Since his freshman year, Greer Landry has been undefeated on Senior Night. The only one left to win was his own.
And with the game on the line, he made sure the streak continued.
Up three points with less than 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Landry swatted a West Forsyth shot out of bounds with an emphatic block. In the ensuing possession, he came up with a key defensive rebound and was promptly fouled with just 6.4 seconds left on the clock.
Then, at the other end of the court, Landry put the final nail in the Wolverines’ coffin by drilling both free throw attempts—sealing a much-needed 43-38 victory over West on Friday in a Region 6-AAAAAA game.
"My mind was so focused on getting that win for our seniors," he said. "I believe I come up big in those big situations, and I’m just so happy for our team."
"Our seniors stepped up really big tonight," said South head coach Manson Hill. "Greer came up with the big free throws and he led us to the win.
"Everyone in the building knows the ball is going to [Landry], but our guys still get it to him and he still scores."
South’s (4-13, 3-7) success down the stretch can be attributed to their adjustment from a 1-3-1 defense to a 2-3. For the majority of the contest, West’s (8-12, 4-6) tall sharpshooters were getting great looks from the perimeter and passing the ball around the arc with ease.
So the switch was made to bring more defenders up in coverage, and its impact was immediate. Suddenly, West’s guards struggled to get open. The shots they did get off were highly contested, most of which didn’t fall.
Had the War Eagles remained in a 1-3-1 for the final six minutes of regulation, this game could have ended very differently.
"That change had a huge impact," said Landry. "They were lining it up from three point range all night … We had to slow them down, and that’s exactly what we did."
While Coach Hill believes this win was as big as any other, Landry definitely enjoyed it more than most. With a big crowd on hand and a sense of nostalgia in the air, he stepped up his game when it mattered the most.
"To win tonight, it makes me feel like I accomplished my goal," Landry said. "This was about all the seniors and all of us being together as a team."
The War Eagles have struggled a bit recently, but they’ve been close to putting it all together. Win or lose, the difference in nine of their last 12 games has been three possessions or less.
"We’re starting to put ourselves in situations where we can win," said Hill. "We’re not turning it over like we were. We’re not beating ourselves, so we feel good.
"Right now we feel like the league is up in the air and everyone can win it."