GREENVILLE — The Greenville Wave triumphed over the Troy Trojans on Friday, leading most of the game and winning handily 49-38.
This was Greenville's sixth win in a row, and the streak is building up to be one of their best in recent years. The difference, Greenville basketball coach Michael Bashore said, was the amount of preseason work the team accomplished.
“I think we had worked so hard all summer long. Our schedule was really brutal, and I think it's paying off for us as we're coming into this part of the schedule,” Bashore said. “And it's been a total team effort every night.”
After Friday, Greenville was 8-5 on the season, and the win against Troy put the Green Wave at 4-1 in Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division.
“We have our eyes set on first place in the league. We're not backing down from that,” Bashore said.
This was Greenville's second match up against the Trojans this season after winning previously 65-38.
But despite their earlier victory, the Wave had their work cut out for them.
“We knew it was going to be tough. Anytime you play someone for the second time, especially in a league game, they know what you're going to run so it's a little more difficult on your strategy,” Bashore said.
In the first quarter, Greenville took the lead early thanks to an eight-point run, with Aaron Balsbaugh at the helm for four points. But Troy kept up the pressure, forcing a handful of Wave missed passes, and the Trojans ended up taking the first quarter 13-10.
Instead of folding, Greenville took command of the second quarter, with Clay Guillozet, Allen Tabler and Zach Comer contributing to a nine-point streak. The quarter ended 23-19 with Greenville heading confidently into halftime.
From there, the Wave led the game for the rest of the night.
But the game was never assured, as the Trojans stayed neck and neck with their GWOC rivals the entire third quarter, eventually getting within three points at 39-36.
Greenville reacted to the pressure by directing its energy on offense.
“I think we just started to focus more on our offensive end,” Bashore said. “We had to tighten it up a little bit. Troy had such tremendous pressure tonight with their guards. They really took Clay out of things, but Allen stepped up and made some nice shots. And Balsbaugh had a nice little run there in the second half. We just started bearing down.”
In the fourth, Greenville held Troy to just two points, which was a big improvement from last year, Bashore said.
“Our kids have really gotten a lot better on defense,” he said. “We've preached to them that even if you're struggling offensively, your defense will carry you through. That's the big difference between this year and last.”
The Wave outscored their opponents by eight points in the final quarter, ending the game 49-38 and carrying on their streak.
Comer led Greenville for the night with 16 points followed by Balsbaugh for 12, Tabler for 11 and Guillozet with 10 points.
The Trojans were seven for 10 on free throws while the Wave broke just over even with 11 out of 20 attempts.