Hillcrest sweeps Tigers

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 20, 2006

EVERGREEN — The Greenville Lady Tiger basketball team had a chance to snap its losing skid and post its first win of the new year Friday night, but it could not overcome the numerous unforced turnovers it committed throughout the game to fall 49-47 to Hillcrest.

Later Friday night, the Jaguars completed the sweep by holding off a late rally attempt by Greenville to come away with a 73-59 victory in boys varsity action.

The Lady Jaguars looked poised to cruise to an easy victory after building a 36-25 lead going into the final period, but Greenville would not quit.

The Lady Tigers held limited Hillcrest to just one field goal for almost six minutes to regain the lead and build a 45-38 advantage with 2:27 left to play.

Then Kwanis Watson rolled off six straight points to pull the Lady Jaguars to within one with 1:36 left to play. Watson led all scorers with 22 points.

After a made free throw by Greenville to bump its lead to two points, Kaylen Thomas drained a 3-pointer from the wing with 49 seconds left to play to give Hillcrest the lead for good. Thomas finished the game with 15.

The Lady Tigers had opportunities to regain the lead in the last 30 seconds of the game, but fell victim to costly turnovers in clutch situations.

Kendra Mitchell led three players in double figures with 14 points. Katoria McDonald chipped in 11.

In the boys game, Greenville coach Victor Smith was hoping his team would go through a bout of d\u00E9j&192; vu like it did in its first meeting with the Jaguars in December.

Hillcrest built a huge lead heading into the second half only to see it slip away and the Tigers come away with a victory.

&#8220I was hoping that would happen,” Smith said. &#8220We would get to that crossing point hoping something would happen, but it never did.”

The Jaguars (10-9) showed signs of slipping in the second half, but didn't implode like they did in Greenville.

Hillcrest built a lead as large as 21 points by the three-minute mark of the third period, but a scrappy Greenville (9-8) team kept charging back.

&#8220The kids never gave up,” Smith said. &#8220They certainly played much better overall than they had in the last two or three games.”

Greenville drew within 12 points in the early going of the fourth period, but could not get any closer much to Hillcrest coach Tommy Dukes' pleasure.

&#8220Yea that Greenville game did come to mind when they got that close there,” Dukes said.

Justin Molder led Hillcrest with a game-high 26 points, while Chris Hines finished with 16.

Rashad Knight paced Greenville with 19 points, while Darrell Carter added 11.

Greenville bounced back the next night to notch its first win of the new year with a 55-51 victory over Calhoun at Central High in Hayneville.

Darrell Carter led the Tigers with 10 points.