GREENVILLE – On Military Appreciation Night at Second National Bank Court the fans on both sides were treated to a first class performance by both boys basketball squads.
The final outcome was a riveting, nail-biting come-from-behind win for the visiting Buccaneers from Xenia, 68-65, over the Greenville Green Wave.
The Green Wave dropped to 6-3 in the American North and 6-5 overall with the loss. The Buccaneers improved to 4-4 in the American South and 7-5 overall.
The Green Wave were averaging 67.9 points per game and giving up 66.5 defensively, and the final score was almost exactly these numbers.
The first quarter was all Wave as they rolled out to an 18-6 lead before the Buccaneers could counter with a 6-2 spurt to end up with a 20-12 deficit. Senior Aaron Rich was the Wave leader with 10 markers followed closely by fellow classmate Peter Pandey who added 8 points. Senior Isaiah Gable ended up scoring with an inside bucket using his 6-foot 6-inch frame for the final 2. Xenia countered with sophomore Samari Curtis, who nailed in 7 points with a long distant 3-pointer.
Second quarter saw points were proliferating on both sides of the net for the GWOC foes. Xenia outscored the Wave by one counter, 16-15, but still trailed the Wave 35-28.
Pandey added to his point totals of 15 by the half by dropping in 6 to lead the Wave in this eight minutes of action. Gable popped in 4, junior Kyle Mills dropped in one long trifecta to get in the scoring column, and Rich netted 2 on the charity stripe. Xenia was led by Meechi Harris with 7 and Curtis added 5 more.
Third quarter scoring again was non-stop as the Buccaneers found plenty of buckets with 22 points to almost match its first half output. Greenville was still getting a wave of points with 19. Rich wrapped in 8 points followed closely by Gable adding 7. Pandey was the only other scorer with 4 from close range.
Xenia answered with Harris, who had 9, and senior Te’Andre Adams with 6 to set the score at 54-50 going into the fourth quarter.
The fourth frame was unkind to the Wave as they were held to 11 points and gave up 18 to the 3-point specialists from Greene County. Rich netted in 5 points with a long 3, Gable contributed 4, and Pandey made a trifecta to keep things very close.
Stepping up for the Buccaneers was Curtis with 9 and Adams with three 3-pointers for 9 for their only two scorers of the quarter.
“I’m very proud of our kids tonight as we played with a lot of intensity and energy,” Greenville boys basketball coach Kyle Joseph said. “Tonight free throws shooting was the difference, and we were on the short end of the 3-point battle. The wins will take care of themselves. We need to just keep believing in the process.”
Scoring for Xenia showed scintillating Curtis with 24, Harris 18, Adams 15, Kobe Hughlett 6, Ricky Williams 4 and Jamille Henderson 1. Totals read 20 regulars, six 3-pointers and 10 freebies for 68. The Buccaneers were a woeful 10-of-19 from the line for 53 percent.
Scoring for Greenville showed Rich with 24 points, Pandey 21, Gable 17 and Mills with 3 for 65 markers. The Wave popped in 25 regulars, three 3-pointers and only six free throws. The Wave were only 6-of-11 at the charity stripe for 55 percent.