JAMESTOWN — The Greeneview students knew what was important to their team at the end of Tuesday night’s boys basketball game against second-place Mechanicsburg.
“O-H-C, O-H-C,” they chanted in the final seconds of the Rams’ 59-42 victory that secured a second straight Ohio Heritage Conference championship.
“We’ve played together for so long and the league meant everything to us,” senior guard Eric Green said.
Greeneview (14-5, 12-1) found a way to be the league’s dominant team despite losing Ronnie Drinnon, last year’s OHC player of the year and a Division I collegiate recruit. The Rams also played the past three games without injured point guard Kyle Combs, who might return for Friday’s regular-season finale.
“You’ve got to stop five guys, not just one,” Mechanicsburg coach Paul Hershberger Jr. said. “And that plays well for them.”
Another factor that could have been troublesome for the Rams was the addition of two senior transfers, Combs and Tyler Bruntz, to the starting lineup. But coach Bill Green said the new players helped the team’s chemistry, and his son, Eric, agreed.
“All of our team that was already here was very accepting,” Eric Green said. “All we want to do is win. If you had just watched us this year, you wouldn’t have known that they hadn’t played with us their whole lives. We don’t look at them as the two new guys.”
The Rams also had Evan Bradds, the 6-foot-7 junior who has committed to play at Ohio University. Bill Green said Mechanicsburg (12-7, 10-3) couldn’t match up with Bradds, so he moved Bradds between point guard, the high post and the low post. When Bradds changed positions, the Rams had a spurt against the Indians’ zone defense.
Bradds, who scored 19 points, moved to the high post late in the first quarter and scored two quick baskets. Early in the second quarter he moved to the low post and scored six straight points to put the Rams up 19-15.
After a fast-break dunk late in the third period, Bradds took the point again and drove for a three-point play. Then he dropped a pass over the defense to Garrett Hudson for an easy two. Next, he dribbled into the lane and passed to Green for a 3-pointer and 43-31 lead.
“We tried to get him in positions where he could score or feed it to somebody who could score,” Bill Green said of Bradds. “To me, he’s been the best player in the area.”
Bradds also held the Indians’ leading scorer, Cody Callicoat, to five points — 10 points below his season average. Nick Callicoat led the Indians with 13 points.
“I happy with how they performed throughout the year,” Hershberger said. “We’re going to use the experience we’ve gained and take that into the tournament.”