Lady Eagles come up short against Northview, Greenville

Published 12:44 am Monday, December 25, 2006

By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
Greenville and Northview, Fla. moved into a winner-take-all for the championship of the W.S. Neal Girls Invitational with wins in their first two games. Those teams met for the title Saturday.
Greenville edged Georgiana 41-38 and beat W.S. Neal 40-27 for its 2-0 start, while Northview downed W.S. Neal 43-32 and Georgiana 39-29 for its two victories.
The host Lady Blue Eagles and Georgiana met Saturday for third place in the tournament, as each lost its first two games.
Greenville 40, W.S. Neal 27
W.S. Neal (4-7) dug a 20-1 first half hole in its loss to Greenville. The Lady Blue Eagles missed their first 16 shots from the floor and did not make their first field goal until Tierra Andrews connected with 1:12 left in the first half.
W.S. Neal fought its way back in the second half and got within seven points on two occasions.
W.S. Neal vs. Greenville
Greenville 11 9 6 14 - 40
W.S. Neal 1 3 12 11- 27
GREENVILLE (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Salter 6-0-4-16; Williams 3-0-1-7; Gentry 1-1-1-6; Norton 2-0-1-5; Powell 2-0-0-4; Bonner 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 15-1-7-40)
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Andrews 4-2-0-14; Matthews 2-0-1-5; Davis 1-0-2-4; Elliott 2-0-0-4 (Totals: 9-2-3-27)
Northview 43, W.S. Neal 32
The wheels came off the Lady Blue Eagles in the second half, as they opened the tournament with a 43-32 loss to the Northview, Fla. Lady Chiefs.
W.S. Neal, which beat Northview 38-35 in Florida 10 days earlier, appeared to have the game under control when it opened up a 14-6 through one quarter and a 20-14 halftime lead.
Back-to-back buckets by Tiara Matthews in the first minute of the second half gave W.S. Neal its biggest lead of the game at 24-14.
It quickly went downhill from there, as the Lady Blue Eagles committed 15 third quarter turnovers, 26 in the second half and 43 for the game.
Perhaps the most frustrating part of that stretch was the final minute of the third quarter when Northview stole the ball four straight times near its own basket. Those steals led to two buckets by Gabe Wesley and one each by Kiwana Grice and Timeka Marshall that turned a 28-28 deadlock into a 36-28 lead.
The Lady Chiefs' 25-4 second half run carried over into the fourth quarter when a free throw by Melissa Garrett and a bucket by Wesley knocked the lead into double digits at 39-28.
Free throws were also a huge factor besides W.S. Neal's 43 turnovers. Northview went to the line 28 times as compared to just twice for the Lady Blue Eagles and outscored W.S. Neal 12-1 from the charity stripe.
W.S. Neal vs. Northview
Northview 6 8 22 7 - 43
W.S. Neal 14 6 8 4 - 32
NORTHVIEW (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Wesley 5-1-6-19; Marshall 3-0-3-9; Grice 2-0-2-6; Garrett 2-01-5; Thompson 2-0-0-4 (Totals: 14-1-12-43)
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Matthews 6-0-0-12; Folmar 2-1-0-7; Davis 3-0-0-6; Elliott 2-0-0-4; Thomas 1-0-0-2; Andrews 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 14-1-1-32)