Led by their core group of juniors and a talented freshman, the Greenbrier girls got to celebrate their first region basketball championship since 2007 on their home floor Tuesday night.
Facing county rival Grovetown, the Lady Wolfpack (22-6) trailed 16-9 with two minutes left in the first quarter. After exploding for a 14-0 run and taking the lead, the Lady Wolfpack held off the Lady Warriors’ charges the rest of the way, winning the Region 2-AAAAA title, 64-57.
“I’m so proud of all of them,” said Lady Wolfpack coach Stefanie Basinger, who called the win amazing. “You look at what’s in the locker room and there’s six freshman, four juniors and a sophomore and they have done something that’s unheard of.”
The Lady Wolfpack’s tight-knit group of juniors – Jennifer McMahan, Morgan Taylor and Mallory Myers – played a key role throughout the game and each hit clutch free throws down the stretch after the Lady Warriors
(20-7) had cut a 57-49 deficit with 1:46 to play to 58-54 on a Rashanna Porter 3-pointer with 1:05 left.
That would be as close as the Lady Warriors would get however.
“Our team has worked so hard all season and to see it pay off is great, it’s a great win,” said McMahan, who scored 14 points as did Myers while Taylor added 15. Freshman Destiny Marshall didn’t play like one in the biggest game of her career, helping bring the team back from its first-quarter deficit with 11 of her team-high 17 points.
As well as her 3-pointer, Porter converted two traditional three-point-plays and scored 13 of her game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter as the Lady Warriors stayed within striking distance.
Leah Ferguson started the game with a 3-pointer and was solid throughout, finishing with 20 points and Naomi Hughes added 10 points for Grovetown.
Lady Warriors’ coach Jaime Echols, whose team will play host as a No. 2 seed to Starr’s Mill in the opening round of the Georgia High School Association girls state tournament on Friday, was proud of the way his team performed.
“I think there’s no doubt the two best teams in the region were playing,” said Echols.
“We played a good game and they played a good game. You can’t be upset
Greenbrier will play host to Mount Zion on Friday as a No. 1 seed in the state tournament.