GREENVILLE — Coach Bill Plessinger and the Lady Wave are hoping Wednesday’s strong second half is a turning point for their season.
After being held to just six first-half points, the Greenville girls basketball team outscored Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division-leading Sidney 23-20 in the second half. The Lady Wave still lost 44-29 to fall to 0-15 on the season, but their fortunes seemed to take a turn in the final 16 minutes of Wednesday’s game.
“That team’s in first place in our division, and we beat them in the second half,” Plessinger said. “I just told them in the locker room, maybe that was the half that will carry us into the second part of the GWOC North season.”
Greenville had been held to fewer than 30 points in each of its last five games since a 45-39 30 loss to St. Marys on Dec. 30 and has twice being held to fewer than 20 in that stretch.
Those offensive struggles continued in the first half as Greenville fell behind 15-2 in the first quarter with only a Haleigh Luce basket in the opening eight minutes.
The struggles continued in the second quarter with Greenville falling behind 24-6. Luce added two free throws, and Chloe McKinney beat the buzzer for two points.
“We have struggled the last four, five games from the field, and obviously that carried over to the first half,” Plessinger said.
“We have really struggled, struggled, struggled the last … probably since the St. Marys game … one game we shot 7 percent, one game we shot 18 percent. We’ve really been struggling putting it in the hoop, but we’ve been getting good looks. We just haven’t been able to put it down, and a lot of that is confidence.”
In the second half, the confidence started to build as Greenville started hitting some shots.
“You saw once we hit a couple, man all a sudden it’s like it opened the door,” Plessinger said. “Hopefully tonight will be that game that will open that door for everybody.”
It started with a Paige Tester 3-pointer. Then Karlee Lennen scored, and Tester added another basket before a 3-pointer from Logan Emrick gave the Lady Wave a 7-0 scoring run.
Overall Greenville played even with Sidney in the third quarter, making the score 34-16 with 10 points for each team, and things were looking much better for the Lady Wave.
The positive momentum continued in the fourth quarter as Greenville outscored Sidney 13-10 with Rachel Foreman, Lennen and Luce all putting points on the scoreboard.
“We outplayed them the second half, I thought,” Plessinger said. “I was pretty pleased with the second half. Hopefully that’s going to be the catapult to get us some confidence.”
Despite the better play in the second half, Greenville lost 44-29 to fall to 0-15 overall and 0-5 in the GWOC North. Sidney improved to 10-5 overall and 4-1 in the division.
But with some momentum from the second half, Plessinger hopes his team will soon gets its first win of the season.
“Hopefully we will use that to catapult and springboard to the rest of the year and hopefully get us a couple Ws here in the next week or two,” he said. “Hopefully a W will come soon. The girls deserve it because they’ve been busting their rear ends.”
Shooting is largely reliant on confidence, Plessinger said, things have to start turning in Greenville’s favor.
“It’s odds,” Plessinger said. “Eventually it’s got to start turning your way, and it finally will. Hopefully we’ll come out Saturday (at Covington) — it’s definitely a game that we feel we can compete in and hopefully get us a W. I just hope this leads us to shoot better and get us some more confidence.”
Luce led Greenville with 10 points on Wednesday. Also for the Lady Wave, Lennen scored seven, Tester scored five, Emrick scored three, Foreman scored two, and McKinney scored two.
Sidney’s Sylvia Hudson led all scorers with 16 points on the night. Also for the Yellow Jackets, Kaitlyn Davis scored 15 points, Celena Taborn scored 12, and Miaya Foy added one.