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Lady Bulldogs Poised for Another Title Run
Senior point guard Lundon Williams (14) may be the best point guard in the state, and she hopes to lead the Lady Bulldogs back to another state title this season. The talented Williams has already signed to play college basketball. She is the daughter of Ronnie Williams, head coach for the Greenwood junior high girls and the high school golf teams. (Photo courtesy of thegreenwooddogpound.com)

Lady Bulldogs Poised for Another Title Run

Now in his eleventh season as head coach of the Lady Bulldogs, Clay Reeves is high on this year’s team, which features several returning starters with lots of experience and talent. With five state titles already in his career – three at Greenland, two at Greenwood – Reeves believes this current team has a good chance to make another title run at the end of the season.

The GHS girls traveled to Little Rock last Friday to take on Pine Bluff in a game played at Pulaski Academy. Getting a little revenge for Greenwood’s loss to Pine Bluff in the state football playoffs, the Lady Bulldogs trounced the Lady Zebras 68-32. The game was scheduled because both teams had games cancelled in December due to bad weather. Haleigh Henson led Greenwood with 18 points, while Lundon Williams added 15. The girls will open 7A/6A Central conference play at home this Friday at 6 p.m. against Little Rock Parkview.

The league opener should be a barn-burner between two of the state’s top girls teams. “As far as 6A, Parkview and Hall are always good,” said Coach Reeves. “Parkview, Hall, and us, in my opinion, are probably three of the top 6A schools, just like last year, and we have a couple of the top 7A schools in there also. So it’s still the toughest conference in the state. I feel like the state champion of 7A will come out of our conference and the state champion in 6A will come out of our conference.”

This year’s team features two returning seniors – the only two seniors on the roster – point guard Lundon Williams and forward Haleigh Henson. Both have already signed to play basketball at the next level. “[Our] two seniors have a lot of experience and are great young ladies and players, and have been good leaders for our team,” said Reeves.

While Henson can shoot the three and play solid defense, the Lady Bulldogs rely on Williams to drive them on both ends of the court. “She is continually growing and getting better,” said Reeves. “She’s a great team player. She is probably the best point guard in the state, and she is the leader of our team. She does a great job of passing. Whatever she needs to do to help us win, she does.”

As for team size and quickness, Reeves said, “We’re usually smaller than the teams we are playing, but our forwards are usually a little quicker. So we’re trying to do some things on offense to offset the lack of size by using speed. But when we get to conference play, a lot of times we’re not as fast and quick, so we just have to execute and do things right.” Greenwood has five players who stand 5’-10” or 5’’11”, but none that reach six feet.

“Our strength is being able to shoot the ball,” said the coach. “Our players have the green light to shoot. The three point shooting has been good, and our inside game is getting better. We’ve got to take it to the basket a little more to get more free throws, especially when we’re not hitting our outside shots.”

Reeves will primarily rely on Megan [Hartness], Haleigh Henson, Lundon Williams, Brittnay Branum, Sydnie Henson, and Maddie Goodner to do damage from behind the three-point line. “Pretty much everybody is capable of shooting the three except for a couple of players,” he said.

“When we shoot well, everything goes good, like most teams. But when we’re not shooting well there are other areas where we can still win the game, and we can’t let up if we’re not shooting well. We’ve still got to play defense and rebound. We could very easily be [undefeated], but you learn from your mistakes, and missing a few free throws here and there. But hopefully that will be taken care of by the time we get to conference play,” said Reeves.

As for his starting lineup, the coach plays a lot of girls. “We’ve been rotating several different players. Brittany Branum has started a lot of the year. Peyton Clements has started. Alyssa Crase has started. But we’ve been playing eight to nine players every game, and sometimes ten. We feel comfortable will all of those players. We do have five starters, but some [players] who don’t start play more than the starters do,” added Reeves.

“Inside we depend a little more on Alyssa Crase and Sarah Elkins. Brittnay Branum and Megan Hartness play inside and outside, depending on what we need. There are teams that have players a lot bigger than us, but we just have to do things right and execute the game plan for that particular team,” said the coach. “We’ve slowed it down and looked good, and we’ve speeded up and looked really good too. Whatever affects the other team the most is what we try to do.

Asked if he was satisfied with the progress his squad has made thus far this season, Reeves said, “It’s not a bad record (9-2). They know I want to see a little more toughness and fight out of [them], and I saw a little bit more of that at Mountain Home,” referring to three games played at Mountain Home right after Christmas, two of those wins for the Lady Bulldogs.

As for the ultimate prize of winning another state title, Reeves remained confident, saying, “We’ve won two here, and I feel like with a break or two we could have won more. I feel like this team has a great shot at winning the state championship. We need everybody to be healthy and play as a team and get a lot more toughness, and we’ll have an excellent shot to win it this year. All of our kids have been winners their whole lives. They expect to win and they believe they can win, and that’s a big part of it.”

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