TROY — Troy girls basketball coach Nathan Kopp hasn’t had many chances to run his style of defense this season.
“I’m usually a man-to-man kind of coach, but we’ve typically played a lot of zone this year,” he said. “With the personnel we’ve got this year, it’s just more fitting. But we felt matchup-wise tonight that it would be better to play man.”
And it worked like a charm.
Troy’s defense allowed only one first-half field goal and constantly converted turnovers into points as the Trojans turned in their highest-scoring offensive — and one of their best all-around — performances of the year in a 57-20 victory over Greenville Wednesday at the Trojan Activities Center.
The win was big for another reason — it started the Trojans’ second run through Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division play on the right foot. Troy is now 6-10 overall and 4-2 in the division as it looks to defend its North title. With Trotwood and Sidney both entering the night at 4-1 in the division, the Trojans still have a little ground to make up in the second half of the season.
“One more step in the right direction,” Kopp said. “And we get four of our five GWOC North games at home this second time through. That’ll give us a chance to get back into the race.”
It also showed how far the Trojans have come since their first win at Greenville, a 41-29 victory a month ago. While that game was nip and tuck throughout, this time the Green Wave (0-17, 0-6 GWOC North) never had a chance.
“We’ve made some strides, and not only on the court,” Kopp said. “The girls are getting along and gelling really well. We’re doing some good things. We wanted to wear them out tonight, and by the middle of the second quarter you could tell who the better-conditioned team was.”
Troy began the game on a 13-0 run, with eight of those points coming directly from steals. After a 3 by Jenna Kaup put Troy on the board, Kennedi Kyzer stole the ball on the perimeter and took it in for an uncontested layup – something that would quickly become a theme.
On the ensuing in-bounds play, Kyzer tapped the pass to Bailey Hess for another steal, who dished back for a layup to make it 7-0. With the score 9-0, another steal-and-layup by Kyzer made it 11 straight to start the game, and a Kyzer steal led to a Sierra Besecker jumper in transition that made it 13-0.
Haleigh Luce scored all four of Greenville’s first-half points, finally connecting on a putback to make it 13-2, but Troy finished the quarter with a 15-2 lead. Luce hit a pair of free throws in the second quarter to make it 21-4, but the Trojans added eight more before halftime to take a 29-4 lead at the break.
Kyzer scored 13 of her game-high 23 points and had seven steals in the first half as Greenville turned it over 18 times before the break and 24 in the game. Kyzer also finished the game with eight rebounds and eight steals.
“Kennedi’s athletic, and she’s the best in transition for us. She can finish,” Kopp said. “And it’s like I said after our loss against Sidney, you can’t defend a one-on-zero break. We got some easy buckets.”
Greenville connected on five field goals in the third quarter but still trailed 38-16, and Troy capped off the game with a solid fourth quarter on offense while holding the Wave to only seven total field goals in the game.
Two other Trojans reached double digits — Kaup hit three 3-pointers and scored 12 points, while Bond finished with 12 points, three rebounds and three assists.
“Zechariah did some nice things in sets for us, got some good looks at the basket and finished inside,” Kopp said. “And Jenna and Sierra hassled their point guards all nights and made things tough for their offense. We did some really good things tonight.”
Luce led the Wave with six points, while Mallory Rich and Logan Emrick each scored four off the bench.
Troy travels to Minster Saturday before another critical GWOC North game Jan. 29 at home against Butler.
Greenville — 20
Mallory Rich 2-0-4, Rachel Foreman 0-0-0, Sarah Wenning 1-0-2, Karlee Lennen 1-0-2, Paige Tester 1-0-2, Haleigh Luce 1-4-6, Chloe McKinney 0-0-0, Emily Beanblossom 0-0-0, Logan Emrick 1-2-4, Addie Hart 0-0-0, Abby Miller 0-0-0. Totals: 7-6-20.
Troy — 57
Jenna Kaup 4-1-12, Alexis Otstot 0-0-0, Sierra Besecker 1-0-2, Maddy Taylor 1-0-2, Bailey Dornbusch 0-0-0, Kennedi Kyzer 9-5-23, Bailey Hess 0-2-2, Kayla Niswonger 0-0-0, Drezenee Smith 2-0-4, Zechariah Bond 4-4-12, Taylor Stookey 0-0-0, Caitlyn Litrell 0-0-0. Totals: 21-12-57.
Score by quarters
Greenville 2 4 16 20
Troy 15 29 38 57
3-point goals: Greenville — none. Troy — Kaup 3.
Records: Greenville 0-17, 0-6. Troy 6-10, 4-2.
JV score: Troy 41, Greenville 22.