GREENVILLE – The win came at just the right time for the Greenville girls basketball team.
As the Lady Wave prepare for a difficult final stretch with games against Greater Western Ohio Conference stalwarts Vandalia Butler and Tippecanoe later this week, a win was a much needed confidence boost and that is exactly what they got in hosting Stivers on Monday night.
Greenville (8-8) had four players score in double figures and routed the visiting Tigers 71-24.
“This was a really good game for us to have at this point of our season,” said Greenville coach Rachel Kerns. “We are in a pretty tough stretch with Troy, Butler and Tipp all in a row next so to throw this game in is really kind of nice. It is just a nice game to have on our schedule and and we came in and did what we had to do tonight.”
The Lady Wave, who have now won 3 of their last 4 games, poured it on early in jumping out to a 22-3 lead at the end of the first quarter and carrying that momentum to a 41-5 halftime lead. All 11 of the available players on Greenville’s bench played significant minutes and eight of them found the scoreboard led by junior Haleigh Mayo-Behnken with 16 points. She was followed by senior Jada Garland and sophomore Nyesha Wright with 12 apiece and senior Koryann Elliott with 11.
“Four girls in double figures tonight was awesome,” Kerns said. “Any time any team gets four in double figures you are probably going to be on the right side of it in the end. They (Stivers) have had some games where they scored in the 30s and 40s, but really in the first half we just came out and did what we had to do and that was the whole game plan just defensively do what we have to do and the girls just really did that.”
Stivers was at its best in the third quarter when the Tigers scored 12 points, half of their game total. Already leading 41-5 to start the second half, Greenville opened with a 6-0 run that included a pair of baskets by junior Morgan Gilbert and then a deuce from Elliott at the 6:27 mark to make it 47-5. That’s when the Tigers finally found a spark. Kiarra Edley hit a pair of free throws followed by Arianna Williams and S. Jones each with a basket for a 6-0 run of their own. Garland stopped that run with a 3-pointer – her first of three in the frame – from the corner and a few seconds later Annie Hayes grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in for a score and the Greenville lead was 52-11 with 3:07 to play in the third period.
Williams then connected on back-to-back baskets for Stivers, but the Lady Wave closed out the final 1:37 of the third quarter with a 10-2 run to make the score 62-17 with one period to go. Garland had 6 points, Mayo-Behnken and Wright had 2 each in that run.
“Everybody got to play, everybody did a lot of really good things and just mark it up as a ‘W’,” Kerns said. “It was a great game that lots of people got lots of minutes. At this point of the year to have a game like that is great because sometimes they learn more by sitting on the bench and seeing what’s going on, but we came in and did what we had to do and now we will just get ready for sectional play.”
Williams led the Tigers with 11 points, 10 of which came in the second half. Courtney Taylor added 5 for Stivers. Others to score for Greenville were Chloe Sowry with 7, Gilbert with 6, Hayes with 4 and Taylor Yates with 3.
Greenville has five games remaining in the regular season the first of which is on Wednesday with a home game against Vandalia Butler. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Score by quarters
Stivers – Jaycey Phipps 0 2 2, Kiarra Edley 1 2 4, Courtney Taylor 2 1 5, Arianna Williams 5 1 11, S. Jones 1 0 2. Totals: 9 6 24.
Greenville – Haleigh Mayo-Behnken 6 3 16, Nyesha Wright 6 0 12, Chloe Sowry 3 0 7, Morgan Gilbert 3 0 6, Jada Garland 4 0 12, Koryann Elliott 4 3 11, Annie Hayes 2 0 4, Taylor Yates 1 1 3. Totals: 29 7 71.
3-pointers – Stivers (none), Greenville 6 (Garland 4, Mayo-Behnken 1, Sowry 1).
Records: Stivers (3-10), Greenville (8-8).
JV score: Greenville 50, Stivers 18.
The Daily Advocate sports editor Skip Weaver can be reached at (937) 569-4316 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter at @skipweaver65.