Greenfield tops Wayne Country Day
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 14, 2009 11:22 PM
Not even the pageantry of Wayne Country Day's senior night, an NBA-esque intro complete with a darkened gym and spotlights or a boisterous capacity crowd was enough to slow down No. 1-ranked Greenfield on Friday night.
The Knights used a 17-0 run that led to an 11-point lead and an eventual 65-58 victory over the No. 6-ranked Chargers. Greenfield (27-5 overall) successfully defended its Coastal Plains Independent 1-A Conference regular-season championship.
Wayne Country Day led 40-34 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter until Greenfield went on a run that left the Chargers reeling. Jeremy Jeffers got the Knights off and running with a free throw. Dunks from Jeffers on consecutive possessions gave Greenfield the lead for good at 41-40.
Jeffers added a 3-pointer and Brian McNair's layup off a Wayne Country Day turnover stretched the margin to 46-40 at the end of the third quarter. Darian Cahill tacked on five straight points to open the final period and less than a minute into the fourth quarter. The lead swelled to 51-40.
"When we played them the first go around they had an explosive 28-point fourth quarter and our goal was to prevent that again," said Chargers head coach Terry Jones. "Throughout the year we've had our moments of offensive lapses and when you mix that with defensive breakdowns you're really digging yourself in a hole."
A pair of layups, and 3-pointer from Josh Gregory and Floronta Wynn trimmed the deficit to 53-51 with less than 3 1/2 minutes to play. Brian Richardson's free throws extended the Knights cushion to 55-51.
Gregory had an opportunity to bring the Chargers to within one possession with a one-and-one free throw situation with just over two minutes
remaining. However, his first free throw was off the mark and a defensive rebound quickly resulted in a Jeffers' dunk on the other end.
Jeffers added a free throw and McNair tacked on a layup as the lead grew to 60-51 with 80 seconds left.
Plagued by foul trouble early while trying to keep up with a frenetic game pace, Wayne Country Day struggled to get back defensively, particularly in the second half.
Jones spent multiple timeouts in the third quarter pleading with his team to hustle back in an attempt to slow down Greenfield in transition. Foul trouble hampered the Chargers, who lack significant depth. In the first half, certain players were forced into extended minutes.
Wayne Country Day also struggled at the free throw line. The Chargers converted 2 of 8 attempts in the fourth quarter and 5 of 16 overall for the game.
"It was always the little things and I would never make any excuses," said Jones. "The game was played at a high pace and unfortunately a little foul trouble put us in a position where some guys were forced to play longer than we would have liked. Playing six guys or so at that pace can be tough to do."
Tim Hobbs led the Chargers with 18 points, Reco McCarter provided 16 and Wynn had 11. Jeffers led all scorers with 20.
Wayne Country Day (19-12, 6-2 CPIC) returns to action this week in the season-ending CPIC tournament. Jones' team drew an opening-round bye.
"Since the last time we played Greenfield we've had our objectives and we've worked on them every day no matter who we were playing and we made that improvement," said Jones. "It didn't happen today, but it won't be long. We're just one step away."
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