Originally created 12/12/04

Rebels give Wolfpack first loss, lesson



Garrett Black strives to have a girls basketball program as strong as Hephzibah's.

With his Greenbrier Lady Wolfpack off to their best start in school history, Black felt his team would receive their first real test of the season against the Lady Rebels on the road Saturday night. It would be the perfect measuring stick for his young team.

After Saturday night, Black knows that his team still has a ways to go to be considered an elite program.

In a matchup of the only two unbeaten girls teams in the area, Hephzibah dominated Greenbrier, 87-69, in a game in which the Rebels led by as many as 28.

"They beat us in every aspect of the game," Black said. "Right now, they are a better team than we are."

The Rebels went on a 31-9 run after the Wolfpack tied the game at 33-33 with 2:15 left to play in the first half.

"We were pretty much done; they went on that eight-point run to end the half and then went on another run to start the third," Black said. "We have to learn to respond we teams make runs."

Hephzibah (7-0) scored many of its baskets during the run on breakaways or putbacks, outrebounding Greenbrier by a 5-1 margin.

"Porsha White and Jaleesa Morris just really rebounded well and converted on a lot of putbacks," Hephzibah coach Wendell Lofton said.

"You can't win when you give the opposition seven shots per possession," Black added.

Greenbrier (7-1) had the momentum after the first quarter after 3s by Sara Oland, Tiffany Blackburn and Brooke Jackson gave Greenbrier a 21-18 advantage heading into the second quarter.

"We didn't do a good job of defending the shooters early on," Lofton said. "But that happens when teenagers are playing. They forget their assignments.

"But give credit to Greenbrier. That is the best team they have ever put out there. They will be very good."

Greenbrier made only three more 3s the rest of the game.

"They are a good, no, a great team," said Greenbrier forward Alisha Simmons. "Hopefully we will play better when they come to our place. We had a terrible night."

As for Hephzibah, the Rebels have cruised to an early season schedule and are poised to make a deep run in the Class AAA playoffs.

"I wouldn't go that far," Lofton said. "We have played well but we haven't seen any good teams until tonight. We'll see where we stand after the Christmas tournament. We might have some losses, but we will be better prepared for the playoffs."

Reach Jonathan Heeter at (706) 868-1222 or jonathan.heeter@augustachronicle.com.