SOUTH WARREN LOOKS FOR ANOTHER UPSET AGAINST BGHS IN THURSDAY’S TITLE GAME
There was one turning point after another. A key stop here, a timely rebound there. Every point, every turnover, every single second … magnified.
Then, with the prospect of overtime looming, almost likely, the South Warren High School girls basketball team made it happen on Wednesday night at Warren Central High School.
Scrapping against an inspired Greenwood squad, led by the fearless sophomore Leia Trinh, the Lady Spartans got the ball down the court, looking for something near the basket in semifinal play of the KHSAA’s 14th District Tournament.
South Warren got just that.
Tied at 39 in the final seconds, South Warren managed a couple shots near the basket before senior forward Carrie Enlow drew the foul in the lane with just 0.4 seconds showing on the clock.
Greenwood had just tied the game in dramatic fashion, erasing South Warren’s 39-36 lead on Trinh’s deft 3-pointer from the left wing with about 15 seconds left. After a timeout, the Lady Spartans got back to the free-throw line, and Enlow made her two foul shots count.
They fell through the net.
South Warren advanced with a 41-39 victory, and the Lady Spartans (11-18) will get a chance to play in the KHSAA’s 4th Region Tournament starting Sunday at E.A. Diddle Arena. A devastated Greenwood squad finishes its season with a 17-13 record.
South Warren will look for the upset on Thursday evening against No. 1 seed Bowling Green High School, which thrashed homestanding Warren Central 53-31 on Tuesday night.
A packed house watched Greenwood fight its way back into the game, sparked by the Lady Gators’ slight sophomore guard, Leia Trinh.
After an offensively challenged first half, the final 16 minutes had plenty of ebb and flow.
Greenwood’s Kayla Grant scored on an inside move to put the Lady Gators in front 32-31, and she later added a free throw before South’s Gracie Hodges hit a 3-pointer from the right corner for another lead change.
Then the drama moved into overdrive.
Trinh was true from the right wing with 1:18 left, nailing a 3-pointer to lift Greenwood to a 36-34 advantage. But the Lady Spartans’ McLaine Hudson, just an eighth grader, answered with a 3-point field goal of her own, giving South the lead at 37-36.
Hodges calmly sank two free throws with 40 seconds on the clock, leaving South Warren with a three-point lead. But Greenwood coach Zach Simpson instructed his team not to hurry its shot, and the Lady Gators got the ball to Trinh, deep on the left wing.
With South’s Abigail Overbay closing in, Trinh drilled a 27-footer to tie things up at 39, and the Greenwood boys squad, waiting to play Bowling Green in its semifinal, cheered with approval.
Enlow’s free throws would prove to be the difference, however, and now the Lady Spartans will take aim at some tall timber, tangling with junior center Meadow Tisdale and the Bowling Green Lady Purples on Thursday evening.
The Lady Gators walked off the court, seemingly in a state of disbelief.
Leia Trinh, who has been playing varsity basketball since she was an eighth grader, led Greenwood with 18 points. Kayla Grant, a junior forward, added 11 points, and senior center Olivia Lovell finished with 10.
Gracie Hodges and Lady Spartans teammate Lydia Frank led a balanced South scoring attack with 9 points each. Junior guard Mila Munrath added 7 points, while Enlow and Hudson both finished with 6.
South Warren had lost four of its previous five games, and six of its last eight.
South Warren will be playing in the KHSAA 4th Region Tournament for the first time since 2019.