A 3-2 zone defense provided the edge Grovetown High needed to beat Lincoln County in 41-34 contest Tuesday at home.
“After that first game, I knew we needed to change it up on defense and the 3-2 zone worked for us,” said Grovetown basketball coach Bill Madigan, referring to a Dec. 10 game the Warriors lost to the Red Devils 61-49.
In the first period, Grovetown (4-5) held Lincoln County (2-2) to just four points while they put up 14, including a pair of 3-pointers from Courtney Kency and C.J. Cooper.
But it was the Warriors who suffered a scouring drought in the second period. Still, its defense kept the Red Devils to just seven points, giving Grovetown a 14-11 lead heading into the half.
“I told them to take their opportunities,” Madigan said of his half-time speech. “I told them to find ways to push through (Lincoln County’s zone).”
Grovetown scored eight points to Lincoln County’s nine in the third, putting the Devils just two behind heading into the final period.
But that’s the closest Lincoln County ever got as Grovetown dropped 19 in the fourth.
Cooper and Troy Tate each contributed eight points to the late rally.
The girls game was much more one-sided, as Grovetown (7-2) dominated on both sides of the ball in the 65-28 match-up.
Early in the contest, Lincoln County (0-2) watched as a quick lead dissipated halfway through the first period.
In the last half of that period, the Warriors used some steals and offensive rebounds to generate 14 points to end it at 20-7.
In the second period, Grovetown’s man-to-man defense continued creating turnovers while Lincoln County’s zone proved ineffective. Grovetown point guard Malia Kency even managed a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar-like sky hook while on the trot.
Lincoln County’s desperation started to show in the second half as they sent the Warriors to the free-throw line nine times. Grovetown converted most of those opportunities into points.
In all, nine Grovetown girls contributed to the point total with Kency putting up 21 points and guard DiMara Thomas adding 17 more.