Greenfield turnaround puts away Devilettes
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013 12:00 pm
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Willie Trevathan was the master of the understatement.
“If you can limit your turnovers, you have a better chance,” the Greenfield girls’ coach said after his team did indeed that in avenging an earlier loss to South Fulton with a 59-44 District 14A triumph Tuesday night.
The Lady ’Jackets (12-7, 7-4) moved within a half-game of SF for third place in the league pecking order and broke the Devilettes’ eight-game winning streak in the process. South Fulton is now 14-5 overall, 7-3 in the district.
G’field shot lights-out in the first half when it twice led by as many as 18 points after Rachel Roberts and Ashton Pence each drained a pair of triples.
And though the Yellowjackets cooled off considerably in the second half, they were never bothered by the Devilette press over long stretches.
Kalee Kesterson poured in a game-high 23 points for the winners, who were not seriously threatened down the stretch after making 13-of-16 free throws in the fourth quarter.
The Greenfield boys, meanwhile, saw SF duplicate an earlier double-digit triumph, pulling away from the ’Jackets late in a 64-46 triumph.
G’field (13-5, 8-3) has now dropped three of its last five 14A games after a 6-0 start in league play and trails first-place Union City (14-6, 9-1) by a game-and-a-half.
The Yellowjackets made just 15 field goals total against a sticky Red Devil defense that utilized both its quickness on the perimeter and size inside.
“Apparently, they’re just not a good matchup for us,” Greenfield head coach Pete Angelos said afterward. “They out-competed us and we let them punch us in the mouth and did nothing about it.”
The ’Jackets’ usual high-scoring backcourt of Tony Robinson and Hunter Crouse was limited to a combined 25 points in the contest.
Greenfield is set to play at Halls on Friday.
Greenfield 59, SF 44 (G)
Pence and Roberts dropped two bombs apiece on South Fulton over a four-minute span in the first period before a deuce by Kesterson closed out a 20-9 first frame for G’field.
A 9-2 flurry to open the second stanza that included hoops by Chasity McMullen, Kesterson and two by Brittany Peoples opened the gap to 29-11 with that largest lead matched at the 2:45 mark when Alle Dees hit from downtown to make it 32-14.
Though the Yellow-jackets didn’t make their second field goal of the second half until six minutes had passed, SF only briefly cut its deficit under double-figures — that at 40-31 when Ka-lon Martin converted an old-fashioned 3-point play.
Kesterson beat the Devilettes’ fullcourt three times in the fourth quarter to stave off any further rally by the Big Red and G’field’s aforementioned foul-line prowess never allowed the visitors to get closer than nine.
“We were shaky a few times, but we did not have long stretches where we turned it over in bunches and we ran the floor well at times,” Trevathan added. “The shots were falling for us early, and that was huge to get some confidence and get out in front. We were able to dictate tempo and keep our composure when it looked like things weren’t going to go our way.
“And we’ve tried to say all year that we needed to get some contributions from some different people and we had some kids score and make some plays offensively tonight who haven’t been doing so.”
Peoples joined Kesterson in double figures with 10 points.
SF 64, Greenfield 46 (B)
The Redmen, who handed G’field its first 14A loss in the first game of the new year less than three weeks earlier, overwhelmed the ’Jackets with their superior athleticism.
“Teams have figured out how to play us now, and we’ve been working to make adjustments,” Angelos said. “We’ve got to figure out something different.”
Clint Wells’ bucket early in the second period gave SF its first double-digit lead (18-8) before Greenfield responded with its most consistent offensive stretch of the night to cut all but two points from deficit.
Robinson went coast-to-coast and Zac Grooms converted a stickback to cap a 10-2 run and make it 20-18 halfway through the quarter.
A Harrison Hawks 3-pointer seemed to settle down South Fulton, which built on its 27-21 halftime lead with a 10-2 flurry to open the third frame. Wells made a trey and a pullup jumper to highlight the burst.
Robinson got Greenfield with 43-33 at the quarter’s end with a triple and twice the hometeam crept to within eight down the stretch — first on a Grooms hoop, then on a Crouse bucket that made it 49-41 with 4:30 to go.
But Hawks canned four free throws and made a driving shot, and Tevaris James punctuated a game-closing 15-4 run with a two-handed dunk to seal the ’Jackets’ fate.
“We had a stretch right before the tournaments last year like this and got it turned around and had a good run in the postseason. Hopefully, we can repeat that,” Angelos said of his team’s recent struggles.
Robinson scored 15 and Crouse 10 to lead the Yellowjackets. Published in The WCP 1.24.13