The Greenbrier East girls basketball team travelled to Monroe County Tuesday night, Dec. 22, and defeated James Monroe by a score of 74-39. Lexi Tincher scored 15 points to lead the Spartans, with Kat Walton adding 14, and Katie Wilmer and Piper Nunley each contributing 11. Kiara Smith dished out 6 assists, and Taylor Hill pulled down 12 rebounds.
In the first quarter the two teams seemed to be evenly matched, with James Monroe taking a lead for a while. In the second quarter, Greenbrier East pulled ahead, as its shooting became more accurate. In the second half the defensive pressure made a difference, and the lead lengthened.
James Monroe’s scoring leader was Gracie Mann with 13, who was also the assist leader with three. Holly Huffman snagged 9 rebounds.
After the game, coaches and players commented on the game.
Greenbrier East Head Coach Jim Justice said, “The James Monroe team is really an improved team; in all honesty, in the first quarter they were giving us all we wanted and then some. I think our depth kind of wore on them a little bit, and we finally got dialed in and started playing the way I think we know how to play. They were shooting the ball really well, and we weren’t doing a good job defending our help side man. We talked about that at halftime, and came out and got that going pretty good.”
Piper Nunley: “I think we started off slow in the beginning, and then after coach talked to us we sped it up and we started scoring. Went our pace. We like to speed it up as fast as we can . . . we tried to trap, to get them to turn it over, so we can score off of that every single time. We like things fast. We like to trap, we go after every loose ball, whenever they turn, we double them. Things got a lot better in the second half. We started picking up the scoring and picking up our whole entire offense.”
Kiara Smith: “In the first half we played slow. It was close. At halftime we got it together and picked up the pace. We got steals back to back and upped the score. Coach said at halftime to speed it up. We were doing pretty decent. And we need to take control and do better.”
James Monroe Head Coach Michael Hines said, “In the first quarter we did everything we were supposed to do, everything was clicking .We were waiting on screens, we took care of the basketball, we had like two turnovers. Then second, third quarter, we struggled. From halfway through the second quarter to the third quarter, we went almost 8 minutes without scoring. The last four and a half minutes of the second quarter we didn’t score. We missed some shots, but give Greenbrier East credit, they contested shots, we missed some shots. They forced some unforced turnovers. They did what they had to do, they played well. They made shots; they made 8 or 9 threes.
“The size difference is going to be like that all season. We expect that. We didn’t put enough pressure on their guards. So they got those shots, and if we used soft pressure, they were getting passes on the inside.”