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From Staff Reports
Both Greene County High School basketball teams will be advancing to the state playoffs after winning their first games in the Region 7-4A Basketball Tournament at Sumrall.
The Lady Wildcats won the opening game of the tournament with an impressive 64-43 win over Forrest County AHS on Monday. The GCHS boys’ team followed that performance with a solid 66-52 win over Purvis in Tuesday’s late game. With the wins, both GCHS teams qualify for a spot in the MHSAA Playoffs set to begin next week.
The Lady Cats came out on fire against FCAHS thanks in large part to the return of senior Gen Walley, who was a force in her first game back after missing two games. Walley dropped 18 points to lead her team. She shot 62 percent from the fiels, including 2-of-3 from behind the 3-point line, and was 4-of-6 from the charity stripe.
Walley had plenty of help as eight other Wildcats put points on the board in the win. Sophomore Reanna Moody scored 13 points and was active on the defensive side, snagging six of her team’s 15 steals on the night. She also made all four of her free throw opportunities.
Senior Kat Garrett had nine points, two assists and two steals, while her classmate Serenity Blakely added eight points, five rebounds and matched Garrett in assists and steals.
Sophomore Lisa Johnson led the team with six assists and also added four steals, four rebounds and six points. Her classmates Lexi Gray and Chan Steel had quality minutes for Kimble’s team as well. Gray posted four points and two rebounds, while Steele scored two and added four rebounds, an assist and a steal. Juniors Shalekia Silas and Charity Walley each had two points and combined for five rebounds.
Coach Dale Kimble said he was pleased with how his team executed the offense and with their shot selection. Good execution led to several easy layups and a nice 45 percent field goal percentage for the team. On the other end of the court GCHS switched things up a bit with a zone defense. Kimble praised his team for being able to make the adjustment.
In Tuesday’s game, the GCHS boys jumped out to a 21-12 lead after the first period and pushed the lead to 16 points at the half. Junior Conner West and sophomore K.J. Miller led the offensive attack with 14 points each. Miller was also tied for the team high mark in rebounds with seven and led his team in both steals and assists with four of each.
Senior Mykal McLeod had a big night too with 13 points and seven rebounds. Junior J’shon McGee finished with nine points, six rebounds and two assists. Freshman Brycen ‘B.J.’ Johnson and junior Dalarrus Cooper added six points apiece in the win.
The Lady Cats will take on Purvis tonight in the late game at Sumrall. The boys will be back in action tomorrow against Stone County.