NE Regional: White Plains girls eliminated by Plainview
by Jordan Smith
Feb 20, 2014 | 1646 views |  0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
White Plains' Amber Greenwood (20) works against pressure from Plainview's Abigail Hampton (22). (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
White Plains' Amber Greenwood (20) works against pressure from Plainview's Abigail Hampton (22). (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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JACKSONVILLE — White Plains girls’ hopes of capturing a state basketball championship will have to wait another year.

In their first trip to the Northeast Regional since 1996, the Wildcats were eliminated by Plainview with a Class 3A semifinal loss 75-27.

Plainview advanced to Saturday’s finals against Holly Pond.

“It was a great season by our girls,” Wildcats’ head coach Michael Merriman said. “We achieved a lot this year. It’s an unbelievable group of girls I have in my locker room. I’m proud of them.”

White Plains (21-9) struggled to control the ball, as Plainview (22-7) held the Wildcats to just 33 shot attempts by forcing 44 turnovers.

“We wanted to turn the pressure up defensively on them,” said Bears coach Heather Powell, a Northeast Regional most valuable player in 1994 and '95 with Fyffe. “White Plains does a great job. … They played Ashville the other day. They did a great job of pushing the ball up the floor. We had hopes of coming in and being able to disrupt them from doing that.”

Amber Greenwood scored all of White Plains’ points in the first quarter with five. She finished tied with Carly Wood for team high with nine points.

“If you ever come see (Greenwoord) practice, you’ll know why she plays the way she does,” Merriman said. “She plays that way in practice everyday. She works hard. I’m real proud of her.”

Although his team was put out in the regional semifinals, Merriman said he believes this season can serve as motivation for the returning players.

“We’re going to go to work,” he said. “We experienced something that hasn’t been experienced here in a long time. We got a taste of it. Now we know the work that’s got to go into it. We’re going to go back to work.”

Thursday’s game was the final contest for White Plains seniors Taylor Snellgrove and Sophie Taylor. They helped lead the Wildcats to its first area championship since 1997. Merriman said the Wildcats “are losing two very big players.”

“It was pretty special,” Taylor said, “because we built this program up again. It’s a great accomplishment.”

Snellgrove finished with six points and tied with Wood for the team-high in rebounds with seven each. Taylor had two points and four rebounds.

Plainview managed to get three players in double figures. Destiny Lowden led the Bears in scoring with 15. Abigail Hampton managed 14 points of her own, and Savannah Willingham added 11.

“We just feel very blessed to be here,” Powell said. “We’ve got a great group of girls and an exceptional crowd. I think they came out ready to fight today and they did a good job.”
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