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January 4, 2013

Greenville Lady Lions, Lions play back-to-back games


GREENVILLE —   Greenville basketball fans will enjoy a rare treat tonight as the Lady Lions and Lions varsity teams play back-to-back at home.

  Both GHS teams will be entertaining McKinney North in District 13-4A play at the GHS Lions Den. The junior varsity girls game starts first at 5 p.m., with the varsity girls to follow at about 6:30 and the varsity boys to tip off at around 8.

  The old Greenville Middle School gymnasium will hold three more games with the junior varsity boys starting at 5, followed by the freshman boys and then the freshman girls.

  The Lady Lions and Lions have not played back-to-back district games in many years. They’ve traditionally played in opposite gyms with the boys or girls being at home and the other team at the opponent’s gym. This format change is a new District 13-4A policy.

  It’ll be the 11-10 Lions’ first home game since Nov. 24, when they lost to Paris. The Lions avenged that loss by beating Paris 64-54 in the championship game of the Paris tournament on Dec. 29. That was the Lions’ first tournament title since 2004.

  “We have been road-tested,” said Lions coach Marcus Smith.

  Smith said the Lions originally had a home game scheduled for December but didn’t get to play it because of a conflict.

  They’re taking on a McKinney North Bulldog team that is 1-1 in district play.

  “They’re not all that tall,” said Smith. “They lost a 6-9 guy to graduation. They still have great shooters and mostly guard play.”

  Smith said the Lions’ defense turned up its level of play at the Paris tournament.

“In this tournament we both had great defense and we pushed the ball down the floor,” he said. “We played our style.”

  The Lions are 0-2 in district play including losses of 65-48 to Wylie and 65-59 to Wylie East.

  The 11-7 Lady Lions will be playing their first home game since Dec. 14, when they lost a 45-43 heartbreaker to Lucas Lovejoy.

  The Lady Lions are 1-3 in District 13-4A after winning their last game 52-49 over Wylie East on Dec. 21.

  They’re playing a McKinney North team that is ranked No. 7 in Class 4A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.

  “What’s crucial for us is to play our basketball game,” said Lady Lions coach Lesa Darst. “We didn’t have a tournament (during the holidays) so we had a good week of preparation.”

  Elizabeth Rutherford led the Lady Lions against Wylie East with 23 points. Mackenzie Cooper chipped in 14 points and Maddy Crabtree added 10 points and four steals.

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