By John Bombatch Sports Editor email@example.com
February 15, 2014
WILMINGTON — Thursday night’s Division III girls sectional basketball first round game, between second seeded Greeneview and once victorious Williamsburg wasn’t supposed to be close, and it wasn’t.
Greeneview blew out to a 20-0 lead in the game’s first five minutes, and then they put in their top scorer.
Kristen Combs scored a game-high 21 points, and the Sonneman sisters — Sophie and Sydnie — tossed in 19 and 14 points respectively, in Thursday’s 77-28 win at Wilmington High School.
Greeneview coach Gregg Haines said several of the Rams players dealt with illness this week, and so the veteran coach changed up his starting lineup.
Combs, Alexandra Rice, Natasha Siebenaler and both Sonnemans began the game. Barely a minute had ticked off the game clock when inside scores by Siebenaler and Sophie Sonneman and a Combs 3-pointer gave the Rams a 7-0 lead.
Ashton Lovely, the team’s leading scorer this season, was one of those who had missed some practice due to illness. She came in when Greeneview already was up 20-0, and played sparingly. Lovely finished with five points.
“I knew that if we played well, we should be able to jump out in front and put some points on the board early,” Haines said. “I thought our starting five that we had out there did a really good job of getting off to a quick start. That was something we really wanted to do today.”
Less than two minutes remained in the quarter before Williamsburg’s Lexi Stephens put the Wildcats on the scoreboard with a trey from the left corner. Williamsburg rarely got a second chance at the basket as Sophie Sonneman (easily the tallest player on the court) and her teammates were usually there to grab the rebound.
Greeneview held a comfortable 50-14 lead at halftime.They then outscored the ‘Cats 22-6 in the third quarter to put things even further away.
Williamsburg coach Haley Bogan knew her youthful team was in for a rough night, but she treated the game as a learning experience for her freshman-laden squad.
“We have six freshmen on the team and most of them started for us. We knew we were young, and so we just tried to slow the ball down as much as we could,” Bogan said. “For most of my girls to go from playing eighth-grade ball a year ago to facing the tournament’s second-seeded team, we knew it would be tough. But I think they played hard from start to finish.”
Bogan said she used Greeneview’s pressure defense as a learning tool for her team.
“That’s what we aspire to have in a few years with this group. They got to see first hand how a team plays good, solid pressure defense. Greeneview does a great job of applying pressure to their opponents, and that’s where we hope to be some day.”
Stephens, one of the many freshmen on the Williamsburg team, led the Wildcats with a nine-point effort. Williamsburg finished the season at 1-2o overall.
Greeneview (19-3) now will face winless East Clinton (0-20) in its next game, at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Wilmington High.