Harlem High School girls coach Amy Slagle wore a pleased and surprised smile Tuesday after the opening round of the Region 3-AAA tournament.
She was pleased that the Bulldogs beat Richmond Hill, 63-36.
She was surprised, however, because her team had played an uncharacteristic style of basketball, building its win on the strength of it first-half pace.
Slagle has worked with the Bulldogs on running a half-court offense and trying to work the ball in the post. In the first half Tuesday, Harlem ran up and down the floor and converted seven 3-pointers.
Slagle wasn't complaining -- she was just a little surprised.
"We're not a fast-paced team," she said. "I don't mind them taking advantage of the turnovers, as long as the other team's not keeping pace."
Richmond Hill's Wildcats did little to keep pace.
Harlem led by 22 at halftime and spent much of the final two quarters holding the ball in half-court sets and trying to milk the clock.
Bulldogs freshman Ebony Wells filled the middle for Harlem, finishing with 18 points and blocking six shots.
The win was the first for Harlem since Jan. 25. Slagle's team dropped its last three games of the regular season.
It regained some confidence Tuesday and advanced to play Liberty County in Thursday's semifinals.
"We've never shot like that," Slagle said.
Harlem 63, Richmond Hill 36
H: Ebony Wells 18, Kacee Kamp 12, Leslie Miller 11, Nicole Wells 8, Katie Hannah 4, Michelle Davignon 3, Marianne Davignan 2, Tregony Fletcher 2, Bianca Stewart 1.
RH: Tyler Carlson 18, Kourtney Myers 7, Daja Davis 4, Shakeena Durham 3, Colleen Keller 3, Jade Crosby 1.
Wolfpack pace leads to win
Greenbrier girls coach Garrett Black was satisfied.
Unlike Slagle, Black's team thrives on a lightning pace. And the Wolfpack were off and running Wednesday, beating Effingham County 54-36.
It was a good sign for Black, who wanted to see the team that began the season 20-0, not the one that lost two of its last three games to close out the regular season.
"We set the tone from the first quarter," Black said.
When the Wolfpack experienced trouble this season, it was usually because another team exploited their lack of size. The Wildcats were the bigger team Wednesday, but Greenbrier harassed them defensively and were able to hold their own on the boards.
"We really sustained our possession under the boards tonight," Black said. "That's new to us. That was one of our concerns. They have a big team."
Greenbrier advanced to Glenn Academy on Friday,
Greenbrier 54, Effingham County 36
E: Sierra Goldwire 8, Marie Fogle 7, Kyanna Barber 5, Whitney Roberson 4, Amanda Young 4, Jasmine Wallace 3, Alex Pitts 2.
G: Janay Moore 19, Ayanna Fairbanks 12, Sara Oland 10, Dorian Freeman 4, Karla Hunt 3, Shelly Berns 2, Justina Mason 2, Cherish Richardson 2.
Other region tournament results
Ware County 61, Greenbrier 53
Greenbrier's luck didn't last long after winning a coin toss to earn the fourth and final seed in the Region 3-AAAA tournament. Coach Casey Dees said he had no qualms with the way his team played, and that Ware County was "a good, athletic team."
Evans 58, Glenn Academy 53
The Knights free-throw struggles cost them this season, but they were solid at the line Tuesday, and advanced to Friday's semifinals.
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