CEDARVILLE — If girls high school basketball games were 28 minutes in length, there’d probably be some happy Greeneview fans and players today.
However, the games are 32 minutes long. And as a result, there’s many a frown in Jamestown.
A 28-minute game would’ve been a 33-31 Rams upset victory.
Four minutes later, Cedarville had survived Greeneview’s upset bid with a 43-39 win.
Visiting Greeneview (7-6, 3-3 Ohio Heritage Conference) appeared to be poised to pull off the upset of its conference and Route 72 nemesis Cedarville. The Rams patiently attacked Cedarville’s defense in the first half. As a result, they led 22-12 at halftime.
Frankie Fife was deftly running behind Indians defenders for scores along the baselines. Fife, Hannah Ferrell and Kenzie Harding were connecting on the occasional 3-point try, and Faith Strickle had a very quiet workmanlike seven points at the break.
Then it was as if Cedarville realized that they had beaten Greeneview earlier in the season in a Dec. 3 battle in Jamestown, why not do it again?
Cedarville (13-2, 8-1 OHC) did just that. All Area shoo-in Ise Bolender scored 15 of her team-high 18 points in the second half, Maggie Coe tossed in 11 points worth of outside shots, and Hayley Melton scored seven of her nine points in the second half as well.
Right at about that 28-minute mark, Bolender canned a 3-pointer from the left corner to put the Indians out in front 34-33. Another Bolender three, and clutch free throws from herself, Becky Crew and Melton, and that was the ball game.
Indians coach Josh Mason said his halftime talk may have rekindled the players’ faith in each other and their system.
“We stopped trusting each other a little bit,” Mason said. “And I just told the girls at halftime, I said ‘If we can come together and trust the system, and trust each other, that we’d come out on top.’ And I think if you watched that second half, that’s exactly what happened.
“That’s a good group of players over there, and that’s a good staff over there. They didn’t give us anything we wanted in that first half.”
Greeneview coach Tim Hoelle wasn’t taking any 28-minute consolation hugs afterward. He knew his youthful Rams let one slip away.
“You’ve got to play for the full 32 minutes, if you want to win the game. They did. They deserved to win the game,” Hoelle said. “This stings a little bit. It’s been a long time since they’ve beaten us twice in a season. They’re our rival, they’re right down the road. I expect our kids to come out and play hard. I thought we played hard, but they earned this win. They played better, and deserved to win.”
Fife ended up with a game-high 19 points while Strickle finished with nine.
Both teams had Monday games. Cedarville gets back into action Jan. 26 with a home contest with West Liberty-Salem. Greeneview will next play Jan. 28 at home against South Charleston Southeastern.
In a touching show of sportsmanship and support, fans and players alike observed a moment of silence for their West Liberty-Salem colleagues, in light of Friday’s shooting at the high school.