Easley girls can’t keep up against second-ranked Woodmont

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — Falling behind 9-0 at the start of a matchup with Class 5A’s second-ranked Woodmont Wildcats last week, the Easley Green Wave girls’ basketball team needed to defend at its highest level and stop turning the ball over.

The Green Wave were able to do that for the rest of the first half, cutting the Wildcat lead to 20-19 at the break, but just couldn’t keep up for the full 32 minutes in a 50-35 loss on Jan. 3.

“My concern was they started the game on a 9-0 run because of turnovers,” Easley head coach Ivan Raymond said. “We were able to get back in the game because wecleaned it up, but we got much worse with it in the second half, and it caught up with us.”

On the night, the Green Wave committed 26 turnovers, with the lion’s share coming in the second half, leaving Raymond pleading with his team to take care of the basketball.

“The kids just have to understand that they have to be comfortable with the ball,” Raymond said. “Too many times turnovers get the best of us, and until we put the time in to get better with it, it will continue to be an issue.”

Turnovers were a major factor in Easley falling behind 9-0 at the start, but the Green Wave showed a lot of fight, battling back with a 13-4 run over the final five minutes of the quarter aided by baskets from forwards Olivia Gramblin and Reagan Horn to head to the second quarter tied at 13-13.

The game slowed in the second quarter, with neither side gaining much traction offensively. Easley led for much of the quarter, with baskets by Horn, Anaya Sligh and Mattison Hayes keeping the Wave ahead until Woodmont’s Anaya Muhammad hit a three-pointer just before the break to give the Wildcats a 20-19 halftime lead.

Early baskets from Hayes and Gramblin gave Easley life to start the second half, but the turnovers and a lack of offensive cohesion allowed the Wildcats to regain control and take a 36-29 lead into the fourth. Things didn’t improve for Easley in the final frame, as the Green Wave managed just six points in the quarter, while the Wildcats continued to roll on the way to the win.

While disappointed with the loss, Raymond still believes his team has the potential for a memorable season as it prepares for region play.

“Right now I think we’re at a crossroads where the girls have to think about what they actually want,” Raymond said. “I’ve said before that they have a chance to do something special this year, but you have to be willing to do the work. My challenge to them all year has been, ‘Are you going to put the time in so that you don’t get uncomfortable when someone gets in your face?’”

The 8-5 Green Wave opened region play on Tuesday against Greenwood, with results unavailable at press time.


Woodmont 50, Easley 35

WHS 13 7 16 14 — 50

EHS 13 6 10 6  — 35


Easley (35) — Horn 12, Gramblin 7, Hayes 4, Leach 4, McKinney 4, Eron 2, Sligh 2.

Woodmont (50) — Muhammad 18, Nesbitt 12, Stewart 9, Chambers 4, Earle 4, Pullman 2, Thurman 1.