NEW CARLISLE – A season that was the Greenville girls basketball team’s best in years came to an end on Wednesday as the Lady Wave lost 48-18 to Carroll in the second round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament.
“It’s always hard to lose, it’s always hard to have that last talk with your team at the end of the year but definitely more positives than negatives from this season,” Greenville coach Rachel Kerns said. “This game was just kind of unfortunate because I don’t think we played our defensive game, and obviously offensively we just didn’t finish.”
Greenville had a lot to be proud of this season with the Lady Wave recording their first winning season since the 2012-13 school year and earning their first OHSAA tournament win since 2011 with a victory against Stivers School for the Arts on Saturday.
But the Lady Wave’s progress wasn’t enough against Carroll, the champion of the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed Division.
“You know if we play Carroll 10 times I think maybe we win one time,” Kerns said. “They really are just a better team than what we are, and that was kind of our talk at the end of the game. I wish offensively – I mean Carroll played really good defense – but we just missed some shots tonight, and they were great looks. I mean inside, outside, all around we had really, really good looks. And I’m not saying we win if we make some of those, but it definitely changes how the game would have played out. Carroll won a lot of games this year. They’re young – watch out for Carroll here in the future.”
Carroll’s talent was evident from the beginning of Wednesday’s game as the Patriots jumped out to an 18-3 first quarter lead. Morgan Gilbert scored Greenville’s first 2 points of the game with a basket that briefly knotted the score at 2-2 in the first 30 seconds of the game then Lani Shilt added a free throw in the final minute of the opening period.
Carroll scored the first 11 points of the second quarter and pushed its advantage to 31-8 by halftime. Gilbert made a pair of shots in the period, including a 3-pointer, for all 5 of the Lady Wave’s points.
The Patriots scored the first 12 points of the third quarter, increasing their lead to 35 points to bring the OHSAA’s new running clock into effect. Greenville did get 3 points in the quarter, all from Haleigh Mayo, but trailed 45-11 at the end of the third quarter.
Addie Haupt, Mayo and Annie Hayes each scored in the fourth quarter, during which Greenville outscored Carroll 7-3 to bring the final score to 48-18.
“Nothing really to hang our head on, especially our seniors when they came in just to win one game to go out as seniors winning 14,” Kerns said. “Not everybody can say they’ve made that kind of improvement in a program over their four years.”
Greenville’s two seniors – Payton Brandenburg and Cassie Cromwell – won just three games their first two years of high school basketball, but they helped the Lady Wave improve to 14-10 this year.
“They get all the thanks from us, the coaching staff,” Kerns said. “What they walked into it would have been really easy just to not come back around, and they stuck with it. They’re leaders. In practice they can lead by example. They do what we ask. We’re definitely going to miss them, but on the flip side of that I had 12 girls dress tonight and 10 of them are coming back. That’s really exciting to have 10 girls coming back from a program that improved so drastically from last year to this year.”
Gilbert led Greenville with 7 points on Wednesday. Also for the Lady Wave, Hayes scored 4, Mayo scored 4, Haupt scored 2, and Shilt scored 1.
Julia Keller led Carroll with a game-high 14 points. Also for the Patriots, Elisabeth Bush scored 10 points, Juliann Huber scored 6, Megan Leraas scored 6, Allie Stefanek scored 6, Ava Lickliter scored 4, and Marina Stevens scored 2.
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.