The Greenwood Lady Bulldogs never gave Russellville an opening on Tuesday, January 28.
Greenwood forced 20 first-half turnovers and limited Russellville to just three baskets in the opening half in a 55-23 win.
Greenwood (14-3, 5-1 7A/6A-Central) closes out the first half of the conference’s round-robin schedule at Conway on Friday. The Lady Bulldogs warmed up for their road challenge against ranked Conway with a stifling defensive performance on Tuesday.
Greenwood’s tenacious defense forced Russellville (5-11, 0-6) into 11 turnovers in the first quarter, pushing its lead to 13-3. The Lady Bulldogs forced nine more turnovers in the second quarter and rolled to a 36-7 halftime cushion.
"The second quarter, they got after it and were aggressive," Greenwood head coach Clay Reeves said. "We increased the tempo like we like for it to be. We got a good lead at half and slowed down in the second half. This team can play, they can get after it, whatever they want to do. Sometimes, they have to motivate themselves to keep going."
Hailey Henson, Lundon Williams and Maddie Goodner staked Greenwood to a 9-0 lead with 3-pointers within the first four minutes of the game, but the Lady Bulldogs managed just four free throws the rest of the quarter.
"We practiced like we played. We tried to get after it, sometimes things looked good and sometimes things looked bad," Reeves said. "This game showed us some things we need to work on. We got to standing around on offense too much and not getting after it on defense like we should."
Greenwood rattled off the first 16 points of the second quarter, spurred by a pair of 3-pointers by Williams. Megan Hartness had successive baskets in the run, including a fast-break layup on a dish by Peyton Clements. Sarah Elkins capped another fast-break with a layup off a feed from Williams, and Sydney Henson converted a steal into a breakaway layup.
"They looked up at the end of the first quarter and the score was 13-3," Reeves said. "To me, that’s a close game. They looked up and thought they were going to have to play. They got after it from there."
Greenwood coasted into halftime with a 36-7 advantage and invoked the mercy rule with a 51-19 lead after three quarters.
Williams’ 18 points paced the Lady Bulldog’s scoring. Hartness added 15 points.
Addy Hipps led Russellville with 10 points.
Russellville 47, Greenwood 40
BOYS – The Cyclones scored the final five points to pick up the road win.
Russellville (10-7, 4-2) led 41-34 early in the fourth quarter but didn’t put the Bulldogs away until very late.
"We were up nine, 32-23, and had the ball in the third quarter and I thought about pulling it out then," Russellville head coach Codey Mann said. "I thought we might be able to make that one shot to put us up double-digits to really put the pressure on them. Give credit to Greenwood. Every time we missed they came down and made big plays."
Evan Lensing drilled a 3 with 3:07 left to pull the Bulldogs (5-11, 1-5) within four at 41-37. After a free throw by Russellville’s Andy Campbell, Lensing converted a three-point play with a driving bucket and ensuing free throw with 2:32 left.
"We gave ourselves a chance to win at the end of the game," Greenwood head coach Brian Martin said. "When you lose you always think about the things you did to lose."
Greenwood didn’t score again, and Russellville added five free throws in the final minute.
The Bulldogs were just 7-of-14 from the foul line and committed 18 turnovers.
"Most of those were unforced," Martin said. "A lot of those ended up in two points the other direction. We kind of shot ourself in the foot, but their pressure had a lot to do with that. Then free throws. In the first half, we missed the front end of a couple of one-and-ones, and also missed some two-shot fouls, missed them both. If we make some free throws and just cut down on the turnovers. That’s basketball. Usually when you lose, there are reasons why you lose."
Campbell led Russellville with 19 points and 12 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end. Tony Jones added 15 points.
Lensing had 15 points for Greenwood. Hernandez had 13 points.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
GREENWOOD 55, RUSSELLVILLE 23
Russellville 3 4 12 4 — 23
Greenwood 13 23 15 4 — 55
Russellville (5-11, 0-6): Hipps 10, Wiedower 6, Ealy 4, Brown 2, Phillips 1.
Greenwood (14-3, 5-1): Williams 18, Hartness 15, H.Henson 6, S.Henson 6, Goodner 4, Elkins 2, Clements 2, Shores 2.
RUSSELLVILLE 47, GREENWOOD 40
Russellville 12 14 11 10 — 47
Greenwood 13 6 15 6 — 40
Russellville (10-7, 4-2): Campbell 19, Jones 15, Scott 6, Underhill 5, Rhode 2.
Greenwood (5-11, 1-5): Lensing 15, Hernandez 13, Morgan 5, Cantrell 4, Padilla 3.