For the first time this basketball season, the Greenwood girls team felt the agony of defeat Tuesday night when they were beaten by J.L. Mann in an important Region 1-AAAA game.
Going into the game the teams were tied for first in the region, but the Patriots cruised to a 58-42 win.
The Patriots started strong and led 25-8 at the end of the first quarter. Greenwood (13-1, 6-1) rallied in the second period, Mann (14-4, 7-0) still held a 32-24 lead at the half.
“Mann came out pressing and my girls got all excited about it,” said Greenwood coach Susan Thompson. “The first quarter we couldn’t get back into it. In the second quarter we settled down and made a run. Girls will be girls and you don’t know what they will do. It has played in our favor before and it didn’t tonight.
“Mann has a good team, are well coached.”
Mann coach Darah Huffman said the first quarter was important.
“I was impressed, our girls are stepping it up,” Huffman said. “A little of it was we just got in the groove. It just evened itself out.”
The Patriots have played an inside-outside game recently, but against Greenwood the guards were hitting outside shots and several 3-pointers. Leading scorer for Mann was senior Angel McGowan, a Georgia Southern signee, with 27 points. Freshman Shayla Bennett posted 14 points.
The next time the teams meet will be at Greenwood and McGowan thinks the Eagles will be hard to beat in their gym.
“When we go down there Greenwood will be a tough game,” McGowan said.
Leading scorer for the Eagles was sophomore Tianna Swearinger with 15 points and Lyanna Jones with 10.