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Senior Night for the Greenfield School varsity girls basketball team came with an added bonus of revenge Tuesday night.
The Lady Knights, who lost by 17 to Raleigh Friendship Christian earlier this month, completed a 48-40 victory over the Falcons before a home crowd, sending seniors Kaelyn Wall and Caroline Stone out of their final regular-season game in Wilson with a win.
“It’s so amazing, considering we lost to them last time we played them,” Wall said after scoring 14 points and adding as many rebounds. “It felt really good to beat them this time, especially on Senior Night.”
Stone, a three-sport standout, was injured last fall, ending her outstanding career prematurely.
At times during the contest, Greenfield dominated the hardwood, yet at other moments, the team looked as if it might give the game away. The former turned out to win the struggle, as Wall and eighth grade point guard Serenity McNair combined for all but 11 points — and merged 19 rebounds — to break up a two-game skid in 1-A/2-A Coastal Plain Independents Conference play.
On the defensive end, the teamd locked down the Falcons (10-7, 5-3) in key moments.
“I liked our passing and our defense,” McNair assessed. “This was probably one of the best defensive games we’ve played all year. As you can tell, we lost to this team by (17) points last time. We just beat them by a significant amount.”
In a low-scoring opening quarter, the Lady Knights (14-7, 5-2) emerged with a one-point lead over the Falcons. By the start of the second quarter, Wall made her presence known after a scoreless start to the game, scoring 12 of her team’s 16 points to extend a double-digit lead at halftime.
“I was just trying to get us a lead so that going into halftime we wouldn’t have our heads down and we could just stay up,” Wall explained.
When the team resumed play, though, all that momentum quickly vanished and the hard work to gain the advantageous position was erased. Friendship Christian started the second half on a 5-0 run to narrow the lead to four points, then chipped it down to three points headed into the fourth quarter.
“Fatigue set in for us and we were getting too comfortable with our lead,” McNair said. “We just got into a slump and we had to build our way out of it and we eventually did. And we pulled out the win.”
Though the game was trending in the wrong direction, McNair spearheaded an effort to ensure it didn’t fall out of reach. McNair, who scored 12 of her 23 points in the final quarter, was the chief free throw shooter in the final moments, when she made 7-of-8 from the charity stripe.
“I know what I have to do and I just have to do it, regardless of how I have to do it,” McNair explained of having the ball in the final moments. “I know I have to get the ball and make the right play.”
The Falcons came as close as 41-40 from taking the lead with 1:09 remaining before those free throws from McNair closed out the game.
Aiding the scoring power of McNair and Wall, Jeallen Holland scored five points and contributed a team-high four assists.
FRIENDSHIP CHRISTIAN (40)
Chamoff 13, Harrison 9, Melo 12, Norris 2, Hughes 4.
McNair 23, Wall 14, Holland 5, Stanley 3, Parker 3.
Score by quarters:
Friendship Chr. 6 6 11 17 — 40
Greenfield 7 16 3 22 — 48