GREENVILLE – Greenville played well in the first quarter Wednesday but needs to develop enough mental toughness to play that way for four quarters, coach Rachel Kerns said.
The Lady Wave were tied with Vandalia-Butler 9-9 through the first eight minutes of Wednesday’s game before the Aviators pulled away and outscored Greenville by 30 in the final three quarters, culminating in a 60-30 final score.
“Highs and lows,” Kerns said of the Greenville girls basketball team’s play on Wednesday. “It’s kind of like our season’s been going. We started off the game, kind of executed our game plan and got in early foul trouble. Had a lot of fouls that first half. But after the first quarter its 9-9. That’s what I stressed to our girls. Last year we weren’t even competing for a quarter. We are getting better, and they just need to have that mentality that they are better and continue that into the next quarter and the next quarter and the last quarter. And we haven’t found a way to do that yet.”
Greenville led for most of the opening period as Sara Wenning scored the game’s first points to put the Wave ahead early on. After Butler took a 3-2 lead, Cassie Cromwell scored the next four points to retake the lead for Greenville. Payton Brandenburg and Abby Miller also scored in the first quarter, which ended in a 9-9 tie.
While Greenville was playing well, fouls quickly added up, which proved to be a problem for the team later on.
“Actually the minutes that Abby Miller and Lessie Cable and Payton Brandenburg came in and played, I mean they really came in and did what I needed them to do in that first half,” Kerns said. “But it’s becoming an all-too-common thing with two or three of our girls. They’ve got to learn to make adjustments, and we can’t keep getting early foul trouble and having to sit for the second and part of the first quarter.”
With multiple Greenville players in foul trouble, Butler started to take control in the second quarter. The Aviators scored the first eight points of the period to take a lead they never relinquished. At halftime, Greenville trailed 28-15.
Butler added to its lead in the third quarter, going up 43-22, and went up even more in the fourth quarter en route to its 60-30 victory.
While her team has shown a lot of growth this season, there’s still a lot of room for improvement, Kerns said.
“Truthfully we just have to work on our mental toughness,” Kerns said. “And that’s not something that’s going to come overnight. It’s not going to be something we have next week. In fact it’s stuff we’re probably going to have to work on for the next few seasons. But we have shown progress in it.”
Chloe McKinney led Greenville with seven points in Wednesday’s game. Also for the Lady Wave, Brandenburg scored six, Cromwell scored six, Kaylee Jackson scored three, Karsyn Shaffer scored three, Wenning scored three, Cable scored one, and Miller scored one.
Abby Grooms and Brittney Petrosky led Butler with 15 points each in the victory. Also for the Aviators, Shelby Moses scored 12, Briana Fourman scored seven, Olivia Schoenherr scored six, Riley Clark scored four, and Keonni Rakestraw scored one.
Greenville fell to 2-11 overall and 0-2 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division with its loss while Butler improved to 7-5 overall and 1-1 in the GWOC North. The Lady Wave will return to action on Saturday at Piqua.
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.