GREEN: The Green Bulldogs girl’s basketball team controlled the contest from the opening tip and held off visiting Copley in Suburban League action Wednesday night.
Green (3-3) jumped out to the early lead behind solid defense. The lady Bulldogs allowed just eight first-quarter points as they led 17-8 going into the second quarter.
Copley head coach Darryl Anderson Sr. said Green did a great job of anticipating their press-break offense.
“We are a young team, and we played like a young team again tonight,” Anderson said.
Unfortunately for the Indians (2-3), the second quarter wasn’t any better. They struggled to find open shot opportunities and weren’t able to develop any offensive flow.
The Green defense didn’t help matters as they turned Copley turnovers into open baskets in transition.
Senior guard Erica Rector led the Bulldogs as she scored nine of her team-high 13 points in the first half, which helped extend the lead to 35-20 at halftime.
Green head coach Tracy Miller said Rector sets the tempo for not just the offense, but also the defense.
“She’s been our leading scorer most of the year,” Miller said. “And we usually match her up on defense against the team’s best player, so when she plays she goes 100 percent.”
Miller said he knew the Indians had a pair of tall post players in Meghan Preston, Kaela Drake, so the Bulldogs wanted to force the tempo and not settle for half-court offense.
“We aren’t a very big team so we wanted to make it a full-court game,” Miller said.
The bright spot on offense for Copley were a pair of sophomores. Guards Breyasia Moorer and Claire Schreiner accounted for the majority of the Indians’ points, each scoring seven points in the first half.
The big deficit proved to be too much for the Indians to overcome, but they wouldn’t go quietly. Midway through the third, Copley appeared to be poised for a comeback run.
Preston, a sophomore center, came up big in the second half just as she did in a game last week against Barberton. On this night, she scored five consecutive points during the middle of the third to give her team brief momentum and cut into Green’s double-digit lead.
Anderson applauded the effort of the guard play, but stressed the offense could be even more efficient if the ball is worked inside more to Preston and Drake, a junior forward, to maximize scoring chances.
“With the offense we run, everyone is an option to score, but right now the key is we have to learn to make stops on defense, box out and rebound,” Anderson said.
The Bulldog defense once again stepped up as they forced four turnovers in five possessions to counter the Indians run and open an even larger lead, which inflated to 20 points by the middle of the fourth quarter at 57-37.
Miller said what proved effective was being able to double team the post players and force them into turnovers or long outside shots.
“We are a young team with only three seniors, and we are looking to build with the younger players,” Miller said. “Our girls played pretty tough tonight against the taller post players.”
Moorer finished with eight points for the Indians, while Preston added nine, but it was Screiner who led the team with 10 points.
Copley will face host Wadsworth next, while Green will travel to Revere this Friday night.