GREENVILLE – It wasn’t a flashy game, but the Greenville girls basketball team was able to hold off Piqua and pick up a Greater Western Ohio Conference victory, beating the Indians 32-28 Wednesday night in Greenville.
Greenville coach Kyle Vanover credited Piqua for slowing down the game and packing it in on Greenville’s post players to keep the Lady Wave out of their style of game. Greenville was able to overcome Piqua’s gameplan, though, to win the GWOC North contest.
“We did what we had to do,” Vanover said. “Not every win is going to be a up and down the floor, high scoring, flashy, everybody is scoring a bunch of points. Sometimes you’ve got to battle through.”
Greenville took the lead early and never trailed in the game. Points from Jessica Kerg, Erin Albright and Megan Galloway helped the Lady Wave build a 7-3 first-quarter lead. Meanwhile, it took Piqua more than six minutes to get in the scoring column, when Christy Graves finally hit a 3-pointer for the Indians.
Greenville again held Piqua to just three points in the second quarter, two from Graves and one from Macy Yount, which allowed the Lady Wave to build a 15-6 halftime lead as Haleigh Luce, Tara Guillozet and Alright all scored in the second quarter.
While Piqua was able to take Greenville out of its game, Greenville countered with some gamemanship of its own late in the first half. With about 3.5 minutes left in the second quarter, Greenville really slowed down the game and passed the ball around the perimeter for more than a minute before attempting a shot. Vanover said he switched up the strategy to try and force Piqua into man-to-man defense.
“Up nine and I didn’t feel they could score a lot of points on us so we packed it in,” he said. “We were looking for them to come out; we wanted to try to get them to go man – that was the thinking behind it. We wanted them to go man so we could go inside and play our style of game. But they stayed back so we just held it. You’re up nine and if you’re going to run three minutes off the clock, they can’t gain on you. That’s our thought process.”
On the other end of the floor, Vanover was very pleased with his team’s defense and said the strong first-half defense was very much needed Wednesday night.
“That’s what we needed to do,” Vanover said. “I played short numbers tonight. I think we got a little bit tired and got a little bit sloppy reaching. I knew when we got into foul trouble in the third quarter that they were probably going to be able to make a run from the free throw line.”
Piqua was able to get things going in the third quarter, outscoring Greenville 9-5 and exceeding its first half point total in the single period.
With less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter, Piqua was able to cut Greenville’s lead to a single point. But Greenville stayed focused and held on to beat the Indians by four points.
“They just kept their heads,” Vanover said. “That’s why they were able to hold on.”
Greenville’s Guillozet led all scorers with 15 points in the game. Also for the Lady Wave, Galloway scored 10 points, Albright scored three, Kerg scored two, and Luce scored two.
Graves, Yount and Tasha Potts each scored eight points for Piqua. Katie Allen added four points for the Indians.
With Wednesday’s win, Greenville improved to 6-6 overall and 2-1 in the GWOC North while Piqua fell to 6-9 overall and 1-2 in the division. Greenville now has won three in a row and six of its last nine to reach .500 for the first time this season.
“I’m proud of the girls. We did what we had to do,” Vanover said. “I told the girls, GWOC conference games aren’t always going to be easy. That’s conference play. You look at college basketball, you look at any other type of basketball, when you get down to conference, teams play their best.”