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Flurry boosts South Greene to semifinal win over South

Jeff Birchfield • Feb 26, 2019 at 12:44 AM

ELIZABETHTON — Sullivan South gave perennial state contender South Greene all it could handle for nearly two quarters of Monday’s Region 1-AA girls semifinal basketball game at Happy Valley.

With the game tied at 24, the Greene County version of the Lady Rebels went on a 15-1 run to pull away for a 76-51 victory over South.

Braylen Wykle scored 31 points to lead South Greene, which pushed its lead to 15 at the end of the third quarter.

Kiley Collins contributed 11 points and Ashlyn Reaves netted nine for South Greene.

South Greene will meet Grainger, a 50-42 winner over Elizabethton, at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the championship game.

“Meredith (St. Clair) got her third foul and they got on a run,” South coach Terry Hutson said. “They got up by 14 and we cut it to 11. It mushroomed out from there, but they’re a good ball team.

“We just got beat by a better team tonight.”

Alex Harris hit four shots behind the 3-point line and led South with 13 points. Mollie Leslie added 12 in the final game for five seniors — Carissa Comsa, Rachel Yates, Leslie, St. Clair and Halle Dykes, who was injured but served as a bookkeeper for the game.

“I hate it for the five seniors,” Hutson said. “They played their hearts out. They’ve been with this program when it was 3-24 to what it is the last two years with 42 wins.

“It’s a good time to be playing our best basketball. We said in January after Happy Valley beat us at home that we had to win out. The girls took it as a personal challenge and they won out. My hat’s off to them.”

GRIZZ QUELL CYCLONES

Grainger ended the first half on a flurry and ended Elizabethton’s strong postseason run with a 50-42 win.

The Lady Grizzlies scored seven points in the last 30 seconds of the second quarter to pull ahead by three at halftime. They scored the first five of the second half on their way to the victory

Tori Rutherford paced Grainger with 18 points. Lauren Longmire scored 11 and Manny Tanner totaled 10.

Kaylen Shell had 19 points and Morgan Headrick 15 to lead the Lady Cyclones, who won the District 1-AA championship and breezed in their quarterfinal matchup.

“A lot of people didn’t expect us to be in this game or even to be in the game,” Elizabethton coach Lucas Andrews said. “I credit my seniors for that. Any other team would have laid down and quit, but they never quit. Only five coaches and 11 players gave us a chance at the championship.”

Elizabethton was aggressive in the first half, driving to the basket, and leading 9-5 at the end of the first quarter, and holding a 15-13 advantage before the late second-quarter outburst.

“They’re too good of a team to let that happen,” Andrews said. “We got in some foul trouble. I had to bring some players off the floor and we didn’t get set up in the press offense. We were able to come back and keep chipping at the lead to get close. They were just very good with the lead in the second half.”

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