VERSAILLES – The old adage played true Saturday night that two is better than one on senior night at Versailles High School.
Though the Tigers’ Justin Ahrens led all scorers with 34 points, the Greenville duo of Isaiah Gable and Clay Guillozet combined for 52 to lead the Green Wave to a 66-53 victory.
“When they have a player like Justin on their side, you’re going to run into that a lot, especially in Division I,” Greenville boys basketball coach Mike Bashore said. “We didn’t do a great job on him, but he had, it’s a quiet 28, or whatever he had … We did a good job controlling their role players.”
“We played against some great teams, but we haven’t played against a good team with two great players like that,” Versailles coach Scott McEldowney said of the Greenville duo.
The scoring battle commenced right away. Gable and Guillozet netted nine first period points for Greenville while Justin Ahrens found the range for seven of his team’s nine points. The Wave led after one quarter, 11-9.
The offenses gained some momentum in the second quarter, and scoring became a bit easier. Versailles took a one-point lead twice in the early stages of the stanza, but Greenville came right back.
Justin Ahrens then hit consecutive 3-pointers to give the Tigers what would be their largest lead of the game at 25-20 only to see Guillozet and Gable answer back with triples of their own before the intermission to give the Wave a 27-25 halftime advantage.
The third period would see things remain tightly contested and become a duel between Gable and Justin Ahrens. Gable finished the quarter with 11, scoring his team’s final eight points, and Justin Ahrens had 10.
Gable hit back to back treys to give Greenville the lead at 41-37 before Brett McEldowney, playing his final home game, converted a three-point play to make it a one-point game at 41-40. Gable then stretched out the Wave lead by connecting on two free throws with four seconds remaining to make the score 43-40 entering the final eight minutes.
“Isaiah hasn’t been shooting well the last week and a half,” Coach Bashore said. “Having that kind of game before the tournament is huge.”
The opening two minutes of the fourth quarter turned out to be the difference in the game. Greenville’s Aaron Rich asserted himself into the fray with two field goals sandwiched around a Guillozet 3-pointer to balloon a three-point lead to 50-40 with 6:08 remaining in the game.
After a Versailles timeout the Tigers applied a half-court trap defense. This allowed them to cut the gap to 50-44, but the Wave quickly adjusted and began the march to the free throw line. After missing the first two one-and-one attempts Greenville connected on 10 of 12 free throws the rest of the way to seal the victory.
Guillozet had 10 points in the period for the Wave while Justin Ahrens added eight for the Tigers.
“We’re a very young team, very inexperienced team,” Coach McEldowney said. “They ( seniors Jared Niekamp and Brett McEldowney) both played on last year’s team long with Justin. Everyone else came off the junior varsity or freshman team. Lot of inexperienced kids. They’ve taken great leadership.”
This was Greenville’s fifth game in nine days so the Wave will take a couple days off before beginning preparation for Saturday’s tournament game vs. Belmont at 8 p.m. at Butler High School in Vandalia. Greenville finished the campaign at 12-10 and 5-5 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division.
Versailles concluded the season at 16-6 with the Midwest Athletic Association championship after going 8-1 in conference. The Tigers will face Arcanum at 5 p.m. Saturday at Belmont High School in the opening round of the tournament.
Greenville – 66
Hendrix 2, Wood 4, Guillozet 28, Rich 8, Gable 24.
Versailles – 53
Knapke 4, Wendel 5, J Ahrens 34, B McEldowney 3, AJ Ahrens 7.
3-pointers: G: 8(Guillozet 4, Gable 4); Vers: 8(Wendel, AJ Ahrens, J Ahrens 6).
Free throws: G: 16-22; Vers: 3-3.
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