GREENVILLE – Fairborn came out strong on Tuesday which combined with some defensive lapses by Greenville was too much for the Green Wave to overcome in a 66-54 loss.
The loss was Greenville’s first home loss since Dec. 20, 2013, when it fell to Trotwood-Madison.
Greenville’s only lead of the game came in the opening seconds as Isaiah Gable made a basket to put the Wave up 2-0 before a 3-pointer by Branden Lilley sparked a 7-0 Fairborn run.
Led by Gable and Clay Guillozet, Greenville battled back to tie the game at 9-9. The Wave again tied the game at 11-11 and 14-14, but Fairborn scored eight of the final nine points in the opening quarter to lead 22-15.
From there, Greenville played from behind the rest of the night.
“We’re not very deep to begin with and then when you’re behind you can’t really give the guys the breathers that I think you need to give them,” Greenville boys basketball coach Mike Bashore said. “So it drains you pretty quickly trying to make that comeback.”
Greenville kept it close through most of the second quarter, but Fairborn ended the half on an 8-0 run to extend its advantage to 40-26.
The Skyhawks were shooting well in the first half with four players combining for seven 3-pointers in the first two periods.
“We knew they could shoot, but we’re not in the right spots defensively where we’re supposed be, what we worked on all week at practice,” Bashore said. “Kids aren’t executing that on the floor.”
After Fairborn pushed its lead to 42-26 early in the third quarter, Gable, Aaron Rich and Guillozet led the Green Wave on a 10-0 run to reduce the deficit to just six points.
“We gave it a good effort,” Bashore said. “We got within six a couple times. We just couldn’t get over the hump, couldn’t get a basket when we needed to get one.”
Greenville couldn’t get any closer than six points and trailed 48-39 entering the fourth quarter.
“Coming out in the third quarter I thought we played better defensively, but you know we gave up too many easy baskets, had too many missed assignments,” Bashore said. “We’ve talked about it before, if we’re not going to get better defensively, we’re going to have a hard time winning ballgames.”
After scoring the first five points of the fourth quarter, Fairborn led by double digits the rest of the way en route to a 66-54 win over Greenville.
“We’re still battling a little bit of injuries,” Bashore said. “Some people are playing at half strength. But that’s not an excuse. We have to execute better. We’re seven, eight games into the season and still making mistakes we were making in game one.”
Gable led Greenville with a game-high 19 points in Tuesday’s loss. Also for the Green Wave, Guillozet scored 13 points, Devin Hendrix scored 12, Aaron Rich scored eight, and Peter Pandey scored two.
Jordan Pumroy led Fairborn with a game-high 19 points. Also for the Skyhawks, Lilley scored 14 points, Leslen Switzer scored 11 points, Ryan Profitt scored 10, Jacob Webb scored eight, Aron Childers scored two, and Brandon Easterling scored two.
“They played really well,” Bashore said. “Fairborn earned that more than anything I thought.”
Greenville fell to 4-3 on the season with Tuesday’s loss while Fairborn improved to 5-5.
Greenville will return to the court on Friday when it plays host to Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division foe Piqua.
“Try to regroup, refocus on what we’re doing,” Bashore said. “It’s not going to be any easier Friday.”
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.