Greenwood takes down Warren Central for sixth straight win
Greenwood is on a roll.
The Gators – who entered Friday’s game against Warren Central with five straight wins under their belts – continued to play at a high level, earning a 59-55 win over the Dragons at Greenwood High School to extend their streak to six games and lock up the No. 2 seed in the upcoming District 14 Tournament.
“We’ve got a lot of ‘gut games’ going on now,” Greenwood coach Bob Pels said. “Our kids are working really hard. We’re doing everything. Everybody’s covering, everybody’s trying to rebound and everybody’s making plays. I don’t think too many people thought we were gonna win this one, but everyone in our dressing room did.
“I’m really happy.”
Greenwood (14-11, 5-3 District 14) trailed 17-10 after the opening quarter but rallied back in the second to tie the game at 23-all at halftime. The Gators used a big third period – one in which they scored 23 points – to take a 46-40 lead into the fourth and they were able to hold off the Dragons down the stretch.
Ben Carroll led the way for GHS with a game-high 20 points, while Jack Roberts finished with 18.
“It was a really good win for us,” Carroll said. “I think everybody’s starting to click. We’re just making the right pass – and the extra pass – all the time. I think we’re doing really good and I like how we’re looking going into the postseason.”
Tayshaun Bibb scored 16 points to lead Warren Central (15-8, 5-3). Tegra Muleka added 12.
Warren Central started fast and jumped out to a 7-2 lead at the 4:31 mark of the first quarter. Bibb’s basket quickly made it 9-2, but Greenwood answered with back-to-back scores from Carroll to get within 9-6 at the 3:34 mark.
A pair of Cade Stinnett free throws cut the Gators’ deficit to 13-10, but the Dragons closed the quarter with four straight points from Muleka to lead 17-10 after one.
Greenwood put together an explosive second period – outscoring Warren Central 13-6 to get back into it. Holding the Dragons without a field goal for the first 3:12 of the quarter, the Gators were able to get within 19-16 after a Roberts basket and soon tied it at 19-all on a 3-pointer from Noah Stansbury.
“We were down 49-19 at the half the last time we played them – and it wasn’t that close,” Pels said. “We’ve gotten better. Our team’s been like a giant Rubik’s Cube; we’re trying to shift all the pieces, and I think we’ve finally got everybody in the right spots now, which really makes it fun. They trust each other and work hard together.”
The two sides exchanged baskets throughout the remainder of the half, and Roberts’ jumper with 6.2 seconds left evened the scoreboard at 23-all at the break.
Greenwood took its first lead of the game at 26-23 on Carroll’s triple at the 7:08 mark of the third. Two more buckets from the Gators – a deep Stansbury jumper and Roberts’ and-one – put them up 31-23 at the 5:46 mark.
Back-to-back scores from Geovonni Floyd cut Warren Central’s deficit to 33-29 just over a minute later. Kamden Lawrence’s free throw soon made it 33-30, but Greenwood used an 11-2 run – highlighted by Roberts’ deep 3 – to build its largest advantage of the contest at 44-32 at the 1:15 mark.
“They came out and punched us in the mouth. They wanted it in the second half,” Warren Central coach William Unseld said. “We played awful coming out in the fourth quarter. We had a lot of communication issues where we were leaving people wide open that shouldn’t be wide open. Just fixable stuff.”
Responding to the Gators’ run, the Dragons put together one of their own – this one an 8-2 surge – to cut their deficit to 46-40 entering the fourth.
Bibb’s layup with 4:42 remaining brought Central within 51-46, and a fast-break bucket from Dre Boyd made it 53-50 with 2:06 left. After Williams scored for Greenwood to make it 55-50, Muleka followed up on the other end to help the Dragons get back within three.
Clinging to a slim lead, the Gators were able to hold on for the district road victory.
“Confidence is the thing we need the most on this team,” Carroll said. “Now that we’re stringing together some wins, everyone’s feeling good.”
Warren Central – 17 6 17 15 — 55
Greenwood – 10 13 23 13 — 59
WCHS – Tayshaun Bibb 16, Tegra Muleka 12, Dre Boyd 11, Geovonni Floyd 6, Kamden Lawrence 4, Kobe Brents 6.
GHS – Ben Carroll 20, Jack Roberts 18, Cade Stinnett 8, Noah Stansbury 7, Parker Williams 6.
Lady Dragons knock off Lady Gators; Hartis has big moment
The Warren Central girls’ basketball team put together one of its best performances of the season and earned a hard-fought 49-44 win over Greenwood on Friday night at Greenwood High School.
The Lady Dragons (2-23, 1-7 District 14) – who earned their first District 14 win since beating Warren East on Feb. 20, 2017 in the District 14 Tournament – have now won two straight games entering the final stretch of the 2018-19 campaign.
“I feel like we’ve been playing good the past four or five games, just hadn’t put a full game together,” Warren Central coach Joe Hood said. “I thought we did really good on the boards. We took advantage tonight. My point guard, Krissy Johnson, is playing great basketball right now. She’s stayed composed – and that’s one thing I’m proud of my girls about.”
Warren Central trailed 11-10 after the opening quarter and 22-18 at halftime before outscoring Greenwood (11-14, 2-6) 31-22 in the second half to come out on top.
Johnson led the Lady Dragons with a game-high 19 points, while La Auhni Lewis scored 12.
“It’s going good,” Johnson said of how her team is performing as of late. “Our spirits are really up and right now we’re just doing good things. It’s really exciting to give my team a tone and set them up to make plays for themselves and myself. Everybody’s excited.”
Nicole Milam (15) and Megan Une (10) both finished in double figures for the Lady Gators, but the biggest basket of the night came from sophomore forward Savannah Hartis, who suffered her third ACL injury of her career earlier this season and will no longer be able to play basketball.
Girls Basketball: Greenwood sophomore Savannah Hartis, whose battled multiple ACL injuries over her career, scores tonight for the Lady Gators in her final game. She’ll no longer play due to the injuries. pic.twitter.com/MyorVGCjGN
— The Sporting Times (@sportingtimes) February 9, 2019
After Central scored on the opening possession, the two teams allowed Hartis to record an uncontested bucket on the other end – her final as a member of the Lady Gator program.
“Going through all of those surgeries … just having my team behind me and the other girls behind me really just shows that it goes beyond basketball and we’re all together out there,” Hartis said. “It’s tough. Two years of PT and then you get back, but the main thing was I proved to myself that I could get back.
“You work your butt off and then it just kind of goes off, but it just shows that you can push yourself and succeed.”
Said Greenwood coach Zach Simpson of Hartis: “Savannah’s a fantastic kid. To be able to come in here and get a moment like that for her is phenomenal. She’s battled through so many obstacles of adversity in her life and she’s continued to battle them with the best of attitudes, which is awesome to see. We’re very proud of her.”
The two teams will meet again Feb. 18 in the District 14 Tournament play-in game as the No. 4 and 5 seeds.
Warren Central – 10 8 15 16 — 49
Greenwood – 11 11 9 13 — 44
WCHS – Krissy Johnson 19, La Auhni Lewis 12, Kyleigh Ray 6, Taelor Leach 5, Alyssa Conner 3, T’Ona Shaver 2, Jimea Shobe 2.
GHS – Nicole Milam 15, Megan Une 10, Carly Miller 8, Haley Gordon 6, Leia Trinh 3, Savannah Hartis 2.