XENIA – It is a good thing that the Xenia Athletic Department got new scoreboards installed this year as defense was optional Friday night with a combined 168 points scored in a pulsating 92-76 boys basketball victory of Xenia over Greenville.
This Greater Western Ohio Conference clash had military appreciation night going on as all veterans got to see this barn burner for free. Much heralded junior Samari Curtis led all scorers with 34 points for the Xenia Buccaneers followed closely by sharp shooter Noah Walker of Greenville who hammered home 26 to help keep things close for the ever-improving charges of Kyle Joseph who dropped to 1-11 overall. Xenia improved to 8-6 overall and 5-2 in the American South Division.
Xenia came into the game averaging 79 points and giving up 74. Greenville on the other hand came into action scoring 46 and giving up 85.9.
Greenville came to play and gave Xenia all it wanted except for a couple bad stretches in the second and third quarters, which proved to be the difference in this highly entertaining game that involved three dunks and 20 combined 3-pointers for 60 of the combined 168 counters in front of about 300 spectators at the county seat in Greene County.
The first quarter had more scoring fireworks than the Fourth of July as a combined 50 points were flying into the hoop with the final tally being 27-23 in favor of the home-standing Buccaneers. Greenville was led by Walker with 8 followed closely by Ethan Saylor and Will Coomer with 5 apiece. Xenia countered with Curtis with 10 points and Jay Evans with 5 for the Buccaneers’ impressive first quarter total.
Second quarter pyrotechnics showcased the Green Wave only connecting for 10 markers while Xenia continued its torrid pace with 22 in the eight minutes of action for a 49-33 count at half. The Green Wave were led by Marcus Wood with a long triple from downtown. Aiding him was Kyle Mills who also had a 3-pointer with hands in his face. Xenia once again had highly elusive Curtis with 8 and Cincinnati football recruit Meechi Harris with 5.
Third quarter theatrics once again showed the scoreboard getting lit up like a pinball machine as Greenville erupted for a fine 19 only to be outdone by the high-scoring Xenia squad of Kent Anderson with 27 counters. Greenville’s Walker knocked in 10 with two long triples. Curtis continued his long-range shooting with 13 followed closely by the inside rebounding presence of Harris who garnered 10. This made it a 24-point deficit at 76-52 for the never say die Wave who had plenty of gas left in their tank for the final eight minutes of action.
Fourth quarter firings showed the Green Wave lighting up the blue and white scoreboard with their best quarter of the game with 24 points while clamping down on the Buccaneers scorers and holding them to only 16. The Buccaneers kept their starters in the whole game and never let up against the Wave who showed true mettle in winning this fast and furious quarter before falling by 16. Greenville was led by Walker with 8 points, Noah Van Horn sounded off with 5 matched by the speedy Wood. R.J. Hunter led the Greene County squad with 4 for the blue and white.
Final scoring for the Xenia Buccaneers had Samari Curtis with 34, 5 above his eye-popping 29-point average. Harris popped in 21, Evans 10, Hunter 7, Jamile Henderson 6, Norde Uloha 5, Corey Burnette 4, Ronnie Molitor 3 and Johnzel Gray 2 for 92 points including 30 regulars, seven 3-pointers and 11 of 19 from the line for the home-standing Buccaneers.
Greenville’s Green Wave were led by sharp shooter Walker who drained 6 triples in the nylon net en route to his grand total of 26. Coomer canned in 12, Mills mustered in 10, Wood hit the hardwood for 10, Saylor sailed in 9 from long range, Tyler Beyke had a long-range 3, and Van Horn finished out the Wave total with 6. Final figures show 13 regulars, 13 treys and an astounding 11 of 12 from the charity stripe for 76 counters.
“We gave great effort tonight and never gave up, which is an encouraging sign always,” Greenville boys basketball coach Kyle Joseph said. “We must work on our consistency of putting four quarters together. Unfortunately we had two bad stretches tonight in the second and third quarter, which proved to be the difference, which has been our story all season long. We were great in the free throw shooting department as we nailed 11 of 12 at the line. However, rebounding was a big concern as it always seem to be as we got one shot and that was it.”