Greenbrier High School’s basketball teams opened their Battle of the Regions two-day event with a bang Friday night.
Both teams fought Burke County down to the wire; the Lady Wolfpack winning 73-69 before the boys edged the Bears, 60-57.
In a contest between unbeatens, the Lady Wolfpack saw their 13-point second-half lead disappear as the Lady Bears used a 17-4 run to take a 59-57 lead with 7:19 to play. A Destiny Marshall conventional three-point-play would give the Lady Wolfpack the lead at 60-59 and they would not trail again, though it was nip-and-tuck the rest of the way.
The Lady Wolfpack held a tenuous 69-68 lead with 28 seconds to play. Jennifer McMahan scored a fast break layup off a long inbounds pass from Mallory Myers to stretch the lead to 71-68 with 23 seconds left. The Lady Bears then sank a free throw to cut the lead to 71-69 with 14 seconds to play. Greenbrier’s Morgan Taylor was intentionally fouled, sank one free throw, then was fouled on the inbounds and sank another for the final margin of victory.
“The group we have now, we’ve been in situations like this before and they know how to finish,” said Lady Wolfpack head coach Stefanie Basinger, whose squad improved to 7-0.
The Lady Wolfpack pressured the Lady Bears (4-1) from the onset and were getting to the rim with steals off its full-court press. In the second quarter, they were too tough to handle, hitting shots from the outside, post players dominating the inside and getting seven of their 14 assists as they led by as much as 16 points.
“We don’t have a selfish player on the floor. They look for the open (player); when they have the drive they take it,” Basinger said. “In a game situation, there’s not a selfish player. They know it could be anybody’s night and they look for that. If it’s them, if it’s not, they find who it is.”
Four players finished in double figures. Myers led the way with 17 points, Marshall added 16 and Sydney Grayden and McMahan had 14 apiece.
Kaedia Phillips led the Lady Bears with 19 points, Walker had 14 while Kaylah Burns and Asia Harden added 12 apiece.
The Lady Wolfpack dropped their first game of the year on Saturday, losing to Hephzibah, 59-57.
Greenbrier jumped out to a 9-0 lead and made the Bears (1-2) chase them the rest of the night. They unloaded a barrage of 3-pointers in the first half – sinking nine. They opened the game with Jakob Nelson hitting his first two shots, both 3-pointers, followed by Kayshawn Marshall connecting from long range as they jumped out to a 9-0 lead.
The Wolfpack (5-4) maintained an eight-to-10 point lead until a late Bears’ run cut it to 59-57 with 11 seconds to play. Justen Hartfield hit one of two free throws to make it 60-57 with four seconds to play. After Hartfield’s miss on the second attempt, the Bears’ Donquell Green raced down court and his game-tying 3-pointer went in and out at the buzzer.
“I’m excited; the kids are excited,” said Wolfpack head coach Casey Heckathorn. “It’s a good win to beat Burke County, they’re always a good, hard, athletic team for us to play against. I’m extremely happy. We matched our win total from last year so I’m elated and it’s only December.”
Marshall had 18 points to lead the Wolfpack, Jakob Nelson had 14, Roderick Demmons had 11 and Hartfield added 10.
On Saturday, the Wolfpack dropped a tight contest to Hephzibah, losing 69-67.
BURKE COUNTY 69
Burke County (69)-Asia Harden 4, Amber McGee 12, Kaylah Burns 12, Kaedia Phillips 19, Charecia Walker 14, Taylor Doby 6, Deryanna Evans 2. Totals: 24 17-23 69
Greenbrier (73)-Sydney Grayden 14, Mallory Myers 17, Destiny Marshall 16, Morgan Taylor 6, Jennifer McMahan 14, T’ya Oliver 6. Totals: 31 8-21 73.
Burke County 11 21 22 15 – 69
Greenbrier 13 29 15 16 – 73
3-point goals: Burke County 4 (McGee 3, Phillips, Harden); Greenbrier (McMahan 2, Myers)
BURKE COUNTY 57
Burke County (57)-Donquel Green 5, Jordan Gant 5, Jeffrey Williams 7, Kamario Walker 9, Jermaine Baxley 14, Malik Maloyd 8, Untorrey Thomas 9. Totals: 22 11-17 57
Greenbrier (60)-Chris Brown 5, Justen Hartfield 10, Kayshawn Marshall 18, Roderick Demmons 11, AJ Hawes 2, Jakob Nelson 14. Totals: 23 5-14 60.
Burke County 11 16 12 18 – 57
Greenbrier 19 16 13 12 – 60
3-point goals: Burke County 2 (Walker, Gant); Greenbrier 9 (Hartfield, Demmons, Nelson 3, Marshall 3, Brown)