District-Title Hoops: Greenville Lady Bears Defeat Twin Rivers Lady Royals, 66-60
On Friday night before a packed house at TRCC, the Lady Bears of Greenville kept the pressure on against Twin Rivers’ Lady Royals straight through to a nail-biting 66-60 victory, gaining the MSHSAA Class 3 District 2 championship title.
“I’m just so proud of my kids,” said Greenville coach Diane Rainwater Meyer in the crowded lobby of TRCC’s Bess Activity Center after the win. “It got so tight, in the end. It was a situation where some of the youngsters were really stepping up…where some of the normally quiet players had to be big players.”
Rightly seen as a key threat to Twin Rivers’ quest for the title, Greenville standout Sara Woodgeard—a senior who’s garnered All-State honors for 3 years, as well as a McDonald’s All-American nomination, among other distinctions—spent the bulk of the game under heavy guard from a seemingly-unshakeable Twin Rivers contingent.
“They double-teamed my best player all night,” said Meyer, referring to Woodgeard (pronounced WOOD jerd). “They were on her until the end of the 3rd quarter, then in the 4th they began getting into foul trouble.” But Woodgeard apparently had little difficulty remaining focused despite the extra attention, garnering a whopping 28 points by game’s end. Says Meyer, “She didn’t ever get so tired that she couldn’t go on and do what she had to for the team”.
Woodgeard’s contributions notwithstanding, Meyer saw last night’s win as “a total team effort”, in which Greenville “moved the ball, passed the ball as a unit.”
One Greenville fan, Angie Smith, noted that team spirit was “kicked up a notch” by the efforts of assistant coach and Greenville principal Todd Porter, who went into cheerleader mode early on. “He used these wide, sweeping gestures to bring people to their feet! It was great to see the passion of the high school principal for rallying the fans, and cheering these girls on,” said Smith.
Up next, Greenville meets statewide #2-ranked Portageville in the sectionals Wednesday at Poplar Bluff High School. “We haven’t played them before,” noted Meyer, “They’re a good match for us, though; they’re bigger inside [than Twin Rivers].
But really, after tonight, anything else would just be icing on the cake,” said Meyer of a possible win against Portageville. “The main thing was just getting that district-championship banner behind us.”
Post-game factoid: Greenville starting forward Kaylin Becker contributed to Friday night’s success with 12 points, making this district-title contest her high-point game of the year!
Photo above used by permission of Angie Smith.
Note: Since the game, there has been a certain amount of speculation regarding whether Twin Rivers finished with 60 or 61 points. This article lists the game’s final score as posted on the MSHSAA website.