BY SCOTT R. FISHER
SUN SPORTS WRITER
There was much to celebrate in Mosheim on Friday night. The West Greene basketball teams pulled off a sweep of visiting Tri-Cities Christian.
That means the 34-game losing streak by the Buffaloes is officially over. West Greene won a thrilling 69-63 victory over the Eagles.
The Lady Buffs started the night by knocking off the Lady Eagles 69-55 to pick up their fourth win on the season.
West Greene gets a chance to build a pair of winning streaks when both squads travel to cross-county rival Chuckey-Doak in a Blue Ridge Athletic Conference matchup.
THE STREAK IS OVER
The West Greene boys basketball team accomplished something that has not happened since early last season - earn a victory. The team endured 34 straight losses since its last win.
"It has been something," said Buffs head coach JD Douglas. "I am at a loss for words. Our guys have been faced with a lot of adversity."
On Friday night, it was when the team faced adversity that it rose to the occasion and sealed the victory.
West Greene came out strong and built an early 13-0 lead. The Buffs managed to hold the lead through most of three quarters.
Tri-Cities Christian clawed back from a 30-18 deficit at the half to knot the score at 42-all at the end of the three quarters of play.
"I challenged our guys," Douglas said. "We had eight minutes left. I told them don't stop fighting.:"
The Eagles grabbed their first lead of the contest with 6:03 remaining in the game when Holden Joseph sank two free throws to put his team up 46-44.
West Greene could have folded and figured there was another loss coming its way. That is not how the team responded, though.
The Buffs went on a 12-1 run to regain the lead and push it to a 56-47 margin. Senior Derrick Livingston and junior Tobias Bostroem each contributed four points in the spurt.
In the final 2:27, it came down to if West Greene could make enough free throws to secure the win. The team made 15 of 20 attempts at the charity stripe.
Douglas said he was very proud of the way his squad shot foul shots down the stretch.
"Those free throws down the stretch... that will win ballgames," said Douglas.
The main player draining the free throws was senior Tyler Early. He was 10 of 12 with the game on the line. Early finished with a game-high 24 points.
Douglas was nearly lost for words, but the pride in his players was evident.
"They told themselves they were not going to lose," he said. "They deserve the credit,"
As easy as things looked early in the contest, Douglas said he was prepared for a big run from the Eagles.
That scoring outburst came in the third quarter when Tri-Cities Christian netted 24 points after only scoring 18 in the opening half.
"Basketball is a game of runs," Douglas said. "They are a great shooting team. We were not going to let No, 13 (Drew Blythe) beat us. He went off the last time we played them. It was not gong to happen again."
Blythe finished with 20 points in the loss.Holden Joseph nearly rescued his team with 23 points - 14 points in the fourth alone.
West Greene countered with 24 from Tyler Early and 16 points from junior Taner Early.
Another key to the win, according to Douglas was doing the fundamentals - rebounding and not turning the ball over.
"We outrebounded them by 15," he said. "We kept our turnovers under 15. We took care of the little things. That leads to big wins."
Murphy Leads Lady Buffs To The Win
After a slow start, West Greene was able to pull away from the Lady Eagles of Tri-Cities Christian. The final was 69-55.
Senior Charlotte Murphy was strong offensively in leading her squad to the win. Murphy finished with a game-high 27 points. She collected 15 of those points after the halftime intermission.
"(Charlotte) started slow," Lady Buffs head coach Ed Gettys said. "We needed her to score. She got stronger as the game went along."
After a tight first quarter, the Lady Buffs hit their stride in the second and third quarters. The score at the end of the first quarter was 12-9 in favor of West Greene.
"Early in the game we missed a lot of layups," Gettys said. " I think we were nervous."
West Greene used a 13-2 run to open the second half to build a 25-11 lead. The lead would never dip below double-digits the rest of the first half. The score at halftime was 35-20 in favor of the home team.
The third quarter was a closer affair. The Lady Eagles were able to trim the lead down a few points, but never made a serious run to threaten the Lady Buffs.
In the final quarter, West Greene did enough on both ends of the court to earn the win.
Every time Tri-Cities Christian attempted to make a run, the Lady Buffs responded. Junior Baylee Jarrell drained two three-pointers to help her team's cause.
Besides Murphy's 27 points, two other West Greene players reached double-digits scoring. Freshmen Candy Majors and Haley Vradenburgh each collected 11 points. Jarrell finished with eight.
Gettys was pleased with his team's fourth win on the season.
"Tonight was a good win for us," he said. "We came out and played hard.: