The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

February 11, 2014

'So far,' so good for Greenfield, Lacy

GREENFIELD, Mo. — Greenfield High School boys basketball coach Damond Lacy admitted on Monday that it’s been a good season.

“So far,” Lacy quickly added.

The Class 2 Wildcats, 16-5 overall and 5-0 in the Spring River Valley Conference, are thinking league championship.

But there’s possible danger ahead in the SRVC, Lacy warned, with a visit to Sarcoxie on Friday night, a journey to Miller on Feb. 18 and a visit from Diamond (SRVC co-champion with Pierce City in 2012-13) on Feb. 21 to finish the regular season.

The Wildcats actually resume in the SRVC tonight with Joplin College Heights Christian calling for a 6 p.m. varsity doubleheader.

“We aren’t looking past anyone,” Lacy said. “Maybe we’ve let a few games slip away.

Lacy said:“We had high expectations. We were scheduled to return all our starters before losing point guard Jake Long to an ACL injury late in football.

“Jake travels with us and is on the bench,” Lacy said. “He tried to come back from the injury but just couldn’t do it.

“Brendan Black, another senior, is our point,” Lacy said. “He’s a letterman and brings speed.”

The 5-foot-9 Black is joined in the usual starting lineup by 6-1 senior Austin Marshall, 6-2 senior Anthony Schwindler, 5-11 senior Kelby Davis and 5-11 junior Hunter Montez.

The top two off the bench, Lacy said, are 5-11 junior Jalen Roby and 5-11 junior Hayden Shepard.

“Shepard and Roby are our 1-2 punch off the bench,” Lacy said. “They’re instant spark.

“Lane Hankins, our sixth senior (counting Jake Long), and sophomore Tristan Long, Jake’s brother, round out our (nine) players in the rotation,” Lacy said.

Juniors Carl Mason and Coleman Whitaker and sophomore Zack Tullock give the Wildcats a 12-player roster.

Depth is a Greenfield strength, Lacy said.

“Some of our starting players’ statistics have declined since my first year (at Greenfield),” Lacy said. “But the players don’t mind it. That illustrates our depth. That depth helps us win.”

Marshall is averaging 16 points, Lacy said, with fellow 2012-13 all-leaguer Schwindler at 14 and Montez at 10. Marshall and Schwindler are combining to average more than 15 rebounds. Black and Marshall each are adding more than three assists.

Lacy noted that the Greenfield losses were absorbed on neutral floors. The Wildcats have won five games since losing 78-65 to Class 3 powerhouse Lamar in the finals of the Stockton Tournament.

Sarcoxie (50-47) and Spokane (66-60 in two overtimes) beat Greenfield in the Miller Tournament. Stockton (51-45 in the Marionville Tournament) and Laddonia Community R-6 (47-46 at Mexico High School) also have handled the Wildcats.

Greenfield naturally hopes to spice Senior Night on Feb. 21 with a victory.

Lacy said the Greenfield community also can pay its respect to the 1973-74 Wildcat edition. Those Wildcats, second in Class 1A under Robert Jackson, will be recognized. They were 28-4 overall and 12-0 in the Midwest Conference. Several of those players, of course, sparked the 1972-73 edition (27-1, 12-0).

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