Upstart Jackets place third
Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 9:29 am
By: Sara Rachels — Special to the Weakley County Pres
There’s a new contender emerging in the talent-laden boys District 14-A.
Consolation Winners — The Greenfield Yellowjackets claimed a third-place finish in the District 14-A Tournament Saturday in Trenton. Photo by Sara Rachels
Slipping in under the radar of the familiar top seeds, the Greenfield Yellowjackets began their tournament run by knocking off Peabody, giving state-ranked Humboldt fits before succumbing to the Vikings and finally, defeating a reeling team of Union City Golden Tornadoes this past Saturday night to claim third place in the district.
Affected by injuries to the guard position, the Golden Tornadoes managed a meager 35 total points – a total they once would have recorded in a single quarter – and found themselves at the mercy of a squad of motivated Yellowjackets looking to gain respect. The Jackets found it overwhelmingly in a 42-35 victory.
Both teams started slowly in the first quarter, but Russ Smith found a rhythm in the middle and led Union City to a 6-2 advantage. Heath Crouse scored on a jumpshot at the 2:05 mark and Russ made one of two free throws after being fouled on a turnaround. With one minute remaining, Tony Robinson raced down the court for a wide-open layup and the quarter ended with Union City clinging to a 7-6 lead.
Scoring continued to be back and forth into the second until Crouse made good on a long-distance shot with 3:10 left before the half and the Yellowjackets suddenly had a 13-9 cushion. The advantage stayed at four until Smith scored inside and hit one of two from the line to make it a 15-14 game. Jakyron Burnside put back an offensive board and the Golden Tornadoes entered the locker room maintaining the slim one-point advantage, 16-15.
Crouse started the third with a successful 3-point play and Greenfield led, 18-16, but Smith and Burnside led the Union City charge and catapulted the visitors to a 21-18 advantage. Free throws from Wes Clark cut the UC lead to one, but Tyler Steward pushed the gap back to three by hitting two from the line. Robinson knocked down a three to tie the contest and after the score tied itself again, Steward hit one of two from the line to give Union City the lead and Robinson answered with a wide-open layup to take the lead back for Greenfield, 27-26, with 20 seconds left in the third.
Steward drove down the court, intent on throwing in a layup to end the quarter on a high note, but Crouse blocked his attempt and Greenfield took the slight lead into the break.
A drought ensued to start the fourth and Crouse scored the first points for either squad at the 5:36 mark with two free throws. As both teams entered the bonus, Greenfield pushed its advantage to five with a Graham Perkins offensive board and putback, 32-27. Relying on free throws to make or break the contest, both teams soon entered the double bonus and Union City stayed close and pulled within two points on a Steward jumpshot, 36-34, with just under a minute left. Perkins scored inside again and Dalton Potts took a charge on a driving Antonio Cox to give possession back to Greenfield.
The final minute gave way to several scrambling sessions for possession and with 24 seconds remaining, Cox hit one of two from the line, but the Golden Tornadoes scored no more as Greenfield closed out strong and finished with a seven-point win, 42-35.
Crouse led the Yellowjackets with 18 points. Smith put up 10 for Union City.