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Sports

Geibel holds off pesky Lady Pioneers

| Friday, Jan. 28, 2005

The West Greene girls basketball team is small on size, but not on heart. Just ask the Geibel Lady Gators.

Despite having a roster of only seven players, the Lady Pioneers stayed right with Geibel through the first three quarters before the Lady Gators eventually pulled away for a 71-59 win on Thursday night at Geibel.

"They played hard," West Greene coach Shane Phillips said of his players. "They just have no size and it is tough for them to keep up for four quarters. They gave it their all, but they can't help it they aren't as big as other teams."

Geibel had the edge in size, but it wasn't until the latter part of the second half that the Lady Gators actually used their inside play to their advantage.

After breaking out to a quick 6-0 lead, Geibel watched as West Greene stayed in the game early with some clutch shooting.

Rachel Phillips, who scored a game-high 28 points, went coast-to-coast for a lay-up that cut Geibel's lead to 12-11. Then Allison Hildreth, who finished with 11, drained a 3-pointer to put the Lady Pioneers in front 20-19.

"West Greene shot the ball really well," Geibel coach Patrick Klocek said. "They had to make their shots, and they did."

Natasha Woods had a big first quarter as she scored eight points to pull West Greene to within a point at 21-20 after one. Woods finished with 10 points.

Geibel went on another run to start the second quarter as Danielle Cochrane made a great pass inside to Nicole Berry, who finished the play to give the Lady Gators a 27-20 lead. Later, Abbie Renze pulled up and hit a trey to make it 36-30.

Cochrane led the Lady Gators with 24 points while Renze checked in with 11.

But just when it seemed Geibel was ready to pull away for good, West Greene came right back. Trailing by six in the closing seconds of the half, Phillips brought her team back once again. She completed a three-point play, then stole a pass at mid-court and fired one up that sailed true at the buzzer to send the teams into the locker rooms tied at 38-38.

By this time, Geibel was aware that West Greene had come to play, and the Lady Gators responded.

In the third quarter, Cochrane, Renze and Natalie Hozak each started to make some shots from in the paint as Geibel jumped on top 51-45. Then in the fourth, Hozak found a rhythm as she nailed two key shots from underneath the basket on her way to a 14-point night.

"We're streaky at scoring," Klocek said. "When we played them at West Greene, we were able to get the ball down low and score. We became more aggressive in the second half and I think our big girls wore them out."

Defensively, Julie Cummings matched up on Phillips and held her in check for most of the second half. Cummings also chipped in four big foul shots in the fourth quarter.

"Julie did a good job on Phillips in the second half," Klocek said.

The Lady Gators outscored West Greene 20-14 in the fourth quarter on their way to an important win in Section 2-A.

Next up for the Lady Gators (7-3, 10-10) is a trip to Jefferson-Morgan on Monday. Also on Monday, the Lady Pioneers (3-7, 6-14) play host to Mapletown.

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