Written and media By Jaylen Shelton.
The Greenville Women’s Basketball Team has had a great season so far this year. They have competed in 23 games and have won 18. They have 13 wins and 1 loss so far in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC), which is the best record in the conference to date. Offensively, they are averaging around 80 points per game and lead the conference in field goal percentage (46%) and three-point percentage (40%). Defensively, they are only allowing opponents to score an average of 62 points per game. Their opponent’s field goal percentage is only at 38%, and their three-point percentage is 28%. The Lady Panthers also average ten steals per game and have the least amount of turnovers in their conference. Coach Skylar Bareford had said this about the team, “This season we have a strong core of six seniors who have each taken on a unique role of leadership. Through their hard work and dedication, and selflessness over the past four years, we have been able to build a strong foundation.” They are the first team to clinch a spot in the SLIAC Women’s Basketball Tournament. This past week the Panthers had 3 games and they went 2-1. They beat 2 teams within their conference, MacMurray and Blackburn, and their losses came from Oakland City.
Greenville defeated MacMurray 90-43 on February 3rd. Greenville only lead by eight points heading into halftime, leading the game 38-30, but they outscored MacMurray 52-13 in the second half. They forced MacMurray to turn the ball over 23 times and scored 34 points off of those turnovers. The panther’s bench also outscored MacMurray’s 41-14. The Panthers’ leading scorer was senior Maria Reinhard, who had 18 points. A close second was Morgan St. James, who added 17 points off the bench. Their leading rebounder was sophomore Ellaina Davis who had 8, followed by Kelly Lenz who lead the team with 6 assists.
In their non-conference game against Oakland City, the Panthers came up short by two points due to a last minute buzzer beater.
The final score was 86-84. Greenville lead by one after Kelly Lenz made a layup with 10 seconds left in the game. After Oakland City took a timeout, they made a three-pointer to win the game by two points. Greenville had 26 points off of forcing 21 turnovers. The Panther’s leading scorer was Maria Reinhard who had 15 points while she also lead the team in assists with 6. Reinhard made four of those shots from three-point range. Senior Laura Goodnight lead the team in rebounds with 9. The loss was only Greenville’s fifth in the entire season.
In the game against Blackburn, Greenville dominated from the get-go. They outscored Blackburn 27-13 in the first quarter, and 28-10 in the second quarter to take a 55-23 halftime lead. They kept outscoring Blackburn in the second half 35-24 to win the game 90-43. Greenville only had five turnovers while also forcing 18 of them. Out of those five turnovers, they only allowed Blackburn to score two points off of them while scoring 24 points off of the turnovers they forced. The leading scorer for Greenville was Laura Goodnight who had 18 points, while three Panthers tied for the most rebounds on the team with six each. Kelly Lenz lead the team in assists with 7, while she added 11 points to the team.
The win against Blackburn clinched a spot in the SLIAC basketball tournament for Greenville. If they win one more conference game, they will win the SLIAC all together and be the host of the SLIAC Championship Tournament. Many can say that the Panthers are having a great season so far and a lot of people would agree with them. Coach Bareford says, “It has been lots of fun to see this team grow and develop over the last few months. We believe every person on our roster is vital to who we are, and that we are only successful because of who we are together.” Greenville has looked to be the current favorite and have the chance to be back-to-back SLIAC conference champions.