top of page

Greece Arcadia/Olympia ends Greece Athena/Odyssey's season

By: Brayden Peters

Lightning's Ashanti Canton tries to cover Tiara Smith. (Photo Credit: Brayden Peters/89.1 The Point)

GREECE, N.Y. - The season of the Greece Athena/Odyssey girls' basketball team came to an end in the Class AAA quarterfinals, losing 56-43 to Greece Arcadia/Olympia. The loss was heartbreaking for the Thunder, whom made it a tight game in the first half.

"We knew from the start it was about to be a close game," senior Mariah Freeman said. "We lost to them in double overtime, we beat them the first time and obviously it's a sectional game, so we knew it was going to be tough."

The Lightning were dominant in the first quarter. Their defense was all over the Thunder, causing numerous steals and blocks.

Smith helps command the Greece Athena/Odyssey offense. (Photo Credit: Brayden Peters/89.1 The Point)

Also, rebounding became an issue for the Thunder too and that gave the Lightning numerous scoring opportunities. However, inconsistencies in the Lightning's offense allowed the Thunder to stick with them. Going into the second quarter, the Thunder found themselves down 18-13.

The Thunder found a groove in the second quarter. The offense started to consistently bury shots, especially beyond the arc.

Freeman hit three consecutive 3-pointers, allowing the Thunder to take a 23-22 lead at one point in the quarter. However, the Lightning responded within the last couple minutes of the quarter, giving them a 28-23 lead. Thunder's head coach Curtis Birthwright tried to keep his team's hopes and determination up.

Lightning's Madeline Kielowicz tries to get around Emily McMichael. (Photo Credit: Brayden Peters/89.1 The Point)

"He knew that we really wanted it," senior Tiara Smith said. "We didn't want to go home. We didn't either."

Even though the Thunder appeared to gain some momentum, they quickly lost it in the third quarter. The Lightning were effective off of transition and were able to make buckets under heavy pressure.

Their defense continued to cause problems for the Thunder, forcing more turnovers and blocking more shots. With that, the Lightning had a sizeable 45-31 lead over the Thunder to end the third quarter.

The Thunder attempted to make a huge comeback in the fourth quarter, but the Lightning did not make anything easy for them. The Lightning continued to keep their foot on the gas, dominating in the paint. This was thanks to Aimee Turner, who ended up leading the team with 17 points.

Thunder's Freeman looks for an open target to pass the ball to. (Photo Credit: Brayden Peters/89.1 The Point)

Also, Shaina Estrich was able to slice through the defense, making layups left and right. This helped her record 15 points on the day for the Lightning.

As for the Thunder, the offense started to regain their groove. Smith made a couple of layups to help the Thunder cut the Lightning's lead. She recorded 13 points to help combine with Freeman's 16 points. However, it wasn't enough to pull off the comeback. The Lightning pulled off the 56-43 win over the Thunder, ending the Thunder's season. Birthwright felt that his team didn't play as they normally would.

Turner prepares to take a free throw. (Photo Credit: Brayden Peters/89.1 The Point)

"We had kids not do what they normally do," Birthwright said. "We had kids not rebounding. We had kids missing open layups."

The Thunder will be losing four of their twelve players to graduation. Those being Freeman, Smith, Mya Pioli and Trinity Johnson. Losing Freeman and Smith will be tough for Birthwright as he has known both players for a while.

Birthwright discusses the gameplan with his team. (Photo Credit: Brayden Peters/89.1 The Point)

"For Mariah...she was a fourth grader and she came to my camp the first time, and I knew there was something special in her," Birthwright said. "Two years ago at Odyssey...Tiara had her best game...then I got the news that I was going to be the Thunder coach. So, to be able to have them for two years and to be able to have them get better each year was huge."

With the win, the Lightning move on to take on Rush-Henrietta on Tuesday at Penfield Central High School. The tip-off is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. that day.

28 views1 comment

Related Posts

See All

1 Comment

Nice article.

bottom of page