FARMINGTON -- With the third-quarter clock winding down and a defender hounding Greenwood guard Kyiah Julian, the junior had to throw up a one-handed circus shot from the baseline.
Like many of her other shots Tuesday night, the ball swished through the net.
All Julian could do was smile as the buzzer sounded, and the entire team was smiling at the end of the game when they knocked off the Farmington Lady Cardinals 63-59 in Cardinal Arena in 5A/6A District 1 action.
"It was a last-second shot and I knew I was taller than her, so I thought I could at least get the shot up," Julian said. "I thought, well, good job because if I would have missed it, I would have gotten in trouble."
Julian scored 23 points, eight in the final quarter. She hit two 3-pointers and went 3-for-4 from the free-throw line in crunch time. She said most of her eye-popping shooting performance came from her teammates' driving abilities.
"Everyone on the floor is a scoring threat, and I just capitalized when I got open shots," Julian said. "I was scoring because my teammates were able to drive and kick."
Greenwood girls basketball coach Clay Reeves said Julian's high-scoring night made her the eighth leading scorer for the Lady Bulldogs in a game this season. He said there always seems to be one player who lights up the score sheet night in and night out.
"Whoever has gotten the hot hand, their teammates have tried to find them," Reeves said. "Fortunately, she was hitting her shots tonight. She's a junior, so having two years of experience on varsity probably helps her a little bit."
The Class 6A Lady Bulldogs also got double-digit scoring from freshman guard Kinley Fisher poured in 13.
Farmington found itself down big throughout the contest, but the Lady Cardinals made things interesting in the final quarter. Their 36-point explosion nearly brought them back into the game, but Greenwood made free throws when it counted to finish the job.
Sophomore guard Makenna Vanzant led Class 5A Farmington with 19 points, followed by junior guard Madisyn Pense with 17 and junior guard Alexis Roach with 14.
Greenwood 63, Farmington 59
Greenwood 15 16 13 19 -- 63
Farmington 9 4 10 36 -- 59
Farmington (13-3, 1-1): Vanzant 19, Pense 17, Roach 14, Journagan 5, Tidwell 2, Parsley 2.
Greenwood (10-7, 2-0): Julian 23, Fisher 13, Cartwright 9, Baggs 4, Clements 4, Price 3, Sockey 2, Terry 2, Stein 2, Goodwin 1.
Greenwood 44, Farmington 31
Greenwood coach Greg Nichols said one thing stood out to him when watching film on the Cardinals: They crash the offensive glass and get second-chance shots.
He made blocking out a priority heading into his team's matchup and the strategu worked.
"We block out every day in practice. We have that same drill we do every day and its expected of them," Nichols said. "I've been telling them (to keep Farmington off the boards) since Sunday's practice."
Every Cardinals player was held to single digits except one, senior guard Payton Maxwell (11). Nichols said much of the Bulldogs' defensive game plan involved keeping Farmington's 3-point shooters from getting open shots.
"They can shoot the three, so we did a good job taking that away," Nichols said.
While the Bulldogs played sound defense, their offense got the scoring it needed to hold the lead throughout the game. Three Greenwood seniors scored 11 apiece: center Easton Barrett, guard Neil Rice and guard Jordan Sheppard. Nichols said it was nice to have multiple guys out there who could score in crunch time.
"We've always had trouble scoring and this year we've got some guys that are stepping up," Nichols said. "They're not taking bad shots, they're not forcing shots they're taking. They're taking good shots and therefore they're scoring double figures."
Greenwood 44, Farmington 31
Greenwood 18 11 4 11 -- 44
Farmington 13 9 3 6 -- 31
Farmington (6-9-1): Maxwell 11, Staten 6, Montez 5, Shelly 5, Montez 2, Downs 2.
Greenwood (8-8): Rice 11, Sheppard 11, Barrett 11, Stewart 5, Gatson 4, Harmon 2.Preps Basketball on 01/10/2018
Print Headline: Basketball: Greenwood holds of Farmington