DAYTON – After a slow start, which might have been a result of troubles earlier in the day with the school bus, Versailles got rolling and dominated Greeneview in a 68-49 sectional tournament victory.
Greeneview scored five of the first seven points in Wednesday’s Ohio High School Athletic Association second round tournament game at Belmont High School as Versailles struggled with some sloppy play early.
“I don’t know if that was partly due to the bus left a little late than what we wanted to and then actually we lost a driver’s side wiper on the bus; it quit working for us,” Versailles boys basketball coach Scott McEldowney said. “So they had to stop and try to see if they could fix it or not. So we were here, just a little bit more rushed than what we typically are.”
After the early struggles, Versailles got going and out-scored Greeneview 18-5 the remainder of the first quarter. Alex Wendel led the charge with eight points while Justin Ahrens, Austin Knapke, AJ Ahrens and Keaton McEldowney all scored as well to give the Tigers a 20-10 lead.
After taking the lead midway through the first quarter, Versailles led the rest of the game.
The Tigers added to their lead in the second quarter, out-scoring Greeneview 13-11 in the period to make it a 33-21 game. Justin Ahrens led the Tigers in the quarter with 10 points while Connor Custenborder scored two and Jared Niekamp added one.
In the third quarter it was Knapke’s turn to lead the Tiger offense as he scored eight points. Justin Ahrens and Keaton McEldowney both scored five points in the period while Brett McEldowney and Wendel added two each to increase the lead to 55-36.
“I thought especially in the second half that we got a lot better ball movement,” Coach McEldowney said. “It’s whoever’s open. Austin had some nice open looks, and he definitely took advantage of them in the second half. We’ve got a lot of kids who are capable of doing that.”
With scoring from Knapke, Justin Ahrens and AJ Ahrens, Versailles increased its lead to a game-high 23 points early in the fourth quarter. Greeneview then scored seven of the final 10 points as the game ended with a 68-49 Versailles win.
Justin Ahrens led Versailles with a game-high 21 points on Wednesday. Also for the Tigers, Knapke scored 16 points, Wendel scored 10, Keaton McEldowney scored eight, AJ Ahrens scored five, Custenborder scored five, Brett McEldowney scored two, and Niekamp scored one.
Ethan Bradds led Greeneview with 17 points. Also for the Rams, Brayden Woods scored nine points, Koylin Brooks scored eight, Austin Petry scored six, Dylan Lehotay scored four, Nick Fife scored three, and Jack Randall scored two.
Versailles now advances to play in the sectional championship game at 5 p.m. Saturday at Northmont High School. The third seeded Tigers will play second seeded Miami East, who beat Brookville 47-25 on Wednesday.
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.