GREENVILLE – Celebrating its senior day, Greenville hung tough against state-ranked Tippecanoe in a 61-48 loss on Saturday.
Tippecanoe, which is ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press’ Division II state rankings, entered the game having outscored its opponents by an average of 23.8 points per game this season. The Red Devils have the stingiest defense in the Greater Western Ohio Conference, holding opponents to just 27.6 points per game.
Despite the immense challenge the Lady Wave held their own on Saturday.
“The girls did everything that we asked them to do,” Greenville girls basketball coach Rachel Kerns said. “There’s a reason that Tipp City is the No. (7) team in the state. They’re a really great basketball team. They’re coached really well. They’re very fundamentally sound. They do a lot of really good things. For us to go play four quarters and lose by 13 there’s a lot of positives on our end of it today. As a coach I just told them I was really proud of their effort and if we continue to play like that we still have a few more games we’re going to win this year.”
Greenville led early on with Cassie Cromwell making four free throws in the opening minutes of the game, giving the Lady Wave a 4-0 advantage.
After going more than three minutes without a basket Tippecanoe stormed back and scored the next 7 points to take a lead it held the rest of the game. At the end of the opening period Tipp led 14-8.
Tippecanoe pulled away further in the second and third quarters, leading 36-22 at halftime and 53-24 through three quarters.
The Red Devils led by as many as 22 points early in the fourth quarter before the Wave finished strong, scoring 13 of the final 17 points to cut their deficit to 13 by the final buzzer.
“We have been playing pretty well,” Kerns said. “Wednesday (against Vandalia-Butler) was a letdown, but we had the flu bug going through us. But we have been playing pretty good basketball, and it was good to see us play good basketball against a really great basketball team. We just need to continue to keep getting better and taking care of the basketball a little bit better, but overall their efforts and their performance today was very good.”
Karsyn Shaffer led Greenville with 12 points in Saturday’s game. Also for the Lady Wave, Morgan Gilbert scored 9 points, Cromwell scored 8, Lani Shilt scored 6, Payton Brandenburg scored 5, Jada Garland scored 3, Kaylee Jackson scored 3, and Saki Nakamura scored 2.
Allison Mader led Tippecanoe with a game-high 18 points. Also for the Red Devils, Taylor Prall scored 11 points, Claire Hinkle scored 9, Cali Stewart scored 7, Chloe Schretzman scored 6, Brooke Aselage scored 4, Isabelle Crow scored 4, and Hailee Varvel scored 2.
Tippecanoe improved to 17-3 overall and 13-0 in the GWOC with Saturday’s win while Greenville fell to 8-12 overall and 5-8 in the GWOC.
Prior to Saturday’s game Greenville honored its two seniors: Lessie Cable and Karsyn Shaffer. After winning just three games in their first three years of varsity basketball, Cable and Shaffer have been key parts of Greenville’s resurgence this season.
“They’re incredible kids,” Kerns said. “They had to go with the bad before they could get to the good. They’re two that stuck it out. Every day they bring it in practice. Would love to be able to coach both of them for another year. It’s not how it works out but nothing but respect for those two girls and without them our program wouldn’t be where it’s gotten today. They’ve been great examples for the younger kids, and I appreciate everything they’ve done for us.”
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.