After a disappointing end to last week, the West Greene boys regrouped on Monday and brought a new intensity to the floor.
On Saturday, the Buffaloes struggled down the stretch and eventually fell to Unaka. But on Monday, they used defense to put Washburn away early in a 63-48 win.
“We took a hard loss on Saturday and I thought the guys responded well to that tonight. We came out and set the tone defensively,” West Greene coach Jacob Deal said. “Any time you only give up 14 points in a half, you are doing something right on the defensive end. Then we executed much better offensively. We ran through our sets and we were able to get some easy looks.”
The Pirates earned two early buckets in the first quarter on Monday to go in front, but the Buffaloes then held them scoreless for over four minutes.
At the other end, West Greene got buckets from four players as part of a 9-0 run before it closed the quarter leading 13-6.
Garrett Roe led the way with six points in the quarter.
In the second quarter, West Greene kept moving the ball and getting open looks for Allen Vaughn, who hit from behind the arc three times in the period.
Vaughn finished with four 3-pointers and 20 points to lead the way for West Greene. Grayson Potter put in 10 points for the Buffs.
Deal was excited about the performance he got from Vaughn off the bench and thinks he is getting closer to 100 percent after an ankle injury from football season.
“He made a few shots late on Saturday and I actually sent a text to Allen last night telling him that I thought he was close to being back,” Deal said. “I told him to just keep shooting and the makes will come. He did that, and he was very effective for us tonight.”
Defensively, the Buffaloes gave up just two field goals in the second quarter, and that led to a 30-14 advantage at halftime.
Kyler Clowers started the second half with a quick lay in for West Greene and then Jacob Stimmell swiped the ball at midcourt and took it the other way for two points and a 34-16 lead.
Vaughn kept the offense rolling when he came around a screen for a straight-away trey before making good on three drives to the basket. The final of those drives gave West Greene its biggest lead at 45-25 with 25 seconds left in the quarter.
Washburn’s Daniel Green closed the quarter with a corner trey. Noah Waller carried the Pirates in the period with six tough points in the paint, he finished the night with 20 points.
West Greene was able to get the whole lineup into the game in the fourth quarter while maintaining its lead. Potter led the Buffs’ offense in the period with six points while Waller scored seven points for the Pirates.
13 17 15 18 – 63
6 8 14 20 – 48
WG – Vaughn 20, Potter 10, Clowers 9, Roe 8, Stimmell 5, Bennett 3, Sauceman 3, Fillers 3, Hornischer 2.
W – Waller 20, Hurst 10, Coffman 5, Niceley 5, Green 5, Coffey 2, Hensley 1.
West Greene 48, Washburn 44
Washburn took the fight to the West Greene girls late, but the Lady Buffaloes never faltered on their way to earning the win.
“I thought these girls played hard tonight and they played a lot more like a team tonight instead of as five individuals,” West Greene coach Betsy Shaw said. “We have talked a lot about being tough as a team, and I was glad to see they were able to be tough when it got hard late in the game.”
West Greene led almost the whole way but with 1:33 left in the contest Sierra Bailey hit a pair of free throws to get Washburn within 40-38.
Kattiee Shelton answered with a pull-up jumper from the left side of the lane, and down the stretch West Greene kept the ball in Shelton’s hands to secure the win.
She followed by going three-of-four at the foul line in the final 52 seconds. Her biggest play might have been a pass over the top of the Lady Pirates’ press that found Lexi Anderson alone for a layup that gave West Greene a 47-42 lead with 20 seconds left.
“Kattiee is someone I can rely on as a coach,” Shaw said. “I told her we needed her to have the ball and she got the ball. She can do whatever we need her to and she stepped up there at the end.”
Shelton finished with 13 points, as did Tayli Rader. Megan Daniels put in 10 points for the Lady Buffaloes.
Bailey led Washburn with 29 points.
Bailey started the night with 10 points in the first quarter for Washburn, but Anderson ended the quarter with a jumper from the elbow to give West Greene a 14-12 advantage.
In the second quarter, West Greene shut down Bailey and no other Lady Pirates were able to find the bottom of the net.
West Greene did not fare much better, but Daniels was able to sink a triple for its only field goal of the period.
The Lady Buffs took a 21-14 lead into halftime.
Washburn got within 22-19 in the third quarter when Bailey drove to the basket for two points. Rader took over the scoring for West Greene in the quarter and dropped in eight points for a 32-24 lead going into the fourth quarter.
14 7 11 16 – 48
12 2 10 20 – 44
WG – Shelton 13, Rader 13, Daniles 10, Anderson 7, Davis 5.
W – Bailey 29, Lay 6, Tolliver 6, Coffman 3.