Basketball season couldn't have started any better for the Greenbrier basketball teams. In the annual Turkey Tip-Off Tournament this past week, Greenbrier boys and girls squads took first place with wins over Evans and Harlem to claim the early-season tournament championship.
For the Lady Wolfpack, head coach Garrett Black said the title came after what has been one of the teams' best preseason practices.
"Our practices are very intense," he said. "They're knock-down, drag-out this year. The kids like that style."
Black said the increase in intensity comes mainly from his backcourt, where five guards regularly switched in and out during the two-day tournament. Starters Michelle Swiec, Sara Oland and Brooke Jackson combined with bench players Janay Moore and Kaila Hunt to provide over 66 percent of the Lady Wolfpack offense this past week.
Many of those points came off Greenbrier's full-court press.
"It's pretty much key to our offense," Swiec said. "We get a lot of points off of it. If our regular offense isn't working, we rely on that."
The offense, combined with a strong man-to-man defense, gave Greenbrier a 63-30 win over Evans on Monday afternoon and a 67-24 win over Harlem in the championship game. Oland, who totalled 21 points in the two games, was named tournament MVP.
"I thought Sara played well tonight," Black said. "The kids got together and picked her as the MVP."
On the boys side, Greenbrier's run to the tournament title was highlighted by a first-round win over Evans. The Knights came into the game heavily favored after returning three starters from last season's state quarterfinals team. However, Greenbrier's Bryan Andrews and Anthony Williams combined for 31 points in a 49-45 win over Evans Monday afternoon. The Wolfpack matched the feat Tuesday night with a 58-49 win over Harlem in the tournament championship.
"Last night was a big win to prove we're not just a team you can walk all over," Andrews said Tuesday night.
With 34 points in two games, Andrews was named tournament MVP.
Evans boys knocked off Lakeside 61-38 in the consolation game while the Lady Knights found similar success in a 37-27 win over Lakeside's girls basketball team.
Turkey Tip-Off all-tournament teams:
--Bryan Andrews (MVP), Greenbrier
--Anthony Williams, Greenbrier
--Dee Morris, Harlem
--Wes Wuchte, Evans
--Blake Brandenburg, Lakeside
--Sara Oland (MVP), Greenbrier
--Michelle Swiec, Greenbrier
--Nicole Wells, Harlem
--Lauren Middleton, Evans
--Ashley Williams, Lakeside
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