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From Staff Reports
The Greene County High School basketball teams had a solid run coming off the Thanksgiving break, claiming several key wins and finishing second in the Richton Rotary Tournament.
Both teams dropped games to West Jones on Monday, but each was playing well heading into Monday’s final in the Richton Rotary Tournament. For the Lady Wildcats, Coach Dale Kimble’s team had 11 different players score in each outing in three games over a 4-day stretch and won all three by an average margin of 33 points.
Cats split games with George County
They got things rolling with a 57-24 win at home last Tuesday against George County, in a game they led by 30 at halftime. The scoring was so balanced that while 11 players had at least one basket in the game, no GCHS player scored in double figures. Junior Destiny Eubanks and sophomore Kat Garrett led the way with eight points each. Garrett also led her team with nine rebounds, while senior Sha Sha Winborn led in steals (5) and assists (3).
On the men’s side, GCHS dropped an 18-point loss to the Rebels after losing senior point guard Darrell Johnson to an injury early in the matchup. The Wildcats kept things close through the first two quarters, but were outscored by 10 in the third as the game slipped away.
Senior Jared Nicholson had a solid outing in the loss, posting 17 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Johnson had six points before leaving the game after catching an elbow to his eye. Junior Anthony Calhoun finished the game at the point and had nine points.
GCHS rolls over Bulldogs to start RRT
The Lady Cats got off to an equally fast start on Thursday in the opening round of the Richton event. They led Perry Central by 10 after the first quarter and stretched that margin to 48-17 after three quarters en route to a 57-18 final. Junior Bre Brown led GCHS with 12 points and eight rebounds, while senior Nyke Bolton put up 10 points, pulled down three rebounds and added two assists and two steals. Eubanks had a solid all-around performance with eight points, seven rebounds and a team-high six steals.
In men’s action, Johnson returned to the court in Richton to lead his team to a 60-33 win over Perry Central Thursday night. He posted a team-high 14 points and also had four rebounds. Nicholson was solid with 11 points, 14 rebounds and three steals. Jacob Thurman had a good game with eight points and five assists, while his older brother Josh hit 3-of-7 3-point attempts and finished with nine points and four rebounds. Calhoun finished with 13 points.
GCHS sweeps Richton in second round
On Friday, the Lady Cats held a 9-point lead at halftime over Richton, but outscored the home team by a 26-10 margin in the final two quarters to post a 55-29 win. Bolton led the way with 12 points, eight rebounds and five steals. Freshman CharLee Meadows had nine points, while Brown, Garrett and Eubanks each added six. Garrett had six rebounds, while Eubanks pulled down five and also had five steals. Winborn was solid on both ends of the court, dishing out a team-high five assists and five steals.
In the men’s game, Phillip Ricks’ team jumped out to a 24-19 lead over homestanding Richton and went on to top the Rebels by a 65-48 margin. Nicholson led the team with yet another double-double performance, scoring 16 while pulling down 17 rebounds. Johnson came up big with 22 points and six rebounds and Josh Thurman hit 4-of-8 3-point tries to finish with 12 points.
Wildcats fall in 3OT, while girls lose wild one to West Jones
On Monday, the Wildcats jumped out to an early lead over West Jones, but lost the championship game to the Mustangs in double overtime. Nicholson and Johnson led the way for GCHS. Nicholson shot 77 percent from the floor and finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Johnson led the Cats with 25 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Calhoun had his biggest offensive outing of the season with 15 points and added six rebounds and three assists.
The Cats, who stand at 6-4 on the year, placed Nicholson, Josh Thurman and Johnson on the RRT All-Tournament Team.
The Lady Wildcats ran into a buzz saw in the form of the undefeated 5A West Jones on Monday.
The Lady Wildcats got off to a really slow start and fell behind 21-4 in the first quarter. They battled back in the next three periods, but could not overcome the early deficit and fell to the Lady Mustangs by a 61-34 margin.
GCHS still got balanced scoring as nine players had points, but unlike earlier matchups the Lady Cats were unable to win the battle on the boards, particularly on the offensive end where they had just seven rebounds. They also struggled with turnovers as West Jones forced 21 by GCHS during the game.
Bolton led the way with eight points and three rebounds. Garrett had six points, making 2-of-4 attempts from 3-point range.
GCHS fell to 8-2 on the year, with their only setbacks coming to undefeated teams. Bolton, Winborn and Brown were rewarded for their efforts by being named to the All-Tournament Team.
GCHS teams fall to East Central – Region play just around the corner for Cats
Both teams were back in action Tuesday taking losses against East Central in non-region 4-A showdown. Individual stats from those games were not available at press time.
The Cats will travel to Lamar Christian on Friday and host Richton on Tuesday. They will begin region play against Forrest County AHS next Friday, Dec. 14, at home.