BUTLER -- There were all sorts of words that no doubt crept into the minds of Greenville’s players when the Patriots saw the draw in the GHSA Class A public school pairings.
“Really?” was a serious candidate as a common one.
Greenville had seen Taylor County enough this season, losing by 47, 33 and 24 points.
Worries about beating a team four times were assuaged early as Taylor County rolled to a 57-30 win Friday night.
“That was the fourth time we’ve played that bunch,” said Taylor County head coach Matt Troutman, whose team hosts Treutlen, which beat ECI 57-46. “Kids just have a tendency sometimes to, you beat a team three times like we beat them, sort of let down.
“Our kids came out, and they played well.”
The Vikings improved to 28-0 while the Patriots’ season ended at 15-13.
“Eh, we played pretty good,” said Taylor County junior forward Kelsie Towns, who had 11 points. “We got after them on the defensive end, and we just ran our plays on offense.”
Rasheeka Simmons led Taylor County with 18 points and helped key a Vikings defense that scored 20 points off of 15 turnovers in the first half.
The first quarter was the last one of any suspense. The Patriots were down by five one minute and watched the Vikings struggle at the end of the quarter to take a 13-5 lead.
Greenville scored first in the second quarter, but Taylor County reeled off nine straight for a 22-7 lead. The Vikings dealt the knockout punch a short time later, taking off on a 13-4 run to end the quarter and take a 35-13 halftime lead.
“We just pressed them hard,” Towns said. “Made it hard for them to score.”
It was a pretty typical night for the Vikings, who failed to crack to 60 points for the first time since a 55-20 win over Upson-Lee on Dec. 20.
But the 28-point margin of victory was pretty normal.
“I’m thought that (Greenville) did a better job in their halfcourt man defense than they did in the previous games,” Troutman said. “They did a good job of getting up in us, caused us some turnovers there. I thought their kids came out and played hard.”
But the Patriots didn’t get much to show for their effort.
“We moved our feet more on defense,” sophomore forward Mikell Greene said. “We rebounded more. We’ve worked real hard.”