After starting the season 2-4, the Greenon High School girls basketball team has reeled off four straight victories.
The Knights (6-4, 6-2 Ohio Heritage Conference South Division) and new coach Lonnie Robinson are finally getting situated, he said.
“We’re getting more comfortable with what I’m trying to do with them,” Robinson said. “They’re getting a little bit more comfortable with me.”
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Robinson served as an assistant coach the last 10 years under Gary Falkenbach. While he had been with the program, it took the Knights a few weeks to adjust to changes being implemented, Robinson said, including a slower-paced offense.
“I just like being real controlled in the half court,” he said. “We’re doing a lot of the same things, but taking a little bit out and putting a little bit in.”
The Knights are led by junior Reagan Ware, who’s averaging 14.6 points per game. She scored 29 points, including six 3-pointers, in Greenon’s 56-39 victory over Triad last weekend. Junior Delaney Benedict ranks among the league leaders in assists at 4.9 per game, while junior Lydia Henry has served as the Knights’ defensive stopper, Robinson said. Makenna Young, Katie Pry and Sierra Potter have also provided a spark, he said.
“We’re getting some great minutes from our bench,” Robinson said. “It’s been a team effort. We really have five girls who can score and get in double figures on any night. We’ve stressed that from the beginning. We just can’t look for one girl. We’ve got to have five girls who are offensive-minded and we’re getting there.”
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Greeneview (10-3, 7-1) is leading the OHC South Division, while Greenon, Catholic Central (8-3, 5-2) and Cedarville (8-3, 5-2) are all one game back.
The Knights face a big test on Thursday night at North Division leader West Liberty-Salem (8-3, 6-0). The Tigers have won eight straight games since starting 0-3.
“It’s a big question mark to see where we’re at,” Robinson said. “The girls are ready, but you’ve got to give West Liberty all the credit in the world. They’re playing well and they’re coached extremely well.”
After a decade in the second seat, Robinson admitted the butterflies are a bit different as head coach, he said.
“All the weight is on your shoulders now,” he said. “I was able to relax a little bit and be in Gary’s ear all the time about what I thought. Now, there’s some more weight, but I’m embracing the challenge for sure.”
It helps that the team has bought into Robinson’s program, he said. The future is bright for the Knights, who don’t have a senior on their roster.
“They’re giving great attitude and effort and that’s all you can ask for,” Robinson said. “It’s been real fun.”
Career night: Kenton Ridge senior Mikala Morris scored a career-high 44 points in a 75-33 victory over Shawnee on Jan. 5. The senior was nearly perfect from the field, hitting 20-of-22 shots and going 4-for-4 from the free throw line. She’s averaging a Central Buckeye Conference-best 24.3 points and 22.5 rebounds per game for the Cougars (8-3).
Road trippin: Tecumseh freshman Mae Mastin scored a team-high 22 points as the Arrows won their seventh straight game, beating Division I opponent Northmont 76-60 on Monday night. Tecumseh will play six of its next seven games on the road, including trips to Springboro (Jan. 9), Miamisburg (Jan. 21) and Kenton Ridge (Jan. 26).
Winning streak: Northwestern (6-5, 2-1 CBC Mad River Division) won its third straight game on Monday, beating Xenia 38-22 on Monday. The Warriors host division leader Benjamin Logan on Saturday.