By KEVIN WEAKS
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Harrison Hawks exploded for 33 points, and post players Keshawn McManus and Tevaris James dominated on the boards as South Fulton put out its best overall effort to date in a 58-43 win over Greenfield in their District 14A game Friday night at the Devils’ den.
South Fulton’s girls were impressive in their own right, pulling away at the end for a 46-38 triumph.
The SF boys answered the challenge of head coach Wes Miller, who pulled McManus, James and point guard T.J. Ingram from the starting lineup, in an effort to get more aggressive play from all three.
“We had a little wake-up call with some of them,” Miller said. “We had won four in a row coming in, but I didn’t think enough of them were working hard enough when we have open gym, so I questioned some of them in their dedication. I really think that was a wake-up call for them, because they were mad. Keshawn, Tevaris and T.J. played with a purpose. They came and did exactly what they needed to do. They could’ve pouted, but I think they took a step in the right direction for us.”
The Red Devilettes are now 11-4 overall and 5-2 in the district.
“I was happy for the win,” Devilette head coach Curt Lee said. “That was a big win for us. They controlled the flow of the game a little bit. The way it was going, it looked like it was going to be one of those 30-point games, which is the way they’d like it to be.”
SF’s boys, who dropped a 60-51 decision at Graves County on Saturday, are 10-6 and 3-4.
SF 58, Greenfield 43 (B)
After the Yellowjackets hit three 3-pointers to grab an early 9-5 lead, Miller’s pre-game decision began to pay dividends when the benched trio came in and immediately had an impact.
Hawks went to work offensively, scoring in the lane and then taking a steal the other way to tie the game. McManus converted a three-point play, J.P. Fowler went in for a layup after South Fulton forced a turnover, Hawks scored again in the lane to finish a coast-to-coast drive and James made a strong post-up move to give the Redmen 13 straight points and an 18-9 lead.
“That was huge,” Miller said of the run. “I subbed to go a little bigger, and we got out in transition and really ran the lanes. That’s why I like T.J. (Ingram) in the game. It allows Harrison to get out and run. I think a lot of easy transition baskets got us going. It was just a snowball affect. And, I’ve told them from day one that their defense will make their offense so much better.”
Up 18-12 at the first break, SF held the ’Jackets to just four points in the second frame. Hawks, meanwhile, followed up an eight-point effort in the first period with seven more as the Devils pulled out to a 34-16 halftime lead.
Zac Grooms hit consecutive treys to open the third and pull Greenfield within 34-22, but then Hawks scored twice in transition for a 44-27 advantage. Greenfield managed to get the gap to single digits at 50-41 midway through the fourth only to see Hawks score six points in an 8-0 run for a 58-41 lead.
“That’s as good as we’ve seen,” Miller said of his team’s play. “We spent two days going over nothing but what they were going to do. Coach (Peter) Angelos is a great coach, and they’re so good at doing what they do. They’re going to make you play their game, they’re going to run a lot of screens, they’re going to cut. If you’re not prepared for it, you’re going to be in trouble. I thought we really had to see it, so we went over it and over it and over it. And, I think that was the key because we took them out of a lot of things they wanted to do.”
Grooms scored 12 and Tony Robinson added 10 for the Yellowjackets.
SF 46, Greenfield 38 (G)
The Devilettes broke away from a 34-all tie early in the fourth period with 12-2 run to finally put away Greenfield after a mostly-even battle for three quarters.
South Fulton hit 6-of-9 at the free throw line — the made shots split evenly among Sierra Coley, Taleeah Cross and Laken Haley — and Sydney Easterwood scored inside to lead the late run.
“I thought we did a good job down the stretch getting the ball in the hands of the people who needed it,” SF head coach Curt Lee said. “I was tickled that the girls came out and played some decent defense after halftime to give us a lead and hold it.”
Cross and Ka-lon Martin each had four points in the first quarter as the Devilettes took a 10-6 lead, but Rachel Roberts hit a triple from the right side and Kalee Kesterson turned a steal into a three-point play for a 16-14 Lady ’Jacket lead by 2:12 of the second.
South Fulton led 17-16 at the half, and then the teams were knotted at 27 and 30 in the third, several misfires by the Devilettes inside keeping the score tied at 30-all at the horn.
SF answered both times when Chasity McMullen scored in the paint to give Greenfield leads to open the fourth before breaking away. The Red Devilettes limited to just one more field goal the rest of the way, that coming from Brittany Peoples with five seconds to play.
“That’s when we dropped out of our press and starting picking them up straight-up halfcourt man,” Lee said. “I think our best defense is when we play more halfcourt man, and we might have to do more of that to keep teams from getting easy looks on us.”
Cross and Martin had 15 points for SF, while Peoples scored 12 and Kesterson added 11 for Greenfield
Graves Co. 60, SF 51 (B)
The Red Devils found their trip north of the state line to be a rough one.
The Eagles (13-4) led 15-10 after one period and 32-22 at the half. Graves County’s lead was 50-36 by the end of three periods.
Hawks topped the Redmen with 16 points and also dished out three steals. Clint Wells had 11 points, and McManus grabbed 10 rebounds.
Published in The Messenger 1.7.13