Perfection never looked quite this ugly.
Greenbrier's girls basketball team completed regular-season play Wednesday night with a 69-35 win over Lakeside. The victory wrapped up a perfect 25-0 regular season for the Lady Wolfpack but came on a night when the bottom of the basket was hard to find.
Greenbrier hit only 25 of 92 shots from the field (27.2 percent) and only 5 of 39 (12.8 percent) from the 3-point line.
"Horrendous," Greenbrier girls basketball coach Garrett Black said. "One of the worst shooting nights we've had."
Still, the poor shooting performance was good enough to grab another region victory over Lakeside thanks to a strong rebounding night and the Lady Wolfpack's full-court press. Greenbrier started the game off by hitting only one of its first 11 shots, but still managed a 13-2 lead and never looked back.
"We shoot at practice, but 80 percent of the time we work on defense," Lady Wolfpack guard Michelle Swiec said. "Our defense pulls us out even when we're not shooting well."
Michelle was honored as a McDonald's All-American nominee after the game. She became the first Columbia County athlete to earn the award since former Evans basketball player Hank McCladdie two years ago.
"She has done everything she can the past four years to help us win," Black said. "She's the one that's been in the driver's seat."
Michelle led a Greenbrier defense that held Lakeside to only 15 second-half points. Now looking ahead to postseason play, Black said his team will rely on a similar defensive effort to make another deep region and state playoff run.
"We're not always going to have a great shooting night. That's why we've got to play defense every night," he said.
Greenbrier's defense has allowed an average of 38.9 points per game this season. Heading into the Region 3-AAAA Tournament, Greenbrier is the only team in the county to earn a first-round home game. The Lady Wolfpack will face either Brunswick or Wayne County on Tuesday.
While the perfect 25-0 overall record and 8-0 subregion record got Greenbrier to this point in the season, Black said it means nothing once postseason tournament play begins.
"It was one of our goals to go undefeated," he said. "We'll celebrate it tonight, but tomorrow we'll come back and we're 0-0."
The Lady Wolfpack finished the regular season ranked No. 3 in both the Georgia Sportswriters Association Class AAAA Poll and the GaSports.com Coaches Poll.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.