It was Mike Anderson’s first victory as a head coach, but he said he was happier for the players who produced Greenville’s 61-47 victory over visiting Carolina in the season opener for both teams Tuesday night.
“I’m not worried about how many games I win or lose, because if I lose a lot, I’m still going to have a job next year,” Anderson said. “These guys have really been putting forth an effort since springtime, and they had a really good summer.”
And they had a really good stretch in the last 4 minutes, 12 seconds of the first half against Carolina, turning a seven-point deficit into a 31-24 halftime lead.
Michael Jefferson hit a 3-pointer to give the Red Raiders the lead for good at 25-24, and Tavaris Harper scored four of his eight points during the spurt.
Trey Williams finished with 14 points and Anthony Nash with 11 points for Greenville, which led by as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter.
Greenville’s next game will be Friday at J.L. Mann, where Anderson spent the last six seasons as an assistant coach.
“I guess people are going to try to make it more about me and Mann, but it’s not about that,” he said. “It’s just about our guys and doing what we need to do.”
Teraus Waddy scored 16 points for Carolina, which is under the direction of assistant coach Oscar Neely while head coach Thomas Fair is recovering from a quadriceps injury.
Neely said the Trojans were hurt by “lackadaisical” play that led to turnovers late in the second quarter, as well as poor free-throw shooting (6 for 19).
* Brianna Thompson led four players in double figures with 18 points, and Greenville’s girls breezed to an 85-30 victory.
Lindsay Lewis scored 16 points, Maddi Smith 11 and Kiamya Philson 10 for the Red Raiders, who improved to 3-1.
“This group reminds me of the group we had two years ago,” said Greenville coach Anthony Gowens, who led the Raiders to a state-runner-up finish in 2011. “We’ve been together since June. We played a ton of games in June, and all of them were there, so hopefully we can have a replication of two years ago.”
Tiandra Locklear scored 13 points for Carolina (0-1).