Greenbrier's 50-45 win over Richmond Academy didn't look like a typical Lady Wolfpack victory, but it might have been the biggest one this season.
The Lady Wolfpack claimed the Region 3B-AAAA regular season title Friday night and improved their undefeated mark to 24-0 on the season.
The Class AAAA team ranked No. 2 in the Georgia Sportswriters poll and No. 4 in the coaches poll didn't cruise to a blowout win as usual. Instead, timely shooting and a strong full-court press gave Greenbrier the slim win.
"I was pleased with the way we handled the ball but not with our free throw shooting," Greenbrier coach Garrett Black said after his team hit only five of its final 13 free throw attempts. "That's not going to win ball games. We were lucky to come out with a win."
Richmond Academy broke loose of the Greenbrier press in the first quarter and took an early 10-4 lead. Lady Musketeer center Kaylyn Small scored nine of the home team's 11 first-quarter points. She scored nine points the rest of the game.
"It's because (Black) adjusted what they were doing," Richmond Academy coach Harry Bufford said. "They tried to stop her and gave us the weakside pass. We just couldn't hit our outside shots."
Greenbrier filled the holes in its full court press in the second quarter, and a 17-3 run gave the Lady Wolfpack a 21-13 lead. They extended that advantage to 10 points at halftime, but it didn't come without a price. Three Greenbrier girls entered halftime with at least two fouls. When starting forward Tiffany Blackburn picked up her third and fourth fouls two minutes into the second half, Greenbrier was in serious foul trouble.
Starting guard Brooke Jackson added to the problem when she committed her fourth foul four minutes later.
"I was real concerned because they were two of our experienced ball players," Black said. "I thought Kaila Hunt and Janay Moore came off the bench and did a great job."
Moore and Hunt combined for 15 points in the win, while senior guard Michelle Swiec paced the Lady Wolfpack with 17 points.
Reach Billy Byler at (706) 863-6165 or firstname.lastname@example.org.