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GHS Lady Bulldogs Finish First Half with Strong Performance
Junior guard Sydnie Henson (11) brings the ball up the floor at Greenwood’s H.B. Stewart Arena. Sydnie and sister Haleigh, a senior, are key players for the Lady Bulldogs, who are ranked second overall in the state and number one in Class 6A. (Photo courtesy of thegreenwooddogpound.com)

GHS Lady Bulldogs Finish First Half with Strong Performance

By Richard White

The Greenwood Lady Bulldogs (16-3, 6-1) ended the first half of the 7A/6A Central conference season with a convincing win on the road at Conway last Friday night. After falling behind early, the Lady ‘Dogs stepped on the accelerator midway through the first quarter, then held off the Lady Wampus Cats on the way to solidifying Greenwood’s hold on second place in the league standings.

Trailing 9-2 at Conway’s Buzz Bolding Arena, the Lady Bulldogs engineered a 17-2 run to take the lead, and then survived several Conway runs on the way to a 59-55 victory. The GHS girls closed out the first half of the league schedule with six victories, losing only to Fort Smith Northside.

The Conway girls (16-5, 4-3) closed the second quarter with a 10-0 run to pull within 26-25 at halftime. But the Lady Bulldogs answered early in the second half by attacking the lane, getting inside baskets and free throws from Haleigh Henson and Megan Hartness to build a double digit lead (40-29) at the 4:43 mark of the third quarter. Conway then rallied to draw within 47-43 to begin the fourth quarter.

The Lady Cats scored the first bucket of the final period to make the score 47-45 before Megan Hartness and Brittany Branum answered with baskets for the visitors. But after Conway missed two straight 3-point attempts and turned the ball over, Greenwood increased its lead to 57-49. The home team managed a traditional three-point play and a long 3-pointer in the final minute, but it wasn’t enough.

Senior forward Haleigh Henson, who was hot early from the perimeter, led Greenwood with 21 points. Fellow senior and point guard Lundon Williams added 16 points, while junior guard Megan Hartness had 14 points.

Greenwood enjoyed an off day this past Tuesday and will begin the second half of the conference season on Friday night at Little Rock Parkview. Next Tuesday they will host the Lady Rebels of Fort Smith Southside at H.B. Stewart Areana, with tip-off set for 6 p.m. Greenwood will play four of seven league games at home during the second half of the conference schedule.

GHS vs. Russellville

Senior point guard Lundon Williams, perhaps the best in the state at her position, handles the ball against the Lady Cyclones of Russellville. The daughter of Ronnie Williams, junior high head basketball coach and GHS golf coach, Lundon excels both on the hard court and on the links. She hopes to lead her teammates to a state title this season. (Photo courtesy of thegreenwooddogpound.com)

Senior point guard Lundon Williams, perhaps the best in the state at her position, handles the ball against the Lady Cyclones of Russellville. The daughter of Ronnie Williams, junior high head basketball coach and GHS golf coach, Lundon excels both on the hard court and on the links. She hopes to lead her teammates to a state title this season. (Photo courtesy of thegreenwooddogpound.com)

Last Tuesday (January 28) the GHS girls successfully defended their home court with a sound thrashing of the visiting Lady Cyclones, who must have thought they’d encountered a real twister after being blitzed 13-3 and 23-4 through the first two quarters.

Offensively, Greenwood’s Lundon Williams and Megan Hartness led the way early, both reaching double digits in scoring in the first half. Trailing 36-7 at the intermission, it was over for the Russellville girls before the engine on their bus had even cooled off.

Greenwood head coach Clay Reeves began subbing in the first half, partly to motivate some of his starters, and continued to clear the bench in the second half as the Lady Bulldogs rolled to an easy 55-23 victory. Williams finished the game with a team-high 18 points, while Hartness added 15 points and Haleigh Henson had eight.

At Mt. St. Mary

On Friday, January 24th, the Lady Bulldogs rolled down I-40 and rolled over the Little Rock Catholic girls at Mt. St. Mary’s, 67-35, despite not having Coach Reeves on the bench after being ejected from the Northside game earlier in the week. AAA rules also prevented him from attending the game as a spectator, as did a bout of the flu. In his absence, assistant Paul Dean took over the head coaching duties, with junior high head coach Ronnie Williams assisting.

Greenwood reached double digits in scoring in all four quarters, leading 17-6 after eight minutes and 35-14 at the half. The Lady ‘Dogs won the third period 20-16 and the final quarter 12-5, completing a totally dominating performance.

Once again, Williams, Hartness, and Haleigh Henson led Greenwood offensively. Williams topped the scoring chart with 20 points. Hartness contributed 18 points while Henson added 16 points.

Junior guard Megan Hartness (32) has been a mainstay for the Lady Bulldogs since she moved up to the varsity squad late in her freshman season. At 5’10” Megan has the size and strength to play inside the paint, but is also versatile enough to play outside. (Photo courtesy of thegreenwooddogpound.com)

Junior guard Megan Hartness (32) has been a mainstay for the Lady Bulldogs since she moved up to the varsity squad late in her freshman season. At 5’10” Megan has the size and strength to play inside the paint, but is also versatile enough to play outside. (Photo courtesy of thegreenwooddogpound.com)

At Northside

The Lady Bulldogs suffered their only conference loss of the season at Fort Smith Northside on Tuesday, January 22nd, falling 64-59 to the state’s top-ranked girls team. The Lady Bulldogs are ranked second in the state, according to the Fearlessfriday.com website. And if the game itself wasn’t intense and competitive enough, head coach Clay Reeves was whistled for a pair of technical fouls in the second half and was ejected from the game.

The two teams were tied at 12 after one period, but the Lady Grizzlies took charge in the second quarter, outscoring Greenwood 19-13 to take a 31-25 halftime advantage. Trailing 49-35 after three periods, the Lady Bulldogs trimmed their deficit to 50-46 early in the fourth quarter when Coach Reeves approached one of the officials with a question about a hand-check foul on guard Sydnie Henson.

“I wasn’t frustrated or mad at all,” said Reeves after the game. “I was just asking about something that was going on in the game. I’ve had one technical foul in 12 years and maybe three to four in 26 years. I wanted to get some clarification, but it didn’t work out too well.”

The encounter ended with a pair of technical fouls on Reeves, forcing him to leave the bench and retire from the game. It also allowed Northside to hit five of six free throws, before adding another pair of charity shots on a subsequent foul, rebuilding a double-digit lead. The Lady Bulldogs won the fourth quarter 24-17, but it wasn’t enough to prevent their only conference loss.

Lundon Williams led Greenwood with 17 points, 14 in the second half. Likewise, Megan Hartness had a big second half and finished with 13 points, 11 of those coming in the fourth quarter.

“I was proud of our kids competing and fighting hard all game,” said Coach Reeves. “Even when the adversity was against them, they kept their composure. Our kids are winners and they will fight whether there is a [head] coach over there or not. They fight to win and are not quitters at all.”

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