The Greenon women’s basketball team couldn’t afford to think ahead to Christmas, as the Knights had two important games ahead of them before they could relax and enjoy the Holidays. The Knights first tested themselves against one of the best teams in the region, Miami East. Miami East presented a tough challenge, as the Vikings had defeated Greenon 47-29 last season. Miami East ended last season with a record of 25-2 overall and ranked eighth in the state. Greenon then hosted Mad River Division rival Graham. Graham entered the game tied with the Knights for first place in the division, with both (2-0) in division play. Greenon had dominated Graham in both meetings last season, with an average margin of victory of 21 points per game.
Miami East jumped out to an early lead and the Knights already were in a hole from which they couldn’t escape. The Vikings led 20-5 at the end of the first quarter and 38-15 at the end of the first half. However, Greenon did muster a better effort in the second half, as they played the Vikings much closer after the break. The final score was 81-44 in favor of Miami East. While defeats such as this are hard to swallow, Miami East is one of the top teams in the state and the experience Greenon down the road in the state playoffs.
Senior Lianne Masquelier led the team with 17 points, four assists and four steals. Junior Taylor Burson came up big with 11 points, nine rebounds and two blocks. Masquelier and Burson were Greenon’s only starters with a made field goal. Senior Brooke Robinson scored five points and grabbed six rebounds. Junior Lydia Newton scored seven points off of the bench. Fellow junior Becca Ratliff added two points, along with one point apiece from Macey Hardy and Jenn Miller.
Greenon rebounded the next day against Graham to take control of the division. The Lady Knights jumped out ahead early and kept control for the rest of the game. Greenon led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter behind a great defensive performance. The second quarter was more even, and the Knights led 28-22 at halftime. But, Greenon put the Falcons away in the third quarter outscoring their opponents 19-10 in the quarter for a 47-32 lead entering the final quarter of play. The Knights coasted in the fourth quarter and finished with a 59-46 victory.
Masquelier and Burson again dominated the game, with each recording double-doubles. Masquelier scored 18 points, grabbed 11 steals and dished out six assists. Burson controlled the action inside, with 14 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots. Burson’s emergence this season has gone a long way toward solidifying the Knights as a Central Buckeye Conference and regional contender. Also with a breakout performance inside was junior Brittany Kozak, who grabbed 15 rebounds, scored six points and blocked two shots. Miller scored six points and dished four assists. Newton added four points along with Sophomore Darian Patterson and Robinson scored four and five points, respectively.
Greenon travels to Benjamin Logan on Saturday, December 28 and then hosts Springfield on Thursday, January 2 and Northwestern on Saturday, January 4. Benjamin Logan is (4-4) overall and (1-1) in division play, while Northwestern is (4-4) overall and (1-2) in Mad River play. The Knights swept Ben. Logan and Northwestern last season and are favorites to defeat both again this season. Ironically, Springfield, a Division I school, should be Greenon’s easiest game of the week, as the Knights demolished their county rivals 83-42 last season.