By Drew Terhall
ARCANUM — It was a close game at the Hanger. But the Greenville High School boys basketball team came away with a 44-37 win over Franklin Monroe High School on Jan. 28.
Greenville head coach Matt Hamilton said while it wasn’t pretty, the team played good defense and hit free throws when they needed to.
“Sometimes, you win ugly. We knew they were going to be well coached, we knew they were going to come in to fight. There’s a lot on the line for this game in the county,” Hamilton said.
The Jets had a lead with a 1:25 left in the game, but couldn’t hold off the Green Wave. Franklin Monroe head coach Troy Myers said he his beyond proud of his kids for executing their defensive game plan. They just made a few too mistakes.
“The youth and inexperience showed up in that moment. But, there won’t be anybody to take more blame than myself. The kids are fighting, there is zero question about that,” Myers said.
At halftime, the Green Wave were up 21-15. Despite being in foul trouble early, Greenville made some plays in the first half to get the lead.
Greenville was without their senior point guard, Jarrod Demange. Hamilton said they played an offense that wasn’t driven by positions to help his team execute.
The Green Wave were able to get some offensive rebounds. Myers said one of the mistakes the team made was letting up some offensive boards.
In the third quarter, Franklin Monroe made their move. A few three-point shots got them within one of Greenville. The defense was holding off the Green Wave and the Jets were getting something going on offense.
Greenville entered the fourth quarter up 27-26. With 6:34 left in the game, they were already in the bonus. The Green Wave had an easier path to extend their lead late in the game.
With just over two minutes left in the game, senior Gage Wackler gave Franklin Monroe a 34-33 lead with a three-point make.
With just over a minute left, Greenville tied the game at 34 each. Soon after, freshman Lucas Brenner made a three to give the Green Wave the boost they needed.
Hamilton said he was proud of Brenner for stepping up in the second half. He had eight points in the second half of the game.
From that point on, Greenville took care of business from the free throw line and got the win.
Myers said he hopes his kids can take this experience and build on it years from now. They have a young program where most of the players are getting their first varsity experience this season.
He said the kids have been putting in extra work, including doing some work before school during the week. This was a big learning experience for this program.
“What you hope is two weeks ago, we can pull this out of the bag and refer back to it with better execution. But two years from now, having gone through this and gone through it, will draw back from. There’s no question about that,” Myers said.
For Greenville, this win helps boost the program up. They showed they can go on the road and not only compete, but win.
“For us, for our program, it’s a stepping stone. Some of these games we have to win, get some excitement back into the program. Show that we can come into a hostile environment, this is always a great place to play, and come away with a win is good,” Hamilton said.
The Green Wave were led by junior Jack Chick with 14 points. The Jets were led by Wackler with 15 points. Senior Cason Yount was close behind with 12 points.
Franklin Monroe is now 4-13 on the season with a 2-8 conference record. They will travel to Yellow Springs on Jan. 31 for another out of conference game.
Greenville is now 2-16 with a 1-13 conference record. They will travel to Xenia on Jan. 31 for a MVL conference game.
Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]