Wildcats romp Chester Charter in state playoffs
ENOLA — The Greenwood girls’ basketball team put on an impressive show in its 52-11 victory of Chester Charter School For The Arts in the first round of the PIAA Class A tournament.
Two junior Wildcats — Kenedy Stroup and Alli Walton — each rang up double-doubles. Stroup scored 26 points to complement her 12 rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. Walton tallied 19 points, 11 rebounds to go with one steal and one block, respectively.
Greenwood advances to second round where it will play Susquehanna Community Wednesday at Bloomsburg University with a 6 p.m. tipoff. District 2 winner Susquehanna Community defeated Millville in the first round.
“(Chester Charter’s) three-two (zone) was definitely good for me in the middle. I was open a lot, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Walton said. “Alli and I, as well as the rest of the team, did a good job of kicking it in and kicking it out at the right time, and finding the open shot.”
Greenwood shot 18-of-47 from the floor.
“I felt we did a good job finding Stroup in transition, and I felt Walton passed the ball well in the open floor,” Greenwood coach Jeff Deitz said. “She does what she does and is good at it, but our defense creates points for her. If we don’t defend the way we do, points in transition don’t happen.”
As impressive as the offensive onslaught was, the defense was even better.
The Wildcats generated 18 turnovers, blocked five shots, committed only six total fouls, and limited the Sabers to four-of-52 from the floor.
“I thought our defensive effort was phenomenal,” Deitz said. “It’s the one thing you need to do to be successful. Teams know who we are offensively, but we did our job on the defensive end, and to hold a team to 11 points, I couldn’t be more proud of the defensive effort.”
The Wildcats also prowled the glass, winning that battle 46-35.
“We felt we did not do a good job of boxing out in the District Championship game, and we focused on that in practice every single day this week. It was our focal point coming in,” Deitz said. “I thought our girls did a fantastic job boxing out today.”
Sophomore Alli Crockett claimed six boards and three steals in a strong defensive effort. Her classmate Abby Taylor nabbed four and two, respectively, while adding four points to the effort.
One factor that should not be overlooked is the Wildcats were one of the first benefactors of the new PIAA transfer restrictions which limits postseason eligibility for students moving after their freshman year.
The Sabers were without two of their biggest cutting edges — 2,000-point scorer Logan Handy and Ceyrah Williams — due to the new rule.
“I don’t think their presence would have changed the result,” Deitz said. “We saw (Handy and Williams) on tape, (Handy) was an impressive scorer, and (Williams) would have made some impact on the defensive end, but I think we would have still prevailed.”
Greenwood got off to a good start, scoring on the opening tip and never looked back. Stroup hit a lay-up on a feed from Walton on the first posession. Greenwood scored the first six points and a little later on, a Stroup 3-ball built the lead to 13-2.
“Getting out to that fast start was really important,” Stroup said. “It settled us down, and allowed us to get into a rhythm.”
Jalah Thomas responded with a 3-pointer of her own, but Stroup’s runner in the lane gave the Wildcats a 15-5 advantage after one.
Greenwood extended their lead to a commanding 32-8 by halftime, and then posted a shutout in the third to up the advantage to 42-8.
Walton banked home a basket with 5 minutes left to trigger the mercy rule at 49-9.
D’Ayzha led the Sabers with five points and 11 rebounds.
Greenwood 52, Chester Charter 11
D’Ayzha Atkinson 2 1-4 5, Jalah Thomas 1 1-2 4, Latrell Pray 1 0-0 2. Totals 4 2-6 11.
3 point goal: Jalah Thomas.
Did not score: Jasmin Harper, Rahnaezah McDonald, Yari Laguna, Jorden Shockley, Khadijah Thomas, Tamia Davis.
Kenedy Stroup 7 9-15 26, Alli Walton 9 1-2 19, Abigail Taylor 1 2-6 4, Alli Crocket 1 0-1 2, Mercedees McNaughton 0 1-2 1. Totals 18 13-26 52.
3 point goals: Kenedy Stroup 3.
Did not score: Jenna Sherrick, Ella Brummer, Sarah Pennay, Emilie Brinser, Ashton McIntyre, Nyssa Yoder, Makayla Hinterliter, Madison Howell.
Score by Quarters
Chester Carter 5-3-0-3–11