17 15 18--69
Most teams like to play a zone defense against South Greene and force them to shoot the long ball, but the Rebs responded by hitting 10 of them against West Greene Saturday night and beat the Buffs 83-47.
Senior Maelyn Cutshaw had a tremendous offensive show, throwing in 32 points in the game as four Rebels hit double digits. Sophomore Ashton Wykle scored 15 and got the home team off to a good start by hitting three bombs in the opening period. Senior Javan Wilhoit had 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals, and junior Cheyenne Upton also contributed 14.
The victory was No. 20 of the year for the Rebels (20-9) and they will go into the district tourney as the No. 2 seed with a 10-2 league worksheet. West Greene drops to 7-19 overall and 2-10 in the league.
Charlotte Murphy played her final regular season game for the Buffs and scored 20 to lead the visitors. Freshman Haley Vradenburgh scored eight points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
After a 22-9 first quarter lead, West Greene played better in the second quarter and closed to 33-22 by the end of three.
Two buckets by Murphy early in the third cut the margin to 35-26, but then South Greene went on a 9-0 run to get breathing room again and were never threatened thereafter.
WEST GREENE (47): Majors 2-5 0-0 5, Johnson 2-9 0-0 4, Jarrell 2-5 0-0 6, Vradenburgh 4-5 0-1 8, Charlotte Murphy 10-21 0-0 20, Reynolds 0-0 2-4 2, Ray 1-1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 21-46 2-5 47.
SOUTH GREENE (83): Cheyenne Upton 5-7 4-6 14, Javan Wilhoit 5-13 0-0 14, Ashton Wykle 6-13 0-0 15, Maelyn Cutshaw 13-20 3-4 32, Ricker 2-10 0-1 4, Willliams 2-3 0-1 4, Jones 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 33-67 7-12 83.
3-Point Goals: WG-3 (Jarrell 2, Majors). SG-10 (Wilhoit 4, Wykle 3, Cutshaw 3).
Score by quarters:
West Greene 9 13 12 13--47
South Greene 22 11 18 32--83
Special guests at Saturday's game were members of the 1987-88 state champion Lady Rebels basketball team, who 25 years ago claimed the title.
The team was honored with a pre-game reception prior to the basketball game and was introduced at mid-court at halftime of the girls' game.