First-year Greenbrier girls basketball coach Dana Bull picked up her first win Nov. 21 when the Wolfpack beat Lakeside 44-35.
Bull took over in February for Garret Black, who left after being named the school's athletic director. Black put together a 165-61 record in eight seasons as the Wolfpack coach, with teams that relied heavily on a harassing, full-court defense that converted turnovers into quick points.
Soon after being named Black's successor, Bull said she would maintain the press. But she said she also wanted to establish solid man-to-man defense in the halfcourt.
A little of each was on display against Lakeside.
The Wolfpack looked like past teams during the first quarter and the last few minutes of the fourth quarter. Bull's team scored 13 unanswered points to open the game.
But Greenbrier's pressure got its players into early foul trouble.
"The first quarter, we played hard," Wolfpack senior Dorian Freeman said. "I guess we got too comfortable."
Lakeside went on a 16-2 run, led by a point at halftime and by 4 points early in the fourth quarter.
The Wolfpack returned to the pressure defense they showed at the beginning of the game, scoring 13 of the game's final 15 points.
"We got in foul trouble, which wouldn't let us run our press," Freeman said. "We wanted to run, but we couldn't."
That's when Greenbrier's focus moved to the halfcourt. The Panthers were allowed some easy buckets, but the Wolfpack defense held when it needed to.
Greenbrier guard Kaila Hunt hounded Panthers standout Carolyn Hennecken into a scoreless night.
"She did a phenomenal job shutting her down," Bull said.
Hunt has been the focal point for the Wolfpack's transformation this season. Bull said she wants her team to take more time in offensive sets and try to work the ball inside.
It's been a transition for a team accustomed to the run-and-gun style of previous years. And it's still a work in progress.
The Wolfpack fell to Butler 60-55 the day after they beat the Panthers.
"We want to be balanced," Bull said. "I think it worked out well when we were actually able to execute."
The Wolfpack girls face the same dilemma all Greenbrier teams have dealt with this season. Playing in Region 2-AAAAA ensures the travel schedule and level of competition will prove taxing at times.
Greenbrier begins its region schedule at Union Grove on Dec. 9.
"It's going to be real tough," Bull said. "If we stick to the game plan and play team basketball, I think we can be successful in this region."
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