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With only a six-player rotation at its disposal, the Greenfield School varsity girls basketball team got off to a strong start in its season opener Monday night at home against a 1-A Coastal Plains Independent Conference opponent in Wayne Christian.
The Lady Knights were up to the task early on in their feisty zone defense, getting a quick nine-point lead in the first four minutes.
However, junior point guard Kaelyn Wall picked up her third foul defending an inbounds pass late in the first quarter, throwing Greenfield into disarray as she left the floor.
A consistent battery of turnovers followed, and even as Wall returned to the floor to start the second quarter, the Lady Knights did little to stem the momentum against them.
Greenfield trailed by as many as 18 points in the second half before an over-reliance on the 3-point shot from Wayne Christian allowed the hosts to get back into the game.
But with a pair of opportunities to trim a four-point deficit, Greenfield was unable to do so. Adayah Ginn’s 3-pointer with 1:46 remaining made it a three-possession game, and the Lady Knights showed little interest in extending the game via fouling as Wayne Christian walked away with a 56-49 victory.
Wayne Christian, playing in its conference opener, climbed to 2-1.
“With three seventh graders playing huge minutes — all three of them — we ran out of gas,” Greenfield coach Bruce Wall said.
Three players — Chloe Howard, Jaeln Holland and Sierra Outland — had played in the middle school girls game earlier in the afternoon. Two starters, Riya Patel and Nati Diaz, were unavailable due to sickness and family obligations.
Kaelyn Wall finished with 22 points and had 13 of her total in the third quarter. Her layup briefly gave the Lady Knights a 15-14 lead, but Wayne Christian replied with a 16-2 run, capped up by a Kasey Norris runner. Norris finished with 18 points for the Lady Eagles.
“I think we have good potential for this year,” Kaelyn Wall said. “A lot of people don’t have faith in us, but I think we’ll do fine.”
Junior center Sumer Hassan finished with 12 points as the other Lady Knight in double figures.
WAYNE CHRISTIAN (56)
Abi Harrelson 5, Ginn 9, Ashlee Harrelson 4, Wells 5, Norris 18, Cowan 2, Verne 13.
Wall 22, Hassan 12, Stone 4, Howard 5, Holland 6, Outland.
Score by quarters: