By Mark Robinson
The Greenbrier East Lady Spartans used crisp passing and their usual harassing defense to put up a lot of points against the Shady Spring Tigers in a game played at Greenbrier East’s gym, Tuesday evening, Jan. 5. The final score was 76-30.
Lexi Tincher was the lead scorer, with 16. Katie Wilmer added 12 points; Kiara Smith scored another 10. Taylor Hill had 12 rebounds and 5 assists, to lead the team in both categories. The dominance by the Lady Spartans was especially evident in the first half, as they outscored the Tigers 45-12. The margin in the second half was 31-18. Much of that second half was played by Greenbrier East’s substitutes, who got in a lot of quality minutes.
Much of the Spartan offense consisted of fast breaks, as they repeatedly took off down the floor after snatching a rebound or stealing the ball. Many of the layups were uncontested. The passing by the Lady Spartans was also impressive, as they repeatedly made long, accurate passes to move the ball quickly toward the basket. The dribbling skills have been obvious all season, but the Lady Spartans seem to be growing more and more proficient in anticipating movement, and in putting the ball in the right place.
For Shady Spring, Abigail Gwinn, #40, did a good job of running the offense, penetrating, and taking care of the ball. But all too often Shady’s players were inaccurate in their passing, or sloppy in their dribbling. In the fourth quarter Shady Spring introduced an offense that consisted of repeated passes as players circled on the perimeter. When the result was not a lost ball, they did eventually manage to find some lanes toward the basket. Like the Spartans, the Tigers let their substitutes play a lot toward the end of the game.
Head Coach Harold Shrewsbury of Shady Spring said before the game that it was important to hold Greenbrier East to one shot each time they went down the court, instead of getting 2-3 shots each trip. He also said Shady Spring was going to have to play hardnosed defense, andnoted that the Tigers needed to improve their shooting.
Coach Jim Justice, after the game: “We’re 9-0. We’re getting better every day. We’re adding another dimension in Taylor Hill and Kiara Smith; they are starting to play solid for us. Taking us up another step. Taylor Hill is rebounding the ball terrific, and passing the ball exceptionally well. Kiara is just a sophomore. She’s got to learn that when adversity crawls in, you’ve got to combat that, and she’s getting past that now, starting to score for us. She sees the floor great, makes great passes.”
Megan Lindsey: “The first couple of games we didn’t really know how toplay with each other, but now we’re getting the hang of it. We try to get a good lead, so we don’t have to worry about things like making foul shots at the end, just to win the game.”
Lexi Tincher: “It was good, we executed well. We worked very well as a team. The whole teamis really improving every game, and we’re going to need that Friday. We play Jefferson, and they are a good team. It will be a tough game.”
Kiara Smith: “It was just a game, a regular game, an easy game, nothing hard. Our play as a team is getting better, and each one of us is contributing to moving us up to the next level.”
Katie Wilmer: “It wasn’t really that difficult. We’re getting better. I think our post players are getting really good.”
Taylor Hill: “It was a good game for us. Everybody got to play, everybody scored. It was good. Our players on the bench, they support us, and we like them to get their time to shine too. Our chemistry as a team, overall we’re doing a better job.”