The Greenwood Lady Bulldogs are cruising through the 5A West schedule still unbeaten in league play, blowing out most of their opponents in the first half while resting their starters much of the second half. Without a doubt the GHS girls will have one of the deepest and freshest rosters still standing come state tournament time.
Two more recent victories improved the team’s record to 19-3 overall and 11-0 in conference. On February 9th the Lady Bulldogs traveled to Russellville for a 37-point win over the Lady Cyclones, followed by another lopsided victory (35 points) at home over Van Buren last Friday.
Their most recent contest, scheduled for this past Friday at Vilonia, was postponed due to weather and travel concerns. If possible, the game will be rescheduled, though only a week remains in the regular season and a major winter storm is expected to impact the state next week.
Postponed games that can’t be made up will result in a conference tournament to determine the four 5A West teams that qualify for the state playoffs. If necessary, that tournament will be played the week of February 22nd on the home court of the higher seeded teams. The playoffs are slated to begin the first week of March.
Besides possibly making up the Vilonia contest, the Lady Bulldogs are scheduled to play at home Tuesday against Siloam Springs before traveling to Mountain Home on Friday. But it seems unlikely that all three games will be played next week, given the expected weather and travel conditions.
Greenwood 73, Russellville 36
The Lady Cyclones gave the Lady Bulldogs all they had for 12 minutes, but over the final 20 minutes the Greenwood girls showed why they are the defending champs and continue to be one of the best 5A teams in the state, blowing the game open for a mercy rule win.
The two squads first met back on January 25th at H.B. Stewart Arena, with the Lady Bulldogs dominating the Russellville girls from the opening tip on their way to an 82-28 blowout victory. But on their home floor the Lady Cyclones were able to make it a game, at least for a little while.
Offensively, the contest started slowly for both teams. A long Ally Sockey three-pointer put Greenwood up 3-0 sixty seconds into the game, but three minutes later the Lady Bulldogs had only six points. Russellville committed two turnovers and called a timeout to avoid another before they finally got the ball across the mid-court stripe against the visitors’ full-court pressure defense.
But a three-pointer gave Russellville its first lead of the season over Greenwood at 7-6 at the 4:15 mark, a lead the home team maintained for more than a quarter. Two more three-pointers soon followed and suddenly the Lady Cyclones were up 15-7 with 2:27 left in the opening period. Russellville led 16-13 to start the second quarter.
The Lady Cyclones (11-9, 5-4) went up by five points, 18-13, early in the period before Sockey drained another deep three-ball for Greenwood. The Lady Bulldogs then rallied to catch up and regain the lead at 21-20 before a 4-0 run by Russellville put the home team back in front, 24-21.
After Greenwood’s Kinley Fisher scored inside, a pair of free throws with just over four minutes left in the first half put the Lady Cyclones up by three, 26-23. But Fisher quickly tied the score at 26 with a trey from the left wing, then added another less than a minute later to put Greenwood ahead to stay at 29-26.
That was the beginning of the end for the Lady Cyclones, missing shots and turning the ball over against Greenwood’s relentless defense. The visitors finished the first half on a 15-0 scoring run for a comfortable 38-26 lead at the intermission. Fisher scored the final two points of the half at the line.
The GHS scoring blitz continued into the second half, starting with an offensive rebound and put back by sophomore Mady Cartwright. Greenwood went on to outscore Russellville 26-4 to take a 64-30 advantage into the fourth quarter, triggering the mercy rule. The Lady Bulldogs led by as many as 40 points in the final minutes, having already benched their starters.
Fisher led her teammates offensively with 24 points and three assists. Cartwright and freshman Anna Trusty both scored 11 points. Cartwright added six rebounds and three steals while Trusty had four boards and three takeaways. Sockey had nine points while fellow senior Shea Goodwin added seven points, three assists, and a pair of rebounds. Summitt came off the bench and had a nice stat line with four points, four assists, three boards, and three steals.
Greenwood 76, Van Buren 41
Last Tuesday at home the Lady Bulldogs exploded for 30 points in the third quarter against Van Buren to remain perfect in 5A-West play. The visitors kept it close (24-23) into the second period before Greenwood went on a 15-3 run to end the half, highlighted by three-pointers from juniors Megan Gray and Abby Summitt off the bench.
The Lady Bulldogs led 39-26 to start the second half before stepping on the gas offensively, scoring 30 points in the third period, triggered by Mady Cartwright’s three-pointer at the 7:15 mark. Ally Sockey then scored inside after an offensive rebound before Cartwright drove the lane and laid one off the glass.
Cartwright then deftly dropped a long jumper through the cords for a 48-27 GHS lead at the 5:30 mark. A Kinley Fisher trey made it 51-29. The GHS girls went on to outscore the Lady Pointers 30-7 in the third stanza before pulling their starters in the fourth quarter and coasting to the 35-point win.
The Lady Bulldogs had five scorers in double digits – Kinley Fisher (18), Abby Summitt (16), Mady Cartwright (11), Anna Trusty (11) and Ally Sockey (10). Haven Clements led the team in rebounds with seven, followed by Sockey with five while three others had four boards each – Shea Goodwin, Trusty, and Cartwright. Trusty added three steals and Goodwin had four assists in the victory.