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GIRLS' SWEET SIXTEEN: Sophomores provide big lift for E'town in win (03/13)

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By Greg Crews

 

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By GREG CREWS gcrews@thenewsenterprise.com BOWLING GREEN — There were six seniors on the floor of E.A. Diddle Arena at the start of Thursday’s KHSAA Sweet Sixteen game, but in crunch time, two sophomores made the difference. Elizabethtown guard Natalie Greenwell and forward Adelaide Luckett scored Elizabethtown’s first four points to nab an early lead and combined for 12 of the Lady Panthers’ 17 points in the fourth quarter to make sure that lead never went away as Elizabethtown beat Lexington Christian, 56-50 in the opening round. During the post-game press conference, Elizabethtown coach Tim Mudd said he had the best post player in the state in Alex Jones. When asked if he had the best guard in the state in Greenwell, Mudd paused for a moment to think before responding. “Well she’s still young. I’m not going to give her those kind of compliments yet,” Mudd said.  But with the way she played Thursday on the state’s biggest stage, it’s only a matter of time before someone puts that label on Greenwell. The 5-foot-6 point guard tied a game-high with 19 points, while pulling down a season-high in rebounds (10). Luckett, meanwhile, tallied nine points and five rebounds — four of them offensive. From behind the 3-point line, the two combined to hit 5-of-6 as Luckett hit just her second 3 of the season. “I was on fire in the warm ups and I had confidence to step up and hit them in the game,” said Greenwell, who hit 4-of-5 from long range. But it wasn’t just the number of shots the sophomores made, it was the timing. With E’town leading by only three in the fourth quarter, Greenwell hit two free throws and Luckett laid in a backdoor layup to make it a seven-point game with 5:47 remaining. After Lexington Christian senior Courtney Clifton hit a 3-pointer to make it a four-point game, Greenwell responded with a 3 of her own to widen the gap to 48-41. And at the end, it was Greenwell who scored the Lady Panthers’ last three points at the foul line to ice the win. Mudd has said on more than one occasion, “You don’t have to be a senior to be a leader,” and his sophomores proved that with their clutch performances Thursday. Greg Crews can be reached at 505-1754