JAMESTOWN — Confetti flew, and “We Are The Champions” played as Greeneview basketball players, cheerleaders and students celebrated a successful Senior Night on Friday.
In the middle of the celebration, Bill Green, the Rams’ coach, sat on the bench and fought to control his emotions as the past nine years flashed before his eyes. Of the eight seniors who had just played their last home game, seven had been under Green’s coaching since the third grade.
“The most emotional night I’ve had coaching no doubt,” said Green after the Rams finished the regular season with a 61-33 thumping of Northeastern.
Every senior got to play and every senior, including Green’s son Eric, got to come out of the game late for a hug from the coach and cheer from the crowd.
“You get really attached to them,” Green said. “You see it all coming to end with the last game on this floor, and it’s real emotional.”
The Rams (15-5, 13-1), who clinched a second straight Ohio Heritage Conference title Tuesday, also beat the only OHC team that had beaten them. The Rams shot poorly in that 56-55 loss at Northeastern (9-11, 7-7) in early January. This time the Rams made six 3-pointers and led the entire game.
“We didn’t come ready to play,” Jets coach Chad Mossing said. “They were on their game. We had a very frustrating game.”
Tyler Bruntz, Evan Bradds and Eric Green led the Rams with 13, 12 and 11 points, respectively. The key for the Rams was the return of senior point guard Kyle Combs from an injury that kept him out of the past three games. Combs said his groin and hip flexor injuries are about 85 to 90 percent.
“It’s good to get back on the floor and work things out,” Combs said. “It was really important to get the ball back in my hands and get some live action.”
Both teams open Division III sectional play next Saturday.
Greeneview, the No. 6 seed, faces No. 14 Middletown Madison at 7 p.m. at Tippecanoe High School.
Northeastern, seeded 13th, plays No. 10 Dixie (13-7) at 8 p.m. at Tecumseh High School.
“I like how we match up with Dixie,” Mossing said. “We have to come ready to play because they’re big and strong and they want to pressure you. But I think our best basketball is ahead of us.”