The Greenwood Lady Bulldogs put up an explosive first half and clinched the top seed in the Class 6A state tournament with a 60-32 win against Alma on Tuesday night.
Greenwood will be the top seed from the 6A-Central and receive a first-round bye.
Greenwood (23-2, 10-1 7A/6A-Central) took advantage of 19 first-half turnovers by Alma, scoring 24 points in the first quarter and adding 21 more for a 45-12 halftime advantage.
"We came out and played with a lot of intensity," Greenwood head coach Clay Reeves said. "We got after it. When we rebound well and play hard on defense, and the shots are going everything looks good."
The Lady Bulldogs were 9-of-16 shooting in the first quarter and finished the half 17-of-28 from the floor, led by Megan Hartness’ 20 points.
Greenwood had runs of 11-0 and 16-0 in the first half in building its halftime advantage.
"When we’re ready to play, we do a great job," Reeves said. "They know we need to come out and play well. They know when we don’t play hard, things don’t work as well for us. Our kids do a great job, but they have to play hard to look good."
Megan Hartness scored the first eight points of Greenwood’s 11-0 that increased the Lady Bulldogs’ lead to 13-3 with 4:35 left in the first quarter.
After Kaitlyn Jackson scored for Alma, Hartness started Greenwood on an 11-0 run to end the first quarter. Brittany Branum and Maddie Goodner converted consecutive fast-break layups, Goodner added a running jumper inside and Emma Jewell capped the quarter with a 3-pointer for a 24-5 lead.
Greenwood opened the second quarter with a 5-0 run with Goodner converting a conventional three-point play, and Sarah Elkins hitting a jumper.
Hartness finished with 24 points after scoring 20 in the first half. Hartness was 9-of-16 from the floor with three 3-pointers.
Elkins added nine, and Goodner seven for Greenwood.
Bailey Jones led Alma (10-13, 2-9) with nine points.
Alma 69, Greenwood 50 (Men’s)
Austin Lee, Braylon Parker and Jake Folkerts all scored double-digits to lead the Airedales to the win.
The win officially clinched at least the No. 2 seed in the Class 6A state tournament in two weeks in Siloam Springs.
Alma never trailed in the game but only put the Bulldogs away late. Alma took a 30-16 halftime lead, but Dustin Lunsford stroked a 3-pointer to open the second half for the Bulldogs.
Alma went on a 14-4 run to take a 44-23 lead on Lee’s three-point play after being fouled on a fast-break layup off a feed from Heath Friddle with 2:02 left in the third quarter.
"It was kind of a quiet atmosphere to start the game," Alma head coach Stan Flenor said. "We came out and got some stops. We didn’t convert but we finally got into the flow of things, offensively. We were able to get to the basket and get to the foul line. We made some baskets, but it did take us a little while to get going."
The Airedales (19-4, 8-3) led 49-32 after three quarters but Luke Hales’ third 3-pointer of the fourth quarter had Greenwood within, 56-45, with 3:52 left.
"Luke hit some threes that kept them going, or we were going to put them away," Flenor said. "They came out in a man-to-man, and we got in the paint, got some easy shots and got to the foul line. Our guys really shared the ball, offensively."
Folkerts hit a free throw, and Lee converted another old-fashioned three-point play with 2:46 to give Alma some breathing room with a 60-45 lead.
Alma was 23 of 39 from the foul line.
Lee had 18 points with Parker adding 16 and Folkerts 14.
Hales led Greenwood (4-16, 1-10) with 16 points, hitting four of the Bulldogs’ 10 3-pointers. Alec Armstrong added 11 points with a pair of 3-pointers and a convention three-point play.