Lady Tigers split at Opelika

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 3, 2005

While the Greenville High Boys were banging the boards in south Alabama, their female counterparts were working being equally as successful near the Georgia line. The Lady Tigers spent this week competing in the Opelika High School Tournament.

Greenville and Opelika top off a cast of schools from various parts of the state.

The others teams competing in the tournament include Cold Springs High School from Cullman, B.C. Rain High from Mobile, Stanhope-Elmore from Millbrook and Edward Bell from Camp Hill.

Edward Bell was the smallest team in the tournament, being a 1A school, but scored a huge upset on Monday when they Lady Bears took the floor against the Lady Tigers.

"I had to sit two of my players for discipline reasons," said Ronald Bogan, coach of the Greenville High Lady Tigers.

"We also got into foul trouble and ended up playing the game short handed. Being in situation like that hurts, especially when you have a bench without much experience."

The Lady Tigers jumped out to an early 11-8 lead, led by Jessica Powell and Kendra Mitchell.

Edward Bell fought back and captured the lead at the end of the first half, 26-21.

But, the Lady Tigers pushed back ahead at the end of the third quarter, 37-36.

By the time the final horn sounded, the Lady Bears depth proved to be much to overcome as they were able to capture the 50-46 victory.

"I think we peaked too early as far as the score is concerned," said Bogan. "All of a sudden we decided that we wanted to go away from the people that were scoring and go to people that did the scoring last year. Didn't want to adhere to the team concept as opposed to the individual concept."

"Them being a 1A school and us being short-handed kind of hurt and I wanted to win that game so bad for the girls just to show the starters that life is going to go on without you. And I think they realized that after losing by four points to Edward a 1A school and then coming back on Wednesday and playing Stanhope which is a 5A school and is one of the teams we'll probably see in sub-regional. We beat them by 10."

The loss put the Lady Tigers into the consolation bracket where they faced the Lady Mustangs of Stanhope-Elmore.

Greenville set the tempo to start the game and never trailed.

The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 20-13 first quarter lead that expanded into a 32-27 halftime lead. Greenville never trailed for the remainder of the game. The Lady Tigers were able to corral the Lady Mustangs in the third quarter when they snubbed a run and ended the period leading 47-45. Greenville finally shut the door on their opponents in the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead, 65-55.

"I'm not one to talk about officiating, but those on Tuesday were horrible," said Bogan. "But Kendra Mitchell had a super game. She actually stepped up to the plate. In my offense, the point guard usually doesn't score many points, but with her scoring 27 points, that was huge boost to our team. We are getting better, we are beginning to realize that basketball is a team sport. If they don't do that then we are never going to be successful. Part of that comes from distributing the basketball to the team instead of just one or two people. We are getting in a whole lot better conditioning, not coming to practice, you're not getting any better."

Kendra Mitchell posted 27 points and Jessica Powell added 11 points. Katoria MacDonald had 10 points against the Lady Mustangs. Morgan Crenshaw and Mikki Harris combined for 17 points.

That win put the Lady Tigers into the consolation finals against B.C. Rain from Mobile.

"They were a little better than Stanhope. They had one or two more players than Stanhope had.

Greenville will not play again until next weekend then jump into area competition. The Tigers will travel to Troy on Friday for a match-up with the Trojans of Charles Henderson High School and then return home Saturday to face the Tigers of Eufaula.

"These are two big area games," said Bogan. "This lets us know where we stand as far as the area is concerned and that's our goal right now-to win the area."