NEWPORT — One untimely run.
From Greenwood’s perspective, the outburst Susquenita authored in the second quarter Thursday was the difference between capturing the Tri-Valley League’s girls basketball championship and going home with a second-place finish.
Running off 14 consecutive points during the first four-plus minutes of the second quarter, Susquenita turned that timely run into a 49-39 victory in the TVL title.
Alana Boyer poured in 20 points, and Haily Sherman added 17 for the Blackhawks (19-5), who earned a four-game split in the teams’ season series.
That 14-0 spurt erased a small deficit and handed Susquenita a double-digit advantage (19-8) with 3:29 remaining in the opening half. Boyer netted eight of the 14 points, while Sherman chipped in two. Madi Blyler added four more.
“It was one big run for them,” Greenwood coach Jeff Deitz said. “We just couldn’t recover. Every time we’d string a bucket or two together, they’d come down and hit a big shot.
“You’ve got to give those guys credit. That’s what you want your team to do in a championship basketball game, and they were able to capitalize on it and make the big plays when they wanted to and we didn’t. They were better tonight than us.”
Although Wildcats all-state guard Kenedy Stroup answered with a 3-ball, and Alli Walton muscled in the paint for a pair of buckets that trimmed Susquenita’s lead to four (19-15), once Boyer shook free out front and canned the fourth of her five treys Greenwood never drew closer.
Deitz’s club climbed within seven points three times in the second half, but the TVL West champions were unable to get any closer against Susquenita’s 3-2 zone. The Blackhawks also took terrific care of the basketball, committing just four turnovers — only one in the second half.
“That was the first time all year that we were focused for 24 minutes, let alone 32,” Susquenita coach Blaine Leonard said. “And we focused pretty well. We had one little lapse here or there, but every time they went on a run Alana hit a shot.”
“I think tonight they realized how good they could have been and could be still.”
Stroup was the lone Greenwood player to reach double figures, as she netted 13. The 6-foot-1 Walton, bothered by foul issues in the second half, added nine points and 12 boards for a Wildcats group that next week will open District 3 Class A play against Halifax.
Shooting just less than 29 percent (13-for-45) also was an issue for the Wildcats. Susquenita also shot just south of 29 percent (16-for-56), but the Blackhawks were an even 50 percent from beyond the arc. Boyer’s five treys really hurt.
Susquenita also canned seven of its 10 tries from the foul line in the final three minutes, a number that allowed the Blackhawks to maintain command and eventually avenge a pair of regular-season defeats.
“Tonight was their night,” Deitz said. “The last two were ours. Unfortunately for us, this was the one that got a piece of hardware to go home with it.
“We played hard. We played well. We just weren’t as good.”
At Newport H.S.
SUSQUENITA 49, GREENWOOD 39
Susquenita (19-5) 49
Mandi Armstrong 1 0-0 2; Alana Boyer 7 1-2 20; Haily Sherman 5 7-7 17; Madi Blyler 2 3-5 7; Mariah Massie 1 0-0 3. Totals: 16 11-14 49.
3-point goals: Boyer 5, Massie.
Did not score: Taylor Portzline, Mady Fleisher.
Greenwood (18-6) 39
Kenedy Stroup 3 5-6 13; Abby Taylor 4 0-0 8; Ella Brummer 2 1-2 7; Alli Crockett 0 2-2 2; Alli Walton 4 1-2 9. Totals: 13 9-12 39.
3-point goals: K. Stroup 2, Brummer 2.
Did not score: Mercedees McNaughton, Jordan Stroup.
Score by quarters
Susquenita`5`19`12`10 — 49
Greenwood`8`8`10`13 — 39