Glenn Hills has sweated out two significant Region 3-AAAA victories early this season.
The Spartans needed a late bucket from star Jessica Morton to top Butler by two points and dead-eye free-throw shooting to top defending champion Hephzibah by three.
"Those games could have gone either way," coach Bernard Bowman said.
They went the Spartans' way, though, and the team entered Monday night's game undefeated against Lakeside, the other unbeaten team in Region 3-AAAA. No one was complaining after a 42-30 win that the Spartans didn't have to nibble on their fingernails during this one.
Morton scored 22 points, and Glenn Hills pestered Lakeside with its man-to-man defense that held the Panthers to a season-low scoring output by 16 points.
"I was just driving (to the basket) and looking for my teammates, too -- we were doing our thing," said Morton, who scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter to break open what was a 33-24 game.
Bowman said his team opened in a 1-3-1 zone defense to "feel out" Lakeside. The Panthers found plenty of space in the zone to hit two early 3-pointers and lead 8-5 after the first quarter.
Glenn Hills then switched to man-to-man defense, and it scored the final 11 points of the first half to grab command of its seventh win. The Spartans (7-1, 6-0) went ahead for good 1:45 before intermission.
"Our man-to-man was pretty strong," Bowman said. "That created a lot of opportunities ... but we still have a lot to work on."
Lakeside, which finished only .500 in the region last season and was 0-9 against the four teams that made the playoffs, won its first six games this season mostly because of the play of point guard Carolyn Hennecken and the all-around scoring of Tishal Turknett. The two managed six points apiece against a Glenn Hills defense that swarmed the Panthers for the final three quarters.
That's when Hennecken's drives -- she frequently manoeuvred into lane with a nice hesitation dribble -- usually slammed into 6-foot Glenn Hills post Brandi Lamb, who swatted and altered countless scoring attempts. Lamb added 10 points.
"We were playing intimidated," Lakeside coach Moe McCormack said. "But we learned a lot of things that can make us better."
GLENN HILLS 42, LAKESIDE 30
GLENN HILLS (42)--Jessica Morton 22, Shandrasia Sealey 3, Raven Cunningham 5, Burns 2, Brandi Lamb 10. Totals: 16 4-4 42.
LAKESIDE (30)--Carolyn Hennecken 6, Tishal Turknett 6, Lindsey Weidenaar 6, Keisha Grant 6, Cassie Bryant 2, Chandra Wideman 4. Totals: 12 2-6 30.
Glenn Hills 5 17 11 9 -- 42
Lakeside 8 8 8 6 -- 30
3-point goals: Glenn Hills: 6 (Morton 4, Cunningham 1, Sealey 1), Lakeside 4 (Weidenaar 2, Turknett, Hennecken). Records: Glenn Hills 7-1, 6-0. Region 3-AAAA; Lakeside 6-1, 5-1.
Next: Richmond Academy is at Glenn Hills, Lakeside is at Harlem on Friday night.
Reach Matt Middleton at (706) 823-3425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.