GREENVILLE – They needed overtime to do it, but the Greenville Green Wave beat state-ranked Fort Recovery 73-69 on Tuesday night in Greenville.
Greenville trailed by as many as seven points in the fourth quarter on Tuesday, but the Wave found a way to pull out the victory with several players coming up big in the game’s final minutes.
“It was just a good effort down the stretch,” Greenville boys basketball coach Mike Bashore said. “When we might not have had our best game our effort carried us through to the victory.”
Fort Recovery, which is ranked 12th in the Division IV state rankings by the Associated Press, was the latest in a series of tough opponents Greenville has seen the past two weeks including games against teams such as Columbus Northland and Trotwood-Madison.
“We knew we was going to be in for a little bit of a battle,” Bashore said. “They’re really solid, one of the better teams in the (Midwest Athletic Conference) this year. They beat a good Versailles team at their place a couple weeks ago. They’ve got some kids who can shoot it. The big kid (Micaiah Cox) did a nice job inside for them.”
Fort Recovery capitalized on Greenville’s slow start early in the first quarter and scored the game’s first five points. But the Wave rebounded and outscored the Indians 12-3 over the final four-and-a-half minutes of the quarter to end the period up 12-8.
The next three quarters all would end in ties, though, as Greenville and Fort Recovery battled back and forth.
Fort Recovery outscored Greenville 15-11 in the second quarter to tie the game at 23-23 with Darien Sheffer hitting a big 3-pointer in the waning moments of the half to knot things up.
The two teams played even in the third quarter and came out of the period tied up at 36-36 following a late basket by Greenville’s Aaron Rich.
“I didn’t think we really found our momentum until midway through the third quarter, almost into the fourth,” Bashore said. “We couldn’t really get going. They did a nice job with taking us out of our sets offensively. I think down the stretch it just became a matter of will. Clay (Guillozet) decided he was going to take the ball to the basket. Isaiah (Gable) got some nice rebounds inside, made some key baskets inside.”
Fort Recovery started the fourth quarter on an 8-2 run with Cox dominating inside for the Indians, putting them up 44-39.
Greenville fought back with scoring from Braden Russell, Trae Wood and Rich to tie the game at 46-46, but Fort Recovery went on another big run with scoring from Sheffer, Chase Bruns and Cox to go up seven points, 53-46, which was the biggest lead for either team all night.
After a basket by Russell, Guillozet started to assert his will and scored six points to cut the deficit to a single point, 55-54, with just over two minutes remaining. Cox, who led Fort Recovery with 19 points, fouled out with 2:02 remaining.
Fort Recovery was able to keep Greenville at bay for most of the fourth quarter, but Greenville got a steal and then a basket by Guillozet with just over 30 seconds remaining to go up 60-59.
“Our pressure got to them down the stretch in the fourth quarter,” Bashore said. “We kind of waited until the end to throw that at them. Trae Wood had three or four steals there for us that got us some baskets when we were down.”
Fort Recovery regained the lead with a pair of Matt Bihn free throws with 27.8 seconds left, and Greenville went ahead with a Gable basket and free throw with 10.8 left.
After the teams used four timeouts in the final 11 seconds of regulation, Fort Recovery’s Sheffer came up with a game-tying basket with less than four seconds remaining to force overtime.
Tied 63-63, the overtime period began with Sheffer and Guillozet matching each other point for point. Then after Fort Recovery came up empty on a possession, Guillozet made a pair of free throws to put the Wave up 69-67.
Fort Recovery tied the game at 69-69 with a basket by Bihn, but Greenville regained the lead on a Gable basket.
The Indians then set up for a potential game-tying shot but missed. Gable came up with the loose ball and drained a pair of free throws to seal the victory, 73-69.
“Everybody did some nice things tonight down the stretch,” Bashore said. “We don’t have that opportunity if Trae is not getting those steals on the press. If Rich doesn’t get a few more rebounds we don’t have those opportunities to get in that situation. So it was a good team win for us.”
After combining for just 10 points in the first half, Guillozet and Gable finished the night with 23 and 19 points respectively to lead Greenville. Also for the Wave, Rich scored 13 points, Wood scored eight, Peter Pandey scored four, Russell scored four, and Devin Hendrix scored two.
Cox led Fort Recovery with his 19 points while Sheffer scored 16, Bruns scored 13, Bihn scored 11, Caleb Martin scored five, and Brandon Schoen scored five.
Greenville improved to 9-6 with Tuesday’s win while Fort Recovery fell to 9-4.
Greenville now begins a two-week stretch that includes five games against Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division opponents, starting with Troy on Friday. The Wave trail Trotwood-Madison by two games in the division but still have hope at a potential GWOC North championship.
“We’ve got to get back at it,” Bashore said. “We’re not out of it yet I think, but we’ve got to win out to have a shot at it, which is possible. We’ve got to get more consistent. We’ve just got to go one at a time. We’ve got to worry about Troy and then move on to the next one after that.”
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.