XENIA — Monday’s girls high school basketball season opener between a veteran Greeneview team and a youthful but energetic Xenia squad played out pretty much as both coaches had expected.
Experience beat enthusiasm, 71-29.
Greeneview brought in seven letter winners and three returning starters off last season’s district quarterfinal team, and the Rams played like they were used to playing together as a unit.
After a quarter of play, Greeneview had doubled up Xenia,16-7. The Rams led 35-17 at halftime, and their defense just got stingier in the second half. They held an athletic, but inexperienced, Buccaneers bunch to four points in the final quarter of play.
“I’m pretty pleased with this start. We talked about coming into this year as a better team defensively,” Rams coach Tim Hoelle said. “I’m pretty pleased, especially in the second half defensively. We played really hard, played much better, and we were able to do it without fouling as much in the second half.”
Returning starter Faith Strickle led all scorers with 18 points. She scored 12 of those points in the first half, and sat out the final quarter. Fellow returner Frankie Fife also got into double-figure scoring with 14 points. She too sat out the final stanza.
Sylvie Sonneman added nine points, Kenzie Harding tossed in eight, and Caitlin Sweat tossed in seven fourth-quarter points.
“They have playing time under their belt. They’ve got experience. And hopefully if they keep working hard and stay focused, we’ll keep it rolling throughout the season,” Hoelle said.
Making his coaching debut with the Buccaneers, first-year coach Jamie Hand was encouraged with his players’ effort despite the lopsided score.
“We’re showing improvement in some areas. For this team, if we’re better tomorrow than we were today, then that’s always a step in the right direction,” Hand said. “Our job is to really keep the girls up and to get them to continue to play hard. And as long as we do that, I think we’ll be okay.”
Trinity Morton-Nooks led Xenia with 12 points scored, Alashia Adams and Kamea Fisher both finished with five, and Reaghan Wakefield tossed in four to lead the Bucs.
“Greeneview has a lot of juniors and seniors. We have one senior and four juniors, and the rest are all freshmen and sophomores. Some of the kids that played in the game tonight, their last game time experience was junior high basketball, right now their inexperience showed.
“But we continued to play hard, and we played with a good attitude. And that’s important for us to maintain going forward,” Hand said. “We have some tough teams up ahead on our schedule.”
Second on the list of tough teams for the Bucs to play will be Beavercreek on the road for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff on Wednesday, Nov. 29.
Greeneview returns to action on 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 when they head over to South Charleston to take on Southeastern.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.