GREENVILLE – In a game dominated by the defenses Greenville fell just short Saturday afternoon as the Lady Wave lost 38-34 to Troy in a Greater Western Ohio Conference game.
After losing 56-28 earlier this month at Troy, Greenville girls basketball coach Rachel Kerns said she thought her team played very well in Saturday’s rematch.
“Well no doubt the girls played extremely hard,” she said. “We gave them a game plan, and I felt like they really executed it very well.”
Greenville’s only lead of the game came off a Karsyn Shaffer basket at the beginning of the game. Even though they trailed most of the game, the Lady Wave kept the score close the rest of the day.
Payton Brandenburg added four first quarter points as Greenville trailed 10-6 at the end of the opening quarter.
Greenville cut into Troy’s lead in the second quarter, outscoring the Trojans 9-6 to reduce the deficit to a single point, 16-15. Brandenburg led Greenville with four points in the quarter while Chloe McKinney scored three and Shaffer added two.
Greenville tied the game at 18-18 early in the third quarter as McKinney made a free throw and a field goal. But from there Troy finished the period on a 10-1 run with Greenville’s lone point coming from Shaffer to make it 28-19 entering the fourth quarter.
Troy played strong defense, Kerns said, but Greenville needed to convert on more scoring opportunities.
“Truthfully we left a lot of shots out there that I think we could have made with the kicker being only 9 of 16 from the free throw line,” the Greenville coach said. “Make a few more shots there and who knows how the game could turn out.”
Shaffer and Cassie Cromwell both scored early in the fourth quarter as Greenville started to chip away at Troy’s lead, cutting the deficit to a single possession at 28-25.
That’s as close as Greenville would get, however, as the Lady Wave couldn’t catch Troy, eventually losing by four, 38-24.
“I talked to the girls in the locker room, and I said there’s just two things that stand out to me,” Kerns said. “One, you can’t score four points in a quarter and expect to win, which is what we did in the third quarter. And we can’t shoot 56 percent from the free throw line and expect to win a close game.”
Shaffer led Greenville with a game-high 14 points on Saturday. Also for the Lady Wave, Brandenburg scored eight points, McKinney scored six, Cromwell scored two, Kaylee Jackson scored two, and Abby Miller scored two.
“I think that Karsyn Shaffer had a phenomenal game, and Payton Brandenburg really, really stepped up. She had eight points and 10 rebounds, and she had to earn every one of those rebounds,” Kerns said. “It was a total team effort, but I feel like those two really stepped up and did the things that we asked them to do.”
Sierra Besecker led Troy with 11 points. Also for the Trojans, Alaura Holycross scored seven points, Jordan Short scored seven, Bailey Hess scored six, Kayla Niswonger scored four, Bailey Dornbusch scored two, and Kiyha Adkins scored one.
Troy’s 38 points were the second fewest Greenville has allowed in a game this season, only eclipsed two weeks ago in a 37-34 loss to Piqua.
“They really have bought in and have started to do things,” Kerns said. “They believed that they were able to contain them. When we played them the first time we didn’t do a good job of that.”
Greenville fell to 2-16 overall and 0-6 in the GWOC North with Saturday’s loss while Troy improved to 8-9 overall and 4-3 in the GWOC North.
Greenville will return to action on Wednesday at Vandalia-Butler.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.