Greenfield cashes in free points
Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 12:00 pm
By KEVIN WEAKS
When given the opportunity to pick up some free points, the Greenfield boys cashed in practically every time.
The Lady Yellowjackets were not grateful.
Led by Hunter Crouse’s perfect 15-of-15, the ’Jacket boys connected on 25-of-30 free throws overall and pulled away from Lake County for a big 63-52 win in District 14A action Friday night at Greenfield.
“We’ve been shooting (free throws) better lately,” Greenfield boys’ head coach Peter Angelos said. “We didn’t start the season very well, but we’re shooting about 67 percent as a team right now. And, it’s going to continue to go up.”
The Greenfield girls, meanwhile, spent the better part of three quarters battling back from a slow start only to see their hard work negated as poor shooting at the line and spotty defensive play at the end of regulation conspire to dish out a hard-to-swallow 46-43 overtime setback in the opening game.
“The free throw shooting is something you can blame it on,” Lady ’Jacket head man Willie Trevathan said of his club’s 10-of-22 effort at the line. “But, if we keep defending there, we can probably go 0-for and still win.”
The Greenfield boys are now 12-3 overall and 7-1 in the district. The Lady Yellowjackets fall to 9-7 and 4-4 heading into tonight’s home game against Bradford.
Greenfield 63, LC 52 (B)
Crouse finished with a game-high 27 points, and Tony Robinson connected on 6-of-10 at the line in adding 19 points to lead a guard unit that time and again ran past Falcon defenders for layups.
“We had a some of our guards — Hunter, Tony and Zack (Grooms) make plays,” Angelos said. “When they play defense, they’re really up on you, and those guys were able to go by their man, get to the rim and finish some tough layups.”
The best extended example of that came in the third quarter when Greenfield overcame an early 28-24 deficit with a 12-2 run, scoring 10 straight to go ahead for good.
Robinson and Grooms opened with 3-pointers, and then Robinson followed with drives to the basket from the left side and the top of the key for layups.
The Yellowjackets led 38-35 at the end of the third period and eventually built their advantage to 10 points at 46-36 as Crouse went end-to-end for a three-point play and drove the lane for another basket.
Lake County twice pulled within four points, the last time at 50-46 on a 3-pointer by Zay Coleman from the left side with 2:53 to play.
The next four possessions all but decided the outcome, though, as Crouse hit twice from the line and Robinson shot into the lane again while the Falcons missed two free throws and suffered a turnover, resulting in a 54-46 Greenfield lead with 1:36 to play.
Greenfield then hit 7-of-8 at the line and grabbed its biggest lead at 63-50 with 22 seconds left on a layup by Crouse.
The two teams battled on near-even terms throughout the first half, tied seven times with Greenfield’s largest lead of 13-9 coming at 1:20 of the first quarter, not long after LC held a 9-6 advantage. The difference was never greater than three points in the second period.
Coleman scored 22 points, and Dominique Kimble added 12 for the Falcons. Lake County, with just nine players on its roster, fell to 4-10 overall and 3-5 in the district.
LC 46, Greenfield 43 (G)
Ahead 39-35 after two Kalee Kesterson free throws with 36.9 seconds to play, Greenfield missed three of its next four at the line while LC’s Yazzy Yancy drove in for a layup and Wakeelha Jones bottomed an improbable 3-pointer from the top of the key with five seconds to play to tie the game at 40-all and force overtime.
“I thought we just stopped playing defense there in the fourth quarter,” Trevathan said “We had a lead, and then we just let them do anything they wanted on three straight possessions. You can’t do that. You have to keep playing defense. You have to make them take contested shots and, if they make them, then that’s OK. We didn’t make them run any time off the clock, and their shots were uncontested. We just played 31-and-a-half minutes and didn’t finish.”
Then, in the extra period, the Lady Falcons spotted Greenfield two leads before Yancy scored twice for a 46-43 lead with 42 seconds to play.
Greenfield missed three more times at the line and then had to foul three times in the final 10 seconds to get LC at the line in the bonus. By that time, Shamon Pearson’s front-end miss with 2.4 seconds remaining came too late for the Lady ’Jackets to get off a decent shot.
Greenfield spent much of the game playing catch-up after hitting just one field goal over the first 14 minutes.
The Lady Falcons could never pull away, though, and when Rachel Roberts flashed open in the lane for a basket, Greenfield trailed just 14-8 with 2:07 to play in the first half.
Ashton Pence knocked down a triple, Roberts converted a Aubrey Riggs steal into a 15-footer and Kesterson scored in the lane as the suddenly-hot Lady Yellowjackets trailed just 16-15 with 23 seconds to play in the first half.
Greenfield then tied the game three times in the third period and once more early in the fourth before Shaynece Clemons drove the baseline to give her team its first lead of the game at 30-28 with 6:06 to play.
“I thought some kids stepped up and showed a lot of heart,” Trevathan said. “Rachel Roberts probably impressed me as much as she ever has. She really took on some responsibility and played well. I thought she was a big catalyst in getting us back in the game. Shaynece Clemons came off the bench, and our defense really picked up. And, obviously, Kalee Kesterson played pretty well all night, and she had to. I really thought those three were a big spark for us.
“When we came back, we went with a smaller lineup with Kalee, Aubrey, Ashton, Rachel and Shaynece. Those five were really the difference-makers in getting us back in the game and keeping us in it. They played with a lot of heart and guts. We were awfully small, but that was the best rebounding team we had on the floor. That says a lot about how hard they all played.”
Kesteron topped Greenfield with 16 points, while Pearson led all players with 19 and Yancy added 12 for the No. 9-ranked Lady Falcons, who improved to 10-1 and 7-1.
The LC girls host newly-annointed No. 1 Union City tonight.
Published in The Press 1.15.13