TROY – For the second game in a row, Greenville’s girls basketball team had a fabulous third quarter to pull ahead for a victory.
This week Greenville started league play against Greater Western Ohio Conference foe Troy. The Lady Wave had a less than stellar first half but regrouped at halftime and came out smoking for the win. It was a satisfying come-from-behind victory with a final score of 44-37.
Greenville has a young team – coach Rachel Kerns had just one senior who saw the court.
And maybe it was being unfamiliar with the gym or the first cold weather wave of the season, but Greenville was cold shooting and had problems finding the basket in the first quarter. Troy took advantage and quickly rang up a 10-2 lead.
A lot of coaches would have taken a timeout at this point, but Coach Kerns had faith that the team would respond – and the Wave did, closing out the quarter with 8 more points.
“It was a really sloppy first quarter – we gave up 16 points. There was no energy, no drive,” Coach Kerns said. “But we hit some 3-point shots and got back in it in the second quarter. We got some good looks; we just weren’t hitting our shots. Even in the third quarter when we made our run, we left a lot of points out there.”
Still the Wave had to grind their way back into the game. It was a defensive struggle with Greenville only allowing 3 points in the second quarter, and at halftime it was 19-16 in favor of Troy.
As it had done in the previous week, Greenville came out of the locker room after halftime on a mission. About midway through the quarter Saki Nakamura scored from the field to put Greenville up 22-21. It was a lead that the Lady Wave would not lose.
Troy tried a number of defensive schemes, man to man, zones and finally a full-court press. But the young Wave team shrugged off each change and found a way to score. Greenville did press effectively itself and got points off of turnovers.
“We are still growing. We are not a veteran team, so we are learning as we are going. But anytime you get a GWOC win, it is a good night,” coach Kerns said. “We did have some problems defending the post. We are not a tall team, our tallest player is probably 5-8, but we have to do a better job, and that is something we talked about at halftime.”
Greenville struggled at times making foul shots in the fourth quarter but found its mark in the last minute.
“It something we will be dealing with all season,” Kerns said. “We work on it all the time. But Morgan Gilbert finished strong, making four foul shots in a row when Troy was fouling to get back in the game. But we are a team, on any given night it is not going to be any one player winning the game for us, it is going to take the team.”
The intensity will be turned up next week as Greenville will play three league games in a week for the first time this season, a test of the stamina of the young players.
Scoring: Haleigh Mayo 9, Payton Brandenburg 6, Lani Shilt 4, Saki Nakamura 6, Morgan Gilbert 13, Joda Garland 3, Koryann Elliot 2.