COMING THROUGH: Heather Bales drives to the hoop against Kylee Shrable of Viola. Photo/Stapleton
SALEM -- The Greyhounds hosted their neighbor Viola to open their basketball season and showed everyone they are ready for action. The Lady Greyhounds blasted out to an early 8-1 lead, with four starters scratching in the scorebook. The Lady Long-horns got things turned around, and ran off 6 unanswered points to close to within 1 point at the 1:15 mark. The Lady Greyhounds upped their lead to 3 when Jodi McCollum nailed a jumper off the right baseline. Viola answered with a Courtney Hamby bucket after getting the Brandi Shrable pass inside.The Lady Greyhounds added a free throw, and Viola tied the game at 11-all when Hamby canned both ends of the one-and-one with 16 seconds left in the opening stanza. Heather Bales gave the Lady Greyhounds the lead with a short jumper off the right side of the lane as the quarter ended, giving Salem a 13-11 lead after one. Both teams tacked on a free throw to start the second quarter, then Viola knotted the game back up on a Jenna Shrable stickback. The Lady Grey-hounds took off again, reeling off 4 quick points. Viola regrouped and came storming back. Brandi Shrable hit the backdoor layin off the Hamby feed, then Ashley Jones hit the layup on the 2-on-1 break with Misty Sanders to tie the game back up. A free throw by Hannah Benton and buckets by Hamby and Sanders gave the Lady Longhorns a 5-point lead. The Lady Greyhounds closed the gap with a couple of charity tosses, but Viola hit a free throw of their own to end the half with the Lady Longhorns on top 24-20.The Lady Greyhounds outscored Viola 4-2 to close the gap to 2 points to open the third quarter, but Viola ripped off 13 unanswered points to open the game up. Brandi Shrable hit a jumper off the right baseline to start things, then Hamby hit a couple of buckets and a charity toss to push the lead out.With Viola leading 39-24, the Lady Greyhounds ran off 11 unanswered to end the third quarter to get back into the game. Bales hit for 6 of the 11 points off a couple of buckets and two free throws. Salem closed the gap and trailed only 35-39 heading into the final quarter.Viola opened their lead to 7 points to start the final period, but Salem wouldn't go away. Bales hit a turnaround jumper off the right side, but the Lady Longhorns answered with Brandi Shrable sticking back a rebound.The Lady Greyhounds started coming back with H. Bales hitting four straight free throws to cut the deficit to 3 points, but Kylee Shrable drained a couple of charity tosses of her own to keep the Lady Longhorns up by 5.The Lady Greyhounds closed back in when Jennifer Innis hit a 14 footer from the right baseline, then H. Bales made it a 1-point game with just over two minutes to go when she hit a short jumper in the lane to make the score 46-45 in favor of Viola.Sanders opened the Lady Longhorn lead back up to 3 points when she hit a couple of free throws, but Salem kept pace when Andrea Bales hit the jumper in the lane with 1:15 left.Viola kept their cool, and Jones calmly sank a couple of free throws to put the Lady Longhorns back up by 3. Salem closed back in with Andrea Bales hit a jumper from 12 ft. out with 56.1 seconds left on the clock. Viola gave themselves a little bit of cushion when Sanders and Jones hit a couple of free throws each, putting the Lady Longhorns up 53-39 with just a few ticks left on the clock. McCollum drilled a trey at the buzzer, but the Lady Greyhounds fell 1 point short of sending the game into overtime. Viola earned a hard fought 53-52 victory. Leading scorers were Bales with 16 points for the Lady Greyhounds, and Brandi Shrable with 12 for the Lady Longhorns. In the nightcap, the Longhorns (6-3) hooked up with the Greyhounds (0-0) for a barnburner. The Greyhounds drew first blood when Rusty Perkins hit for a deuce, but the Longhorns took the lead when Justin "Batman" Batterton drained a trey from the right corner. The Greyhounds and Longhorns seesawed back and forth with Viola enjoying an early 10-8 lead. Garrett Smith hit a free throw to draw the Greyhounds to within 1 point, but the Longhorns started a stampede. Viola ended the first quarter on a 13-2 run, running out to a 23-11 lead at the end of one.The Greyhounds returned the favor, ripping off 10 straight points to open the second quarter. Justin Howell nailed down the first 4 points, then Perkins added a couple off a layin, then Smith cranked it back up and hit a couple of short jumpers from the baseline to close the gap to 2 points. Batterton hit a trey from the top and converted a traditional 3-point play to give the Longhorns a little breathing room and a 29-21 lead.Salem came right back, reeling off 7 unanswered points to close the gap back down to a single point. The Greyhounds got a boost when Woody Harlow knotted the game up with an old-fashioned 3-point play at the buzzer, with the teams heading into intermission tied at 31-all.The Greyhounds and Longhorns couldn't gain anything on each other throughout the third quarter, with neither team able to get more than two points ahead of the other, and the third quarter ended with Viola clinging to a 1 point lead at 44-43.The tight game continued into the fourth quarter. With a 50-50 tie showing on the clock, Derek Winter hit a trey from the top and John Mark Montgomery hit a charity toss to give the Longhorns a 54-40 advantage.Howell got the Greyhounds a little closer with a tip-in, but Viola added a free throw to keep their lead at 3 points. Salem closed back in when Perkins hit both ends of the one -and-one with 13.8 seconds left in the game.After Viola could pick up only a point off a free throw, the Greyhounds had a chance to tie the game with 4 seconds left on the clock, but a missed free throw ended Salem's run at an upset. Viola escaped with a 56-54 win to go 7-3 on the young season.Leading scorers were: Justin "Batman" Batterton with 16 to pace the Longhorns, and Jamie Sisk with 11 to lead the Greyhounds.