Before the girls basketball season began, first-year West Greene coach Betsy Shaw said the Lady Buffaloes had put a one-win season from a year ago behind them.
On Tuesday night, that certainly appeared to be the case.
With a 61-57 win over the Chuckey-Doak Lady Black Knights, West Greene evened its record at 4-4. It's the Lady Buffs' first win over Chuckey-Doak since 2011.
“The girls are ecstatic we won. This sets a different tone,” Shaw said. “We won one game all last year and now we’ve won four. We’re trying to improve. We don’t have to win them all, but we have to improve. This is a huge stepping stone that shows we are improving every day.”
The way West Greene won on Tuesday is most telling of its improvement. Playing without two injured starters, the Lady Buffs erased a 10-point deficit in the third quarter and thwarted Chuckey-Doak’s pressing defense in the fourth to pull away.
“Chuckey-Doak put up a heckuva fight. They played really hard,” Shaw said. “I knew they were going to press us. Everybody presses us. We had been preparing for that and we were ready to play.
“With two starters hurt, we’re having more and more girls step up each game to contribute something whether it’s rebounding, points or just trying to get a stop on defense.”
West Greene’s Megan Daniels scored 23 points, including three layups to close the third quarter and pull the Lady Buffs within 44-43.
A jumper from Sierra Jaynes at the outset of the fourth gave Chuckey-Doak its first points since the 4:04 mark of the third and stretched its lead to 46-43.
Over the next 6:18, though, West Greene outscored Chuckey-Doak 16-1. A layup from Tayli Rader pushed West Greene to a 48-46 lead with 6:06 to play and the Lady Buffs never trailed again.
Lexi Anderson’s first points of the game – a jumper and a 3-pointer – gave West Greene its biggest lead, 59-47, with 2:08 left.
Rader finished with 13 points for West Greene. Jaynes led Chuckey-Doak with 19 points, while Alex Gridley had 11.
West Greene will host North Greene on Friday, while Chuckey-Doak will host Grainger.
Chuckey-Doak 67, West Greene 52
Jordan Morelock pumped in a game-high 29 points as Chuckey-Doak improved to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in district play.
“We played well tonight,” said Chuckey-Doak coach Sam Broyles. “I thought our whole first five outplayed West Greene.”
Chuckey-Doak led 14-9 after one quarter, 35-19 at halftime and 55-35 at the end of three.
A layup from Ethan Palazzo pushed Chuckey-Doak to its biggest lead, 67-41, at the 3:17 mark of the fourth, and the Black Knights’ starters went to the bench at the next stop in play.
Alex Maupin added 10 points for Chuckey-Doak. Jameson Cobble had nine, Palazzo finished with eight and Nick Haynes had seven.
“Jordan Morelock did a good job. But at the same time, we have others who can score, too,” Broyles said. “That helps. It takes a lot off Jordan. He can just go out and play.”
Lucas Bennett scored 17 points for West Greene, now 4-4. Alex Vaughn finished with 10 points and Grayson Potter had nine.
Chuckey-Doak will host Grainger on Friday, while West Greene will host North Greene.