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From Staff Reports
Greene County High School’s basketball teams enter postseason tournament play this week with a lot of confidence after a couple of solid performances to finish the regular season.
The Lady Cats will kick off the Region 7-4A Tournament tonight at 5 p.m. in Sumrall against Forrest County AHS. The Lady Cats are coming off back-to-back blowout wins despite being without key starters Kelsie Mitchell and Gen Walley for both matchups. Coach Dale Kimble’s team entered last week coming off disappointing losses to the region’s top two teams, Sumrall and Poplarville, and down two of its best players. They responded with a great team effort to post a 51-38 win at Stone County to secure the No. 3 seed for the tournament.
Kimble needed somebody to step up big at Stone County. He had several do just that. Three Wildcats scored in double figures against the Lady Tomcats. Sophomore Reanna Moody led her team in scoring with 16 points, but she had help all over the floor. Senior Kat Garrett got hot from behind the 3-point line, hitting 3-of-5 3-pointers to finish with 13 points. With Garrett getting it done from outside, senior Serenity Blakely took care of things around the basket. Blakely scored 12 points and dominated the rebounding, pulling down 19, including 11 on the defensive end. She also blocked two shots, led the team with three steals and was second with three assists.
Sophomores Chan Steele and Lisa Johnson had solid outings too, with four points and seven rebounds each. Johnson also led the team with four assists.
There was no letdown in the regular season finale against George County. The Wildcats didn’t allow the Lady Rebels to score a single point until the second quarter and rolled to a 54-21 win. Eight different players scored for GCHS. Moody led the way with 17 points, but also sparked a relentless Wildcat defense with nine of the team’s 30 steals. Johnson finished with 11 points, while Steele and classmate Lexi Gray each added eight.
GCHS dominated the boards on both ends and pulled down 43 total rebounds. Gray, sophomore Faith Walley and junior Charity Walley led the team with six rebounds each.
With the wins, Kimble’s team improved to 16-6 overall and 6-4 in Region 7-4A. As the No. 3 seed, they drew Forrest County AHS, the region’s last-place team, for the opening game of the tournament. The winner of the matchup will advance to take on second-seeded Purvis at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
GCHS swept FCAHS in two games earlier this year and split their two matchups with Purvis.
GCHS boys playing well heading into tourney…
On the boy’s side, after winning four in a row to position themselves in the top half of the region standings, the Cats lost two in a row to finish out the regular season region schedule. One of those losses was a 43-41 nail biter on the road at Poplarville. The other was a gutsy showing against the unbeaten regular season champs from Stone County on Thursday.
Senior Brock Green had his best game of the season in the loss at Poplarville. Green hit 19 points for the second time this season and pulled down 13 rebounds for his first double-double of the year. Sophomore Kayden ‘K.J.’ Miller added nine points, while senior Mykal McLeod had eight point and seven rebounds.
Against Stone County, Conner West led the way with 18 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. McLeod notched his second double-double of the season with 10 points and a dozen rebounds, while junior J’Shon McGee added 10 points and five rebounds.
In the regular season finale at Lucedale, Greene County jumped out to an 18-2 lead after the first period and cruised to a 72-50 win over the Rebels. West led the way with a double-double of his own, dropping 24 points, pulling down 10 rebounds and also coming up with a team-high six steals. Miller added 14 points and four rebounds, while freshman Brycen ‘B.J.’ Johnson had 11 points and six rebounds. McLeod was a beast on the boards with 15 rebounds and just missed another double-double with eight points on the night.
The Cats will kick off tournament play on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Purvis. The winner will advance to take on FCAHS on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Wildcats swept Purvis this season, but dropped both matchups with the Aggies.
Going to the game?
Fans making the trip to Sumrall to check out any of the GCHS games need to be aware that masks will be required to enter the gymnasium. Also, tickets will not be available for purchase at the gate and must be purchased prior to arrival at the games through the GoFan app.
Per the Sumrall athletic department, tickets will be available on the GoFan app. (Instructions for purchasing on GoFan are as follows: Visit the App Store, Download the GoFan High School app. Open the app. In the search bar, type Sumrall High School, Click on the appropriate game. Enter the number of tickets wanted. Click on Get Ticket. Create an account. Enter payment information. You may view your tickets. DO NOT VALIDATE YOUR TICKETS UNTIL YOU ARE AT THE ENTRANCE GATE (must be seen validating by gate worker). Tip: If, when you go to SHS events and it says “No events available”, you may need to refresh the page – do so by pulling the page down in the app. For persons without an iphone, tickets may also be obtained by computer on the GoFan website (gofan.co) and printed for admission. NO TICKETS WILL BE SOLD AT THE GATE. The only passes accepted will be those State Passes issued by MHSAA. State Passholders will need to sign in at the entrance. The entrance will open an hour before game time.