TROTWOOD — Style points rarely matter in the postseason.
In February, all that matters is survival.
The Tecumseh High School girls basketball team struggled in the first half against Greenville, but pulled away down the stretch to beat the Green Wave 64-56 in a Division II first-round district tournament game on Monday night at Trotwood-Madison High School.
Arrows senior Gabrielle Russell had a game-high 19 points, while junior Colleen Kottmyer scored 11 and seniors Morgan Allen and Madilynn Moore each added 10 as No. 3 seed Tecumseh improved to 18-5 overall.
Arrows coach Chasity Russell was disappointed in her team’s play, especially on defense.
“We talked a lot about that team’s strengths and I don’t feel like we did a very good job of taking that away, which is what we need to do to continue to advance,” she said. “A win is a win, but we need to do better.”
Greenville senior Manaxi Pandey scored 14 points, hitting three 3-pointers as the Green Wave finished the season 6-16.
The Green Wave led 16-14 after the first quarter and extended their lead to 25-19 on back-to-back baskets by senior Skylar Fletcher.
Tecumseh went on a 16-4 run to end the first half that included a half-court buzzer beater by Gabrielle Russell to make it 35-29 at the half.
In the third quarter, she scored eight of her nine second half points to give the Arrows a 51-39 lead entering the fourth quarter.
“She plays hard,” Chasity Russell said. “That’s what we look to her to do and that’s what she should do. She should’ve hit a few more free throws, but she keeps us calm out there and keeps us moving. They were doing a good job of playing some tough defense on her, denying her a little bit. She had to kind of wait for her opportunities.”
The Green Wave pulled to within six points with 30 seconds remaining on a 3-pointer by senior Josie Camocho, but they wouldn’t get any closer.
The Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division champion Arrows were playing for the first time since Jan. 28.
“They get tired of practicing and so we slack off a little bit,” Chasity Russell said. “It definitely makes a difference because it’s been (nine days) since our last game, but it’s going to be eight more (days until the next round). We don’t get an excuse. At this point, we have four seniors that start and they need to be ready to play.”
The Arrows won a tournament game for the first time since the 2021 season. They advanced to face either No. 4 Carroll (12-10) or No. 15 Benjamin Logan (9-12) at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14 at Trotwood.
Tecumseh fell to Carroll 88-72 on Jan. 26 and it didn’t face Ben Logan as part of its CBC schedule this winter.
While the Arrows were happy to survive, they must execute better to keep their season alive, Chasity Russell said.
“That was my message to them,” Chasity Russell said. “Yes, it was a win and any win in the tournament, we’ll take it. But in order to keep advancing, we have to be better.”
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