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River Valley spotlight: Cartwright, Trusty form potent 1-2 punch for Greenwood title run

Cartwright, Trusty form potent 1-2 punch for Greenwood title run by Leland Barclay | March 12, 2023 at 1:01 a.m.
Greenwood's Anna Trusty (3) and Izzy Smith (21) defend Vilonia's Abigayle Wertz on Thursday during the second quarter of Greenwood's 58-35 win in the Class 5A girls state championship game at Bank OZK Arena in Hot Springs. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

HOT SPRINGS -- Veteran coach Clay Reeves sat at the post-game championship game press conference Thursday flanked on his left and his right by his 1-2 punch of senior Mady Cartwright and junior Anna Trusty.

"I've coached Mady for four years and coached Anna for three," Reeves said. "It's been great. They are such a good people and hard workers and care about the team. They're great practice players, very unselfish and good leaders for our team. I'm proud of them. They've worked hard and made themselves great basketball players."

Cartwright and Trusty will be remembered as one of the best tandems in girls' Arkansas high school basketball history.

They combined for 2,868 points in their career with Cartwright scoring 1,573 points, which is fourth in team history, and Trusty scoring 1,294 points, which is fifth.

Thursday, they completed a remarkable two-year state championship run with a dominating 58-35 win over Vilonia to cap a 31-2 season.

Cartwright, who will play collegiately at the University of Tulsa, deflected the praise following the championship game.

"Today was about getting the win," Cartwright said. "It was good having two of us, so if they deny both of us we have each other. It's taken a lot off me."

The tandem proved their versatility all season and again on Thursday.

Cartwright had 13 points, five steals, four assists and three rebounds.

Trusty had 17 points, five steals, four rebounds and a block.

"They do a great job, having the talent and the length and the work ethic and the unselfishness," Reeves said. "They handle the ball great, they shoot the ball great off the dribble, they shoot the three great. Being tall, they can get to the rim."

The dynamic duo was 1-2 in the 5A-West this season in scoring with Cartwright leading the conference with 247 points and Trusty second with 224. Last year, Trusty was the conference's leading scorer with Cartwright second.

"It was great," Trusty said. "A lot of people call us that, and we both score a lot. We had to take care of the ball more this year than last year so we had to step up to those roles. It was fun. I learned a lot from her. I'm excited to see her play at Tulsa."

Cartwright and Trusty also deflected praise away from them and onto the team.

"We're real close," Cartwright said. "We all know what we're supposed to do. We've played together or against each other since we were little. We all know each other's strengths. If somebody's not hitting, we'll find somebody that is hitting."

Having two players with the talent and capabilities of Cartwright and Trusty also provided Reeves with a rare luxury.

"Part of our strategy last year and this year is that the other teams focus so much on them, they still get what they need to get done, but our other players, just like tonight, can all shoot and score and play," Reeves said. "When people focus so much on them it makes it really easy on our team for everybody else to shoot it. That's why a lot of our players are open. They draw a lot of attention, but the other players have to hit their shots. They work hard. It's been a great team effort."

Thursday, all five starters played pivotal roles in Greenwood's championship.

Guards Brooklyn Woolsey and Carley Sexton combined to score 25 points. Woolsey hit 4-of-9 3-point attempts while Sexton hit her only 3-point attempt. Woolsey also finished with five steals and four rebounds. Sexton was 6-for-8 shooting.

"They've got great teammates that allow them to do that," Reeves said. "I told them they're going to double-team you when you come here, and Carley and Brooklyn are going to be open in the corner because they draw so much attention. They flip it over there to them and they hit a three. It's been a very unselfish team that allows us to play to our strengths."

The fifth starter, senior Adriana Rusin, has been a defensive dynamo for the Lady Bulldogs and had nine rebounds, with 6 on the offensive end, with a block and four assists. She also drew a charge.

"If the shot's missed, you know who's going to get it and she's going to get it back to them real quick," Reeves said. "Adriana is always going to be in the right spot, and those second-chance points add up for our team."

  photo  Greenwood's Mady Cartwright (2) drives to the basket Thursday during the first quarter of Greenwood's 58-35 win in the Class 5A girls state championship game at Bank OZK Arena in Hot Springs. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

At a glance

Following are the all-time leading scorers in Greenwood Lady Bulldogs history with points and final season played:

1,825;Kinley Fisher (2021)

1,776;Lundon Williams (2014)

1,692;Megan Hartness (2015)

1,574;Mady Cartwright (2023)

1,294;Anna Trusty (junior)

1,241;Kyiah Julian (2019)

1,124;Samantha Gray (2008)


Print Headline: Dynamic duo


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