GREENVILLE – The Greenville boys basketball team won its home opener on Friday, defeating Tippecanoe 70-63 in a Greater Western Ohio Conference game.
“We came out and we played with the intensity that we’ve been talking about,” first-year Greenville coach Kyle Joseph said. “Really did exactly what we wanted.”
Greenville never trailed in Friday’s game as the Green Wave took a 15-7 lead in the first quarter. Peter Pandey came up big for the Wave early with eight points in the opening period.
Tippecanoe didn’t go away easily, though, as the Red Devils cut Greenville’s lead to a single point late in the second quarter, 21-20. However, Greenville finished the half on a 5-0 run to go into the halftime break with a six-point cushion, 26-20.
In the third quarter Greenville’s Isaiah Gable and Aaron Rich came out on fire. After combing for just 10 points in the first half, the duo – which averages more than 40 points a game combined – scored Greenville’s first 16 points of the third quarter and helped the Wave build a 42-28 lead.
With a 14-point lead, Greenville started to work on executing new aspects of its game including a press defense. Tippecanoe was able to exploit Greenville’s unfamiliarity with the scheme and went on a 16-3 run to cut the Green Wave lead to a single point again, 45-44.
“We haven’t showed that aspect of our press much,” Joseph said. “We haven’t got to work on it much, and it’s something we want to do some. So I could have gotten out of it but I wanted to keep at it just so we have more film on it to look at it and make adjustments. We let it get obviously a little closer than we wanted to, but they did a good job then and settled back down.”
Greenville was able to maintain its lead, and Trae Wood drained a 3-pointer to end the third quarter for a 48-44 Green Wave lead.
Tippecanoe kept putting pressure on Greenville and reduced the Wave’s advantage to a single possession midway through the fourth quarter, but the Green Wave kept the Red Devils at bay and pulled out the victory, 70-63.
“As a coach that’s comforting to see, to know that they’re not going to quit, they’re not going to lose it,” Joseph said of his team’s composure. “They stay composed and finish off the game.”
Gable led Greenville with a game-high 25 points, 21 of which came in the second half. Also for the Green Wave, Rich scored 14 points, Pandey scored 13, Devin Hendrix scored 12, Kyle Mills scored three, and Wood scored three.
Caiden Smith led Tippecanoe with 19 points. Also for the Red Devils, Zach Bonifas scored 14 points, Adam Grieshop scored 11, Cade Gingerich scored 8, Josh Wildermuth scored 6, Quenten Williams scored 3, and Ben Sauls scored 2.
Greenville improved to 2-1 overall and 2-0 in the GWOC with Friday’s win while Tippecanoe fell to 0-4 overall and 0-3 in the GWOC. The Green Wave will return to action with another GWOC game on Tuesday 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.