Win over Redmen sends Greenfield home
Posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 12:00 pm
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Heath Crouse personally assured that Greenfield will play at least one postseason home game.
The standout swingman poured in 37 points Friday night to lead the Yellowjackets to a 58-48 victory over South Fulton and the No. 4 seed in the upcoming District 14A Tournament.
The top four seeds earn first-round home games in the postseason event before the tourney then moves to Trenton for the semifinals, consolation games and championships. Satellite site games are scheduled for Feb. 13 on the girls’ side and the following night for boys’ play with the Final 4 then beginning Feb. 16 at Peabody.
Greenfield will host Trenton — a team it lost to twice during the regular season — in its first round game Feb. 14 after concluding regular season play on Thursday against non-district foe McKenzie.
The Greenfield girls will also play at home in Round 1, despite a 37-29 loss to SF Friday that would’ve improved their seeding.
Like their male counterparts, the Lady ’Jackets will be seeded fourth and will face Bradford — a club it defeated twice during the regular season on Feb. 13.
G’field failed to improve its standing due to cold perimeter shooting against South Fulton and suffered another serious injury when Kalee Kesterson went down with an undisclosed knee issue early in the fourth quarter. The ’Jackets have already lost starter Emily Allen for the season due to a similar injury and were without leading scorer Haley Rawls for several games with a wrist problem.
The Greenfield girls will enter Thursday’s regular season finale with a ??-?? mark, while the Yellowjackets are ??-??
Greenfield 58, SF 48 (B)
Crouse, who tallied 42 in an earlier game this season, had quarter scores of 12, 8, 7 and 10 points for the Jackets, who went ahead early in the second quarter and never again trailed.
Among his individual highlights were a falling-down circus shot just before the halftime buzzer that put his team up 28-23 and eight made foul shots in the fourth period when Greenfield hit 14-of-17 from the charity stripe.
“Heath’s an explosive player, but he’d had a little dry spell the last couple of games,” Yellowjacket skipper Pete Angelos said. “Tonight, he just put us on his back and carried us.”
The Jackets took a lead they would not lose early in the second frame with the aid of a banked 3-point by Zac Grooms, who played well in a supporting role and finished with nine points that trailed only Crouse among all other scorers.
Crouse hit his own trey and went end-to-end for another bucket to give G’field a double-digit cushion (33-23) early in the second half.
SF, meanwhile, cut that deficit to three points on three different occasions in the fourth quarter, but could never make a big shot when it counted most. No Red Devil scored in twin figures for the game.
Still up 48-44 with just under three minutes left, a mini-run of six consecutive points that included a hoop by Tony Robinson and another by Jeremy Lannon and expanded the difference back to 10.
“I’m a happy man right now,” Angelos continued. “I thought we defended well in the second half, and making free throws is a good thing in games like this because it prepares you for similar situations in the tournament. I was especially proud of our four seniors, Heath (Crouse), Alex Roberts, Hunter Dixon and Graham Perkins because we had good practices in preparation for this game because of them.”
SF 37, Greenfield 29 (G)
Not usually a strong offensive threat, the Devilettes’ Savannah Larson scored 13 points to lead all scorers.
Greenfield, meanwhile, simply shot poorly for the entire contest — especially from the perimeter.
“We did, and we probably settled too much for 3-pointers instead of trying to attack the glass,” Lady ’Jacket coach Willie Trevathan agreed.
With Taleeah Cross and Kalon Martin — SF’s top two point producers on the season tallying just eight points apiece — Larson stepped up and assumed a greater offensive role.
She made a deuce and then a trey just before the halftime buzzer to give SF a 17-13 lead at the intermission, then sank a bucket and two foul shots in the first two minutes of the third stanza to widen the difference to 21-13.
And after Greenfield had slowly crawled as close as 28-26 with 4:40 to play after made 3-pointers by Kesterson, Rachel Roberts and Haley Rawls, Larson thwarted that rally with a trey-ball of her own to make it a five-point game at the 4:10 mark.
The ’Lady Jackets never got closer than four thereafter.
“We had a chance to get out to a lead early when we forced them into some turnovers, but we just didn’t make shots,” Trevathan added. “And I thought South Fulton made some big shots at critical times.”
Shameilla McMullen led Greenfield with nine points while Rawls added eight. Published in The WCP 2.7.12