Greeneview’s effort to stay unbeaten in the Ohio Heritage Conference is at the grind-it-out stage of the girls basketball season. When the 3-pointers aren’t falling, when your best player is ill and when you have to play a rival on the road, the score stays closer than usual.
Upset-minded Southeastern did its part Thursday night to scare the Rams, but Greeneview prevailed with enough defense in the second half to escape with a 50-41 victory.
“We’re going to get everybody’s best shot,” said Rams coach Gregg Haines, whose team is 16-0 and 9-0 in the OHC. “Coming in here it’s a tough place to play. Southeastern outworked us, but we found a way to win.”
The schedule gets tougher for the Rams with second-place Mechanicsburg in Jamestown for a 1:30 tip Saturday afternoon.
“We weren’t sharp tonight,” Haines said. “And if we want to win this league – we’ve got a big game Saturday – and make a run in the tournament, we’ve got to get better.”
Southeastern (9-9, 5-5) built a 27-18 lead with 1:36 left in the first half, but turnovers began to turn the game in Greeneview’s favor. By halftime the Trojans’ lead was down to 27-24. Then six turnovers in the early stages of the second half helped the Rams to a 33-29 lead. Other than a tie at 35-all on a 3-pointer by the Trojans’ Taylor Perry (17 points), the Rams led the rest of the game and only allowed one field goal in the fourth quarter.
“We played well for the most part until that stretch in the third quarter,” Trojans coach Jim Lightle said. “If we come out with that intensity and that focused, I think we’ll be OK the rest of the year.”
The Rams made just one 3-pointer while Southeastern made six. Ashton Lovely, the Rams’ leading scorer and a skilled 3-point shooter, did not start because she has been sick and missed some recent practices. She entered four minutes into the game and finished with 19 points. She didn’t make any 3-pointers, so she scored by driving for layups and shooting free throws. And when she was cut off she passed to an open Sophie Sonneman (10 points).
“That’s been her mentality all year,” Haines said of Lovely. “ ‘Let me see if I’m hitting, and if I’m not hitting then I’m going to the bucket.’ And she can finish around the bucket.”