Lady Bulldogs shut down Greenfield offense
Stephanie Sturgis - Weakley County Press Sports Editor
In addition to a stellar defensive showing, the Lady Dawgs enjoyed a surge from Sara Hensley on offense in the second half and got key rebounds from Ashley Coble to build an insurmountable lead on the way to the 39-24 victory.
“We kind of got the monkey off our back. They beat us the last time we played each other. They’re a great team,” Gleason first-year head coach Joel Ayers said.
With the win, Gleason advances to the regional final where it will take on the Humboldt Lady Vikings at 7 on Tuesday night in Trenton. Humboldt, the No. 3 seed from District 14-A, advanced by upsetting the top-seeded Lake County Lady Falcons, 58-56.
The winner of the region final will host its Sectional contest on Saturday night, while the loser must travel to the winner of the Region 8-A final, either Middleton or Scotts Hill.
The loss ends the Lady Yellowjackets’ season with a 25-5 overall record.
Gleason slowed the pace to its liking and limited G’field to single-digit production in all four quarters.
The Lady Dawgs were content to work the ball repeatedly around the perimeter, taking time off the clock until an open shot became available.
Camille Cooper connected from behind the 3-point line on the first Lady Dawg attempt 90 seconds into the contest. Those were the only points of the opening quarter for Gleason, but the defense kept the Lady Dawgs in the game.
Greenfield’s normally prolific producer Jordan Galey hit a free throw for the first Jacket point with 5:22 left in the frame. It was her only point of the night.
Two early fouls apiece sent Gleason’s Jenna Frazier and Greenfield’s Meagan Porter and Emily Randolph to the bench for long spells. Frazier missed the entire second quarter.
With 1:33 left in the first quarter, Mallory Robinson drilled a trey for a 4-3 Greenfield lead.
That score stood when the second stanza got under way. Shameilla McMullen hustled to snare an offensive rebound, feeding Porter for a jumper to give Greenfield a 10-5 lead with 2:36 left in the half.
Hensley matched the feat, chasing down a loose ball for Gleason that led to a Kim Edenfield fastbreak layup, but Haley Perkins sank a 3-pointer for a 13-7 Greenfield halftime lead.
“We had some good looks in the first and second quarters, we just didn’t make them,” Lady Jacket head coach Willie Trevathan noted.
With 2:46 left in the third, an Edenfield baseline jumper trimmed the Gleason deficit to three, 16-13.
Hensley, who was mourning the loss of her grandmother earlier in the week, then took over. The junior buried a 3-pointer for a 16-all tie. Perkins put Greenfield back in front with a stickback at the 26-second mark, but Hensley nailed another long trey to give Gleason its first lead, 19-18, since Cooper’s trey early in the first quarter.
Hensley then made it a true trifecta with her third 3-pointer two minutes into the fourth quarter for a 22-18 Gleason advantage.
“She was our player of the game. She really turned it up,” Ayers said of Hensley.
Now trailing, the Lady Jackets began to commit turnovers and force shots. Greenfield was held scoreless for the first 6:16 of the fourth. Gleason stretched its lead to double digits by the time Katie McCall put in a layup for a 31-20 score.
The Lady Dawgs hit 8-of-10 free throws in the last minute to ice the 39-24 win.
The loss ends the high school hoop careers of five Lady Jackets — Jasmine Allen, Katie McCall, Haley Perkins, Meagan Porter and Mallory Robinson.
“They’ve done everything I’ve ever asked of them. I’m the luckiest to have had the opportunity to coach them. They’re great leaders with a great work ethic who put our program back on track,” Trevathan said of his seniors.
Region 7-A Tournament
Feb. 27 at Trenton
Gleason (39) — Kim Edenfield 11, Sara Hensley 11, Taylor Stout 6, Ashley Coble 5, Camille Cooper 4, Jenna Frazier 2.
Greenfield (24) — Katie McCall 6, Haley Perkins 5, Shameilla McMullen 4, Mallory Robinson 3, Emily Randolph 3, Meagan Porter 2, Jordan Galey 1.
3-pointers: Gleason — Hensley (3), Cooper; Greenfield — Robinson, Perkins.
Records: Gleason 27-2, Greenfield 25-5.