GREENBRIER- The Lady Cats of Greenbrier got off to an encouraging start against Heritage on Friday night, but the Lady Patriots would respond to win 45-41.
The Lady Cats controlled things early on, building an 11-4 lead in the first quarter. Greenbrier (13-11, 3-7) would go on to lead 14-9 at the end of the period behind 5 early points from Halle Barnes.
A normally strong defensive team, Heritage coach Clay Head didn’t see his team come out ready on that end in the opening quarter, but credited Greenbrier for making it tough on his team.
“We weren’t doing what we planned to do defensively,” Head said. “Their girls played really well and hit shots and were a step ahead of us.”
Greenbrier would build their lead to as many as 10 points, but a scoring drought during the second quarter allowed the Lady Patriots to climb back into the game. Heritage (16-7, 6-4) would take their first lead as they went into the half after Staten Holmes was fouled on a 3-pointer and knocked down all three free throws to give her team a 23-21 lead at the half.
After opening the game strong on both ends of the court, Lady Cat coach Carl Miller saw his team drop off as the game neared halftime.
“We executed on both ends of the floor,” Miller said. “We got away from that at the end of the second quarter. I thought they played hard, played well enough to win.”
The Lady Cats stayed in the game throughout the second half thanks to 8 points in the half from Alyssa Davis, but Heritage never relinquished their lead, knocked down five 3-pointers in the half to go on to win 45-41.
Head was proud of how his team stuck together throughout the game, despite getting off to a slow start.
“It was nice that we didn’t get down, we just rallied and really calmed down defensively,” Head said. “Offensively, we made some shots tonight, which was nice to see.”
Kelsey Russell and Holmes led the way for Heritage with 18 and 17 points, respectively.
GIRLS BOX SCORE
White House Heritage (45): Kelsey Russell 18, Staten Holmes 17, Alex Greene 8, Eimy Esparza 2
Greenbrier (41): Alyssa Davis 11, Kayla Conquest 11, Kaylee Walker 8, Halle Barnes 5, Kaytee Edwards 3, Bre Polen 3
White House Heritage 57, Greenbrier 47 (boys)
After a 13-point loss to the Bobcats earlier in the season, Heritage was able to turn the tide the second time around as they controlled things throughout against Greenbrier.
The win gives Heritage three wins in their last four games. Patriot coach Mike Petrone is starting to see his guys put it all together as tournament play gets closer.
“We’ve been a little up and down,” Petrone said. “We’re just trying to put it all together. We did some really good things tonight. We’re getting better.”
Greenbrier (11-13, 5-5) took an early 6-2 lead, but the Patriots quickly answered to take a 13-11 lead at the end of the opening period behind a Josh Bale 3-pointer as the period ended.
Heritage (8-14, 4-6) would push their lead to as many as 12 points on their way to taking a 31-21 lead into the break.
The Bobcats managed to pull within 8 points throughout the second half, but that’s as close as things would get as Heritage went on to win 57-47.
Bale finished the night with 12 points, joined by Dylan Stephens and Jacob Runkle with 12 and 10 points to help lead the Patriots from their forward positions.
Petrone was complimentary when talking about his big men after the game.
“If they play like they’re supposed to, we’ve got a great chance,” Petrone said. “Both of them, when they want to play, they can play.”
BOYS BOX SCORE
White House Heritage (57): Josh Bale 12, Dylan Stephens 12, Jacob Runkle 10, Noah Owsley 8, Val Courtney 7, Aaron Neely 5, Ethan Freel 3
Greenbrier (47): Carter Preston 12, Noah Griffin 9, Jason Hunter 8, Keifus Coleman 5, Dallas Polen 5, Cory Cranford 3, Reagan Conquest 2, Devin Blankenship 2, Tyler Pitt 1