GREENVILLE – On senior day Greenville played with heart and effort … but those two qualities weren’t enough to help the Lady Wave finish their comeback effort against Piqua, losing in overtime 55-51.
Seniors honored were captains Chloe McKinney and Abby Miller along with Sara Wenning and Nicole Sherry.
It was an exciting game at Greenville and physical … so physical both teams shot a combined 67 free throws. Greenville made four more, going 22-for-36 to Piqua’s 18-for-31.
In a close game just a few more by either team puts them over the edge as neither shot it very well.
It was obvious both teams wanted this one bad, and they went at it, neither relenting, and it would need an extra period to settle it.
The start of the game was clean, both Piqua and Greenville executed their offenses and the lead see-sawed back and forth and knotted at nine each with 2:34 to play in the first quarter.
Greenville went ahead 12-9 on a bucket inside from sophomore Cassie Cromwell and a free throw by sophomore Payton Brandenburg to end the first quarter.
It was a game that saw 12 lead changes and nine ties.
Piqua sophomore Mikayla Schaffner converted an old-fashioned three-point play, and it was knotted at 12 to begin the second quarter. Schaffner finished the game with 10 points for Piqua.
Greenville was having success pounding the ball inside to Cromwell, and she delivered six points in the second quarter to go along with five in the first quarter to keep the Lady Wave close but trailing at the half 25-24 to Piqua.
Cromwell would end the game as the leading scorer for both teams with 19 points while also pulling down 12 rebounds for a double-double.
The third quarter proved to be critical to Greenville as the Wave struggled to score, putting up just five points.
The Indians doubled up Greenville with sophomore Kelsey Magoteaux scoring six points in the third quarter. Magoteaux would end the game with 14 points to lead Piqua in scoring.
“You can’t score just five points in a quarter and expect to win the game,” Greenville girls basketball coach Rachel Kerns said.
Piqua led 35-29 going into the final stanza.
Piqua upped the lead 37-31 to gain a six-point advantage, the largest on the day, on a short one-hander in the lane by sophomore Lily Stewart.
Greenville began to slowly chip away at the deficit as sophomore guard Kaylee Jackson hit a big triple and five points in the fourth quarter to get Greenville within three points.
A few free throws later by Cromwell and the Wave had come all the way back, tying it at 45.
Greenville had an opportunity to take the lead … but the game went to overtime.
Piqua grabbed the early lead in the OT and got a big triple from senior Carly Brown, her only points in the contest … but they would prove big, forcing Greenville to play from behind.
Piqua made just enough free throws in overtime to keep Greenville at bay, despite four more points from Jackson, who ended the game with 11 points for the Wave.
Piqua picked up its fourth win on the season and for Piqua coach Brian Gillespie it was not only a relief … but satisfying, too.
“That’s two games against Greenville that went to the wire … I’m so proud of my kids. It’s been a long season, and we have had a lot of lows, so it feels really good to get one,” Gillespie said.
“Those kids on Greenville’s team played their hearts out as well. Both teams have been battling it out trying to get wins this year,” Gillespie added.
“A lot of people tell us our kids never stop. They just keep battling and battling. I’m so proud of these kids. They never quit, never stopped. They just kept playing, and fortunately today they made just enough plays to win the game,” Gillespie concluded.
As good as Piqua’s coach felt, the loss was stinging to Greenville’s Coach Kerns.
“This hurts way more than any of the losses we’ve had this year. When you go back and look at the things they have done, they did everything we asked of them,” Kerns said.
“They rebounded well, 50 rebounds, a huge number … a crazy number! We only had 12 turnovers … but when you don’t shoot 60 percent from the free throw line and only 23 percent from the floor you’re going to struggle beating any of the teams in a tough conference,” Kerns said.
“Truthfully, I’m more disappointed in our defensive effort today. We didn’t contain the ball very well. We are much better defensively than what we showed today, and we aren’t good enough to pick and choose which game we want to play defense,” Kerns said.
“On the positive side we showed fight. We’re down six in the fourth quarter. We come down and hit a three. We hit another shot and tie it up. It just comes down to finishing, and we haven’t learned how to finish,” Kerns said.
Kerns is working hard to build the program, and there were some bright moments for some of the younger kids playing.
Lessie Cable diving on the floor and going hard for the ball, and at just 5 feet 2 inches she pulled down 10 rebounds.
Cromwell, who didn’t score in the game verses Vandalia, went hard in the paint and scored 19 points.
Jackson stepped up late when the game was on the line and made some big plays and finished with 11 points.
Junior Karsyn Shaffer handled the pressure and did a great job of getting Greenville into its offense and distributing the basketball.
The future is looking up for Greenville but none of that happens without senior leadership that was provided by Chloe McKinney, Abby Miller, Sara Wenning and Nicole Sherry this year whose impact on the future Lady Wave players was noted by Coach Kerns.
“Their dedication and work ethic set the foundation for our program, and the girls in the future absolutely know what the expectations are because of them,” Kerns said.
“The seniors here were incredible girls and my biggest regret is I didn’t get to coach them for four seasons … but only got them for two years,” Kerns concluded.
Greenville fell to 2-18 overall and 0-8 in the GWOC North. The Wave are back in action Wednesday when they travel to Trotwood.
Score by quarters:
Greenville …12…12…05…16…06 – 51
Piqua ………09…16…10…10…10 – 55
Karsyn Shaffer 10, Lessie Cable 3, Payton Brandenburg 5, Cassie Cromwell 19, Chloe McKinney 3, Kaylee Jackson 11 – Totals 1-13-22/36 – 51
Williams 10, Clark 2, Magoteaux 14, Ma Schaffner 5, Bachman 1, Brown 3, M Schaffner 12, Stewart 8
Totals 3-14-18/31 – 5