Greenwood girls fall; ’Cats state dreams dashed
BLOOMSBURG — It was a homecoming of sorts for Greenwood coach Jeff Deitz as the Wildcats took on Susquehanna Community in the second round of the PIAA Class A girls basketball tournament Wednesday at Bloomsburg University’s Nelson Center.
It wasn’t the welcome back Deitz — who picked up a pair of degrees from the university that hasn’t hosted a state playoff game since 1983 — would have liked as the Wildcats fell to the Sabers, 46-36.
Greenwood’s season concludes with the loss and a 21-6 record.
The Wildcats rallied late in the third quarter and with just mere seconds left, it looked like they would enter the final frame trailing by five points. It all fell apart when Abby Taylor fouled Bethany Maby from beyond the perimeter. Maby was therefore awarded three free-throws, and she went 2-for-3 to end the quarter.
Then the Sabers opened the game up to start the fourth with a 7-0 run.
“We didn’t defend the perimeter well,” Deitz said. “I thought our half-court defense was okay. I didn’t think it was where I wanted it to be. I thought that was the biggest difference in the game. … Our perimeter defense in transition was not good. We let shooters open in transition.”
The Sabers drained eight 3-pointers in the contest. They made all the difference in the game as the Wildcats were playing stellar defense inside, as the Sabers went nearly two full quarters without a 2-point goal.
“They made some big shots when they needed it,” Deitz said. “We’d close (the deficit) and get it somewhere near two possessions and they’d crack in a three or two. … Give them credit. They shot the lights out tonight and when you have a good night shooting on a night like this, it’s going to make a difference in the game.”
Maby and Mackenzie Heath combined to score 28 points for the Sabers. The duo drained five of the team’s 3-pointers. Taylor Huyck accounted for the other three 3-point goals for the Sabers and ended the night with nine points.
The other killer for the Wildcats was they were unable to sustain any sort of offensive threat throughout the game. With the exception of their eight-point run that got the Wildcats to within two possessions in the second half, they only put together one other run of two or more possessions. That came at the end of the first half when they put together a five-point stretch to even the quarter’s scoring at seven apiece.
Throughout much of the first half, the Wildcats were being told to keep passing the ball as the Sabers were able to snuff out where the Wildcats were going with the ball. It took some time, but it did translate to spreading the wealth on offense.
Only Alli Crockett had a double-digit scoring performance for Greenwood, finishing with 10 points. However, three others — Taylor (9), Alli Walton (8) and Kenedy Stroup (7) — weren’t far behind.
“There’s a lot of good stuff that we can take from this and move forward,” Deitz said. “We played 27 games and that’s five more than a lot of teams played. Alli Crockett was good and Alli Walton made some big plays for us, too.”
Despite the loss, Deitz sees a lot more good in the team than bad, and is excited for what the future has in store.
“I know it’s cliche, but those girls fought until the final buzzer,” he said. “That’s who we were this year. We fought, we were tough and we’re 21-6. I just told them in the locker room that nobody could take that from them. In many people’s eyes, they overachieved. I can’t be more proud of how they handled themselves tonight — the way they played tonight.
Susquehanna Community 46, Greenwood 36
Kenedy Stroup 2 3-6 7, Abby Taylor 4 1-3 9, Alli Crockett 4 2-2 10, Jenna Sherrick 1 0-0 2, Alli Walton 4 0-0 8. Totals: 15 6-11 36.
Did not score: Mercedees McNaughton, Ella Brummer.
Mackenzie Steele 2 1-2 5, Bethany Maby 4 7-11 17, Taylor Huyck 3 0-1 9, Amanda Iveson 1 0-0 2, Mackenzie Heath 4 0-0 11, Gina Miller 0 2-2 2. Totals: 14 10-16 46.
3-point goals: Maby 2, Huyck 3, Heath 3.
Did not score: McKenzie Rhone, Meghan Kiernon.
Score by quarters
Greenwood 7-7-12-10 — 36
Susquehanna Community 14-7-12-13 — 46