Lady Buffaloes Led
State No. 1 At Half Before
By Scott R. Fisher
Sun Sports Writer
MOSHEIM - The Grizzlies probably did not expect the tough battles they found themselves in Friday night at West Greene. The Buffaloes battled hard, but still came up short in two Blue Ridge Athletic Conference matchups.
The Lady Buffs led at the half, but could not close the deal. West Greene fell to the state's No. 1 Class AA girls' team, 71-42. In the nightcap, the Buffs were defeated 66-48.
Zone Proves Costly for Buffs
The West Greene boys' basketball team battled the entire way, but fell victim to shots not falling.
In the opening half, the Buffs went toe-to-toe with Grainger and could have held the lead if not for struggles at the free throw line.
"We were shooting 33 percent (6 of 18) and we're down one," WGHS head coach JD Douglas said. "If we were shooting 70 percent we have the lead."
The score at the halftime was 34-33 in favor of the visitors. The second half was controlled by the Grizzlies who pulled away by limiting the scoring from West Greene.
Grainger switched up their defense in the second half. After playing man-to-man in the opening half, the Grizzlies changed to a zone for the second half, West Greene had trouble attacking the zone and scoring fell way off,
The aggressiveness offensively for West Greene was not as high in the final two quarters as in the opening two. The Buffs settled for more outside shots and did not attack the basket.
"We got stagnant," Douglas said. "We got a little timid."
The two teams waged an entertaining battle in the first two quarters. Both squads found a rhythm early in the contest. Each team traded scoring runs and kept the game close the first eight minutes.
Grainger built a quick 5-0 lead and later led 12-5 before West Greene made an 8-0 run to take its first lead. Tanner and Tyler Earley got the spurt going with two baskets, and Jordan Fillers and Tobas Bostroem also scored.
At the end of the first quarter, the deficit for the Buffs was 22-18.
The scoring slacked off in the second quarter. West Greene won the quarter by scooting 15 points compared to 12 for the Grizzlies. Seven different players netted points for West Greene in the second quarter.
The offensive output after the halftime intermission was almost nonexistent. The team managed six points in the third period and nine in the final quarter,
"I don't think we struggled in the second half," Douglas said. They went zone and we could not make shots."
The Grizzlies turned a one-point halftime lead into a 48-39 lead heading into the fourth.
While West Greene's shots were not falling, Grainger kept pushing the lead. The Grizzlies shot 51 percent for the contest.
Despite the loss, Douglas was happy with the effort and play of his team,
"They did not quit," he said. "I commend them for that, I am thoroughly proud of team."
Nine different West Greene players scored in the game. Jordan Fillers led the way with eight points. Derrick Livingston added seven points. Tanner Earley, Caleb Julian and Tyler Earley all collected five points in the loss.
Score By Quarter
Grainger 22 12 14 18 - 66
West Greene 18 14 6 9 - 48
Grainger (66): Cabbage 4 1-2 10, Walker 0 1-2 1, McClure 1 0-0 2, Brown 1 1-1 3, Lamb 3 1-1 7, Bates 3 4-6 11, Holt 1 2-2 5, Brooks 1 1-1 4, Moran 10 3-4 23. Totals: 14-20 24-47 66
West Greene (48):Bostroem 2 1-5 5, Fillers 3 0-0 8, Hurst 1 1-2 3, Ty. Early 3 0-2 6,Julian 3 0-1 6, Ya. Early 2 2-4 6, Livingston 3 1-2 7, Lambert 1 1-2 3, Christopher 2 0-0 4. Totals: 6 -18 20-43 48.
Lady Buffs Struggle In Second Half
The West Greene Lady Buffaloes came out on Friday and played a strong half only to see it all log for naught,
The Lady Buffs were defeated 71-42 in their BRAC matchup with the Lady Grizzlies from Grainger.
"It was a tale of two halves," said WGHS head coach Ed Gettys. "We played the best first half we had all season."
West Greene trailed for most of the opening quarter, but found its rhythm in the second period. The Lady Buffs turned a 15-9 deficit into a 29-28 lead.
The big spark was Kristen Johnson draining three three-pointers. She scored half of her team's 20 points in the second.
Charlotte Murphy scored six of her team-high 17 points to compliment Johnson in the second.
Johnson's triple to end the half gave her team the lead and what appeared to be the momentum for the second half. Unfortunately for the hometown fans, that was not the case.
The Lady Grizzlies came out of the locker room and put on a clinic. They scored 27 points and held West Greene to just five.
"They played us man-to-man in the first half," Gettys said. "We played well against that."
Grainger made a defensive adjustment that made a huge difference.
"They switched to the zone," Gettys said, "We went cold. We settled too quid for outside shots."
The poor shooting was a catalyst for the Lady Grizzlies to push the ball and get out on the break. Many of the 27 points were fast-break points.
"We made a few turnovers and the two things (poor shooting) together got out of hand," Gettys said.
There was no recovering from the third quarter for the Lady Buffs. The team continued to play hard and competed to the end.
"I don't think we gave up," Gettys said. "The fourth quarter was better than the third."
Murphy and Johnson were the main scorers for West Greene. Murphy led with 17 and Johnson added 14 points in the loss.
Grainger was led by Laura Johnson and Alison Hodge with 14 points apiece. The Lady Grizzlies had four players reach double-digit scoring.
Score By Quarter
Grainger 15 13 27 16 - 71
West Greene 9 20 5 8 - 42
Grainger (71): Morgan 1 2-2 4, Cabbage 1 0-0 3, Black 1 0-0 3, Farmer 2 1-1 6, Spoon 1 0-1 2, Johnson 6 0-1 14, Stratton 5 0-0 13, Hodge 6 2-2 14, Lamb 4 3-5 12. Totals: 8-12 27-58 71.
West Greene (42): Reynolds 2 0-0 4, Johnson 4 2-3 14, Vrandenburgh 2 0-0 4, Jarrell 0 3-4 3, Murphy 7 2-2 17. Totals: 7-10 15-44 42.