South Warren drops two matches, but shows toughness

Today was my third day on the job at the Bowling Green Daily News, and my first two assignments both took me to South Warren for some soccer action.

The girls’ and boys’ teams each fell by one goal on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, but those defeats came against stiff competition.

The Lady Spartans dropped a 2-1 decision to undefeated Bowling Green on Monday, but South Warren coach David Burnette was hardly upset after the match.

“I’m pleased with it, even with the outcome,” Burnette said Monday. “The girls played hard and left everything on the field, and that’s all we asked them to do. Everybody told them going in that they didn’t stand a chance, and we proved that wrong.”

At the very least, most expected the Lady Purples to stack up some goals. They entered Monday having outscored opponents 52-2 in their first six games, but South Warren held them to just two goals – scores by Allie Hanks and Sidney Pruitt.

The South Warren boys had a similar situation play out against Greenwood on Tuesday, battling back from a early 2-0 deficit to tie the match in the 71st minute.

But the big momentum once again swung away from South Warren, as the Gators’ Tyler Daniels scored with less than two minutes remaining to rip the game away from the Spartans.

“I think this is our best game that we’ve put in this season,” South Warren coach Tom Alexander said. “Our intensity level got much better in the second half, but a few silly mistakes led to goals that they capitalized on. That’s what good teams are going to do.”

Obviously the stories that went to print about these matches ended up being more about the teams that won.

For the record, the Bowling Green girls are now 7-0, and the Greenwood boys sit at 4-1-1.

But one of the other big themes remained that neither South Warren coach was too upset after his respective loss.

Both the Spartans and Lady Spartans are now 3-2 with plenty of season to play.

“This is just our second year, so we’re still trying to put it all together as a team,” Alexander said. “It’s still early. I’ve been telling them all along they can play with anyone, so maybe they believe a little more now.”

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In other news, I’ll keep my South Warren travel party going Thursday night, when I head out to cover the Lady Spartans’ volleyball match against visiting Greenwood. The Lady Gators have a chance to extend their district win streak to 83 with a victory.

Friday will take me to Louisville to cover Bowling Green’s big football showdown with St. Xavier. Bowling Green enters ranked first in Class 5A, and St. X is second in the latest Class 6A polls.

Needless to say, that’s going to be a big one. I’ll hopefully have a little more on that game Friday before I head out, so be sure to check back in.

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Meade County 45, Greenwood 14 (FINAL)

Although I don’t begin work officially at the Daily News until Monday, I covered Greenwood’s game against Meade County Saturday night at North Hardin.

The game was the nightcap of the Joe Jaggers Bowl, and the Gators (0-2) walked out a little shell-shocked after coming apart in the third quarter for a 45-14 loss.

Greenwood actually led Meade County 14-10 late in the first half — it’s hard to give an exact time because the scoreboard went down at that point — but the Green Wave rattled off 35 straight points to close it out.

The win was Meade County’s first ever against Greenwood. The two had been district rivals for several years until this season.

I spoke with Greenwood coach Greg Cavanah after the game, fresh off a heated talk with his players.

But Cavanah was calm and certain of many things that went wrong Saturday night, most notably mental miscues.

The Gators allowed Meade County quarterback Thomas Wilson to take over the game. Wilson finished with 294 total yards and four total touchdowns.

While Cavanah admitted that Wilson is a stud, the coach also said Greenwood’s defense had some lapses that allowed the quarterback to cash in big plays.

He also pointed directly at a botch on a kickoff play in the third quarter, when the Gators allowed Meade County to regain control of a pooch kick.

Cavanah said it all came down to the players getting “tired, then lazy” and forgetting things they routinely work on, and that they’ll try to correct it before playing Hopkinsville next week.

Greenwood had 168 yards in the first half, nearly as many as they had all last week against Mayfield (191). The Gators’ offense hit a snag in the second half, totaling just 27 rushing yards.

Quarterback Jeff Witthuhn finished 10 of 19 passing for 139 yards.

Two linemen were also injured in the game. Josh Cavanah (shoulder) and Chase Brown (knee) both had to leave the game early, and Greg Cavanah wasn’t sure what their statuses would be for next week.

Check Sunday’s Daily News for more results and reaction from the game.

Hello again, Bowling Green

Welcome all to the early version of my blog.

As you can learn from my “About Me” section, my name is Zach Greenwell, and I’m the newest sports reporter at the Bowling Green Daily News.

I’ll officially begin at the BGDN on Monday, when I’ll come on as the new WKU women’s basketball beat writer and high school sports reporter.

I’m equally excited about covering both levels, and I’m proud to take over the Lady Topper duties from my good friend Micheal Compton as he becomes the new preps head honcho.

Obviously the Lady Topper updates will be few and far between for now with the season so far away, but I’ll have any updates here as they become available.

I’ve covered the WKU women once before, as I chronicled the 2009-2010 season for the College Heights Herald, WKU’s student newspaper.

I followed that by covering football and men’s basketball at the Herald, and that’s allowed me to become very acquainted with the Bowling Green sports community. I also had the chance to work basically every day with the recently-departed Nick Baumgardner, who I learned quite a bit from as a student.

A little more about me — I graduated from WKU in 2011, grew up in Brandenburg, Ky., and spent two months after graduation as a reporter at the Madisonville Messenger.

It’s only been two months since I packed up and left Bowling Green, but I’m very glad to be returning so quickly.

For now, you’re mainly going to find high school updates on this blog. I’m not sure exactly what the coverage will include, except that you can expect extras and additional thoughts from the games I’m assigned to cover.

I’ll also have any breaking news here as it arises.

I covered Greenwood’s football game against Meade County tonight as a tune-up of sorts for my official start at the Daily News on Monday, and I’m planning to write a short blog after this about that contest.

I’ll also pass along some contact information early next week for anyone that wants to dish out a compliment or a criticism. It’s all welcome, as I truly believe that I need to hear from readers in order to do my job the best way I can.

But until then, take care.