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Tigers roll over No.4 Brantley Bulldogs, 63-44

Greenville's guards spent most of the night crashing the boards and creating havoc as the Tigers beat No. 4 Brantley 63-44 on Thursday night.

That was all a part of the plan, said Greenville Head Coach Randy Fullington.

"Our guards typically rebound well," said Fullington. "I try to send everybody to the offensive glass and it pays off most of the times. Most teams do a good job blocking out on our big guys and that's what they concentrate on. That's why I send two or three players into the gaps."

Fullington's philosophy paid off in the first half as Greenville (14-11) collected second-chance shots like trading stamps and led the Bulldogs 31-17 at the break.

Brantley's main weapon, forward Derrick Weeks, was held in check all night. Weeks had 11 points in the first half but finished with only 15 total.

"I know how good of a player he is," said Fullington. "We did everything we could to keep him from touching the ball."

With Weeks double-teamed and outweighed by Greenville's Curtis Fields and Josh Hawkins in the middle, Brantley (18-5) was forced to play fast.

Not the Bulldogs strong suit.

Shots were rushed.

Passes were errant.

And the Tigers, cat-quick as their namesake, made Brantley pay, outscoring the Bulldogs 11-2 in the second period to basically seal the game. A pair of three-pointers by Rashad Knight, another by Devoski McMeans and a basket by Lynn Lewis provided the halftime margin.

"We always want to try and push the ball up the court," said Fullington.

The Tigers continued pushing in the second half.

Greenville answered each Brantley basket with one of its own in the early going and a 13-0 run ended any hopes of a comeback. An Isiah Mack dunk highlighted the scoring outburst but four other Tigers' contributed as Hawkins, Fields, McMeans and Gavinston Warren all scored for Greenville.

McMeans led all Tigers with 14 points. Mack added 12 and Knight finished with 11.

Fullington said wins over ranked opponents are always confidence boosters. Especially since area tournament play starts next week.

"Three out of our last four opponents are ranked teams," he said.

The Tigers have faced Jeff Davis (No. 6, Class 6A), Brantley (No. 4, Class 1A,) and faced Central-Hayneville (No. 1, 3A) on Friday night.

For Brantley coach Tony Stallworth the loss was sour, but playing against a team from Class 5A, like Greenville, was necessary.

"You have to step outside your league sometimes," he said. "Competition is what keeps you motivated."

Kevin Pitts added 12 points to go along with Weeks' 15 for Brantley.