XENIA — In Xenia coach Kent Anderson’s words, Friday’s home win over Greenville “wasn’t pretty,” but he’ll “gladly take it.”
In a very physical, fast-paced up and down the court kind of game, both teams missed a lot of makeable shots along the way, but Xenia created more turnovers and capitalized on just enough of them to earn its first win of the 2019-‘20 season, 58-44.
“We’ve been playing some decent teams close lately, and tonight we made too many turnovers and missed too many shots around the rim. We left that game a lot closer than I thought it needed to be,” Anderson said. “But we had guys like Cameron McFarland and Shawn Thigpen step up for us tonight.
“Cameron had a career-high in scoring tonight, and Shawn came within a rebound of recording a double-double for us. … There’s just things we have to clean up in order for us to continue to get better.”
McFarland and Dylan Hoosier led the Buccaneers in scoring with 14 points apiece; and Thigpen knocked in 10 second-half points to finish with 13.
After early blowout losses to the likes of Beavercreek and Tippecanoe in the team’s first three games, Xenia has come up just shy of getting that first win of the season in recent games.
A six-point loss at Troy (5-2).
A three-point loss at Piqua.
Then losing by four to a solid (6-0) Sidney team on Tuesday.
With those performances, maybe Xenia was just due to get a ‘W.’
“We’ve got Miamisburg, Stebbins and Bellbrook coming up. I’m happy we won, and I know we’ve got a long ways to go,” Anderson said. “But it’s really nice to get one in the wins column. These kids work really hard in practice, and they deserved to win a ballgame.”
Greenville showed a lot of athleticism, and looked like a better team than its 1-6 overall record.
“We feel like we’re a pretty solid team. We just haven’t been able to put four good quarters together just yet,” Green Wave coach Kyle Joseph said. “Free throws hurt us, and we had some open looks that we couldn’t hit tonight.
“Xenia capitalized on a lot of second-chance points tonight. They’re big, athletic kids and they go after the ball hard.”
Greenville had two Green Wave players — point guard Marcus Wood and forward Nolan Curtis — tie Xenia’s duo for game-best honors in scoring with 14 points each. But the visitors connected on 14 of 32 shots (44 percent) from the floor, and hit 12 of 30 tries (40 percent) from the free-throw line.
Xenia wasn’t much better, hitting 21 of 45 shots (47 percent) from the floor and going 13-for-28 (46 percent) from the foul line.
The Buccaneers can thank Ohio State’s football team for enabling them to have a little more time to work on things in practice. Xenia was originally scheduled to play at Miamisburg on Saturday, Dec. 28. But since OSU is playing in the College Football Playoffs semifinal game against Clemson that night, the basketball game has been moved back to a 7:15 p.m. start on Monday, Dec. 30.
Greenville has an even longer respite before returning to the hardwood. The Green Wave will host Piqua on Friday, Jan. 3 for their next game.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.