Several Brookville fans paced along the upper level bleacher of Trotwood-Madison High School’s gym looking down at the Division III sectional tournament game on Wednesday. One paused to say aloud, “I didn’t think we’d still be in this.”
Greeneview’s fans likely shared the same thought.
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And as if on cue, the Greeneview Rams delivered a message of their own. The Rams – returning to the form that won them the Ohio Heritage Conference title four days earlier – blitzed Brookville with a 15-2 game-clinching run.
Greeneview, seeded No. 3 in the sectional tournament, walked off with a 52-44 victory (and a sigh of relief) against No. 15 Brookville.
“It’s a tournament game and there were a little jitters,” Greeneview coach Tim Hoelle said. “Offensively we didn’t have the shots falling. Defensively we played well enough to squeak out a win. This time of the year that’s always a good thing.”
Brookville (6-17) took a 31-30 lead on freshman Abbey Cousineau’s three-pointer with 1:35 left in the third quarter. It erased a six-point deficit and gave Brookville it’s first and only lead of the second half.
“In our league we play all bigger schools. We play Division II schools the entire year,” Brookville coach Braden Kindell said. “Watching film we told the girls this team is comparable to some of the teams we’ve played with. They really bought into it.
“I told them why not us? Every year is a team that shocks everybody. They gave four solid quarters of effort and came up short.”
Greeneview (21-2) responded with a steal and layup from senior Frankie Fife to regain the lead, 32-31. Senior Faith Strickle ended the third quarter scoring with a fast-break basket that started with a block at the other end.
The Rams increased their defensive intensity to start the fourth quarter and continued its run. Sophomore Sylvie Sonneman – looking relieved at finally having a three-pointer go through the net instead of either rolling around the rim or bouncing off it – capped the run with her shot. The Rams led 45-33 with 4:43 to play.
“We stepped up,” Hoelle said. “We tried to tell them the scouting report said get up and pressure them, especially in the passing lanes. I thought on that run we were doing that. We got some steals and some easy baskets, so that’s what sparked the run. Brookville did a great job. I thought they handled pressure well.”
Fife led Greeneview with 15 points, including eight in the third quarter. Strickle added 12, Sonneman nine and junior Ashley Schloss eight.
The Rams’ depth took a hit as three players were out with a concussion, an ankle injury and mono. Hoelle said he’s not sure when they’ll return. He is glad to have several days of practice available, especially after Saturday’s emotional and physical win against Cedarville for the OHC title.
Up next for Greeneview is No. 18 Urbana (3-18). The teams meet in the second round 6 p.m. Tuesday at Trotwood.
“We just have to get some things going on offense. I think some practice time will help that,” Hoelle said. “(After playing Cedarville) on Saturday, you have two days to prepare for a game like this. It’s a tournament game so everyone knows it’s one and done. I thought maybe their legs were a little tired due to Saturday. But for the most part it was finding something that worked on defense.”
Brookville went 0-21 last season and rebounded with six wins this season. The Blue Devils’ confidence received a boost after playing the Rams to a 20-20 halftime tie.
“You gotta keep fighting and that’s what they did,” Hoelle said. “Brookville played amazing. Those girls played hard all four quarters. Hats off to them. … We’ll get back to practice and hopefully look better next week.”