NORTHRIDGE — The expressions on Greeneview’s faces did not reflect a team trailing by double digits in the fourth quarter.
Even as the game grew out of reach, the Rams fought until the final seconds to execute what it wanted to do. Still, Greenon won 55-37 to end Greeneview’s season at Northridge High School in the opening round of the state tournament on Thursday.
The Rams had trailed by 16 at halftime, but opened the third quarter with an 8-2 run and put on display the aggression needed to make a comeback attempt.
“We started getting it down and they call time out, and what did they do, they go to their best two players,” Rams head coach Vince Purpero said. “That’s just why they were better. They have the top two scores in the league, we have the third highest. Two versus one in points.”
Aggression was needed by either team to win in what was a physical game with several stoppages for on-court injuries on both teams, but Greenon’s trapping pressure eventually wore down the Rams offense.
As noted by Purpero, the OHC’s top two scorers in Claire Henry and Abby West combined for 32 points and helped push the margin back to 16 for Greenon heading into the final quarter. The teams traded buckets down without either getting on a run.
Ellie Snyder scored 14 points in her final game, and fellow senior Sarah Trisel had two.
“They’re great kids and they’re classy kids,” Purpero said of his seniors. “They’re hard workers and genuine. Ellie will go up against anyone. She’s not afraid. Sarah wants to put other players before her if it helps the team because she’s a total team player. It was an honor to be with those two girls.”
Greenon was the highest-seeded team in the Northridge sectional and advances to the next round. The Rams finish 7-16 this season.
Purpero and the coaching staff said he hoped his team would have pulled out a few more wins, but wanted them to leave the court with a greater sense of purpose than the final score.
“I wrote up on the chalkboard, ‘I love you’ with a big heart,” he said. “I told them in my opinion basketball does not define you, God will define you. You’re women, you’re much more than basketball players. When you win, that is conditional love. When you get down and you lose, we want you to know we’re in this thing with you for the long-haul. Each coach said something about the year and how they appreciated them.”