TROTWOOD – Greenville made a valiant comeback attempt Saturday night but came up a little short in its Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament opener, falling 79-72 to Sidney.
The Green Wave trailed by 14 points at halftime but managed to make it a one-possession game with just over a minute remaining in the fourth quarter. Sidney made six free throws in the final minute, though, to hold off the Wave and end Greenville’s season.
“I really thought we were going to make a run on them,” Greenville boys basketball coach Kyle Joseph said. “I didn’t have anything prepared (to say to my players after the game).”
Saturday’s game was the third matchup between Greenville and Sidney this season. The Yellow Jackets won both of the Greater Western Ohio Conference contests in the regular season including a 2-point victory just eight days prior to Saturday’s sectional tournament game.
Early on it was another tight contest with Greenville holding an 11-10 lead midway through the first quarter. From there Sidney finished the opening period on a 13-4 run to go up 23-15.
The teams played evenly at the beginning of the second quarter, but then Sidney made another run. The Yellow Jackets closed out the half by scoring 14 of the final 22 points to increase their advantage to 14 points, 43-29.
Sidney led by as many as 16 points in the third quarter before Greenville came storming back. After reducing their deficit to 11 the Wave outscored the Yellow Jackets 11-6 in the final two-and-a-half minutes of the third quarter to make it a 6-point game, 61-55.
In the first two minutes of the fourth quarter Sidney again pushed its lead into double digits, but Greenville wasn’t deterred. With 1:16 remaining Devin Hendrix sank two free throws that reduced the deficit to just 3 points at 73-70.
However, Sidney made its free throws late to hold off Greenville and eliminate the Wave from the OHSAA tournament.
Isaiah Gable led Greenville with 28 points in Saturday’s game. Also for the Green Wave, Aaron Rich scored 15 points, Hendrix scored 13, Peter Pandey scored 9, Trae Wood scored 5, and Will Coomer scored 2.
Andre Gordon led Sidney with a game-high 35 points. Also for the Yellow Jackets, Ratez Roberts scored 19 points, Isaiah Bowser scored 16, Josiah Hudgins scored 6, Allec Gordon scored 2, and Devan Rogers scored 1.
With Saturday’s loss Greenville concluded the season with a 13-10 record. It also marked the end of the high school basketball careers of Greenville seniors Isaiah Gable, Daniel Harper, Devin Hendrix, Peter Pandey, Kyle Phillips, Aaron Rich and Trae Wood.
“I’ve been blown away by not just them as basketball players and not just their effort every day at basketball practice but just their attitude,” Joseph said. “Their attitude every day off the court, they’re just great guys to be around. I couldn’t ask for a better group for my first year. I’m going to miss those seven guys.
“The beginning of the year we all had some goals in mind that we put down. We got to some of those, didn’t get to some others, but the most important one to me was that we kind of set the tone for how I want to play, for the accountability that I want, and those guys set an example for what we need to do next and the year after that and the year after that so it’s a lot bigger than anything that happened or what didn’t happen this year.”
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.