CEDARVILLE — An aggressive and well played battle saw Greeneview and Cedarville figure out which team would end up standing after taking the others best shots.
Key defensive stops in the final minute helped the Rams hold off a furious charge from the Indians and take the Battle of 72 matchup 50-45 on Friday.
“That’s what we come to expect between Cedarville and Greeneview,” Rams head coach Kyle Fulk said. “It typically doesn’t matter what the records are, and this year we both have good records early. These kids know each other, they love to compete against one another. It means a lot to them and it means a lot to the community as well.”
Both teams traded shots in the second half as the Rams held onto a lead of roughly four or six points for most of the third and fourth quarters.
A three-pointer with just over a minute left by Cedarville’s Tyler Cross, followed by a steal and free throws for Drew Doning closed the Indians’ gap to three. After forcing a 10-second violation, the Indians found Cross for another three-point attempt to try and tie the game, but it rattled off the rim and Greeneview’s Ben Myers grabbed the rebound.
From there, the Rams hit a couple key free throws to put the game away.
“We’ve been pretty good defensively at the beginning of the year with the exception of Madison Plains, so the focus the last couple days of practice has been to get that edge back defensively and I thought our kids were really focused on our game plan and made it tough for guys to get the shots that they wanted,” Fulk said.
Jordan Erisman led a balanced scoring effort for the Rams with 14 points, converting on six-of-nine free throw attempts in the game and finding himself making plays for his team late.
“He did a really good job running the point and splitting time with Myles [Witt] a little bit,” Fulk said. “We need him to be a playmaker and take care of the ball. He does a great job normally creating for other guys and tonight saw opportunities where he could get inside and finish plays to make a great job.”
Ethan Card scored 10 points for Greeneview (4-1), with Witt adding eight and Carter Williams and Myers putting in seven.
Cross and Koning led Cedarville (4-3) with 17 and 16 points, respectively. Hayden Hanson had six, and Max Pollander scored four points with two key buckets in the fourth quarter that nearly helped pull out a win for his team.
Fulk praised the two teams for being built similarly and still wanting to figure out the key roles new players will take. The balanced scoring for the Rams was what he is looking for out of his team.
“We want to be hard guard first of all to where you can’t focus on one guy,” he said. “Our kids did a great job of sharing the ball tonight. We don’t want to scheme anything up for one guy, if one guy gets hot then we’ll go to him, but we want five guys on the floor they can score at any point in time and guys coming off the bench to do the same.”
The Rams built a 26-20 lead at halftime in a game of runs.
Greeneview began the game with a 7-0 lead until the Indians scored the next 13 points. Greeneview would close the quarter on a 4-0 run to trail 13-11 after the first.
In the second, Greeneview used a 7-2 run to grab the lead back at 19-17, an eventually close the half scoring seven straight.
Greeneview picks up a key win in the OHC South, improving to 2-1 in league play. Cedarville drops to 1-2 against conference foes.
“Any win in the OHC on the road this year is a good one,” Fulk said. “I think the OHC south is going to be very tough, and then this one especially against a rival.”