Bulldogs drop 63-44 decision to GHS

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 12, 2005

BRANTLEY – 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.

Brantley Head Coach Tony Stallworth knew going into the contest his team faced an uphill battle against the bigger and faster 5A school. The loss was sour but playing against a team like Greenville, said Stallworth, was necessary.

"You have to step outside your league sometimes," he said. "Competition is what keeps you motivated. It's why we put them on the schedule because it makes us better when we play in our own area."

The Bulldogs have already clinched the regular season Class 1A, Area 4 title with a 6-0 record and will play host to the area tournament this week. At 7:45 p.m. on Friday, Brantley will face the winner of Tuesday night's play-in game between Ariton-Providence Christian. The other game will feature Goshen-Zion Chapel at 6 p.m. The winner of those two games advances to Monday night's championship.

The Tigers' guards typically rebound well, said Greenville Head Coach Randy Fullington.

"I try to send everybody to the offensive glass and it pays off most of the times," he said. "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 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 made Brantley pay, outscoring the Bulldogs 11-2 in the second period. 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.

"Their athleticism really gave us problems," added Stallworth. "Their guys can shoot."

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.

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