Greeneview seniors share final memory in district title loss


DAYTON — The emotional bond shared between Greeneview boys basketball seniors was on full display in the postgame Friday night.

Hugs with one another were prolonged as they received their medals, speeches were given back in the locker room, and extended time was taken by each of them on the bench to soak in the moment before they left to board the bus one final time.

Greeneview’s season came in an end in the Division III district title game after a 60-50 defeat to Tri-Village at UD Arena.

The Ohio Heritage Conference regular season champions, the Rams won 21 games to reach 69 for their careers as they concluded a journey which began years before they even reached high school.

“The kids and I talked a while back that some of these kids got to be close to 100 varsity games at this point,” head coach Kyle Fulk said as his own emotions began to show in talking about the pride he had in his players.

Tri-Village was taken out of its game from the three-point line, only connecting on one of its 16 attempts. They found an adjustment after halftime in turning to 6-foot, 5-inch, Justin Finkbine to lead the charge in the paint as the tallest player on the court.

After Greeneview led 22-21 at halftime, Finkbine scored the majority of a 15-5 run as the Patriots threatened to push its advantage to double digits.

“We knew size wise we matched up okay with them, but they’ve got some stronger kids that we knew could be a problem,” Fulk said. “First half we did a really good job with it. They really focused on that in the second half and should have come up with a different strategy to to combat that before it got too far out of hand.”

The Rams were able to briefly push the Patriots back to shooting from beyond the arc and began to close the deficit, trading baskets before the buzzer to trail 38-32 heading to the final period.

Greeneview got as close as four on multiple occasions during the fourth quarter and looked to be improving their chances when Finkbine picked up his fourth foul in a crucial sequence.

Myles Witt hit a short jump shot to bring the Patriots lead to 42-38 with six minutes remaining, but couldn’t convert the ensuing free throw. Fikebine then continued his paint supremacy on the next possession with an and-one basket to start a 9-2 run by the Patriots to pull ahead.

One last gasp for Greeneview saw Chase Allen hit a three to pull back within seven. Jordan Erisman followed with another attempt on their next possession that could have given the Rams’ renewed hope, but his miss led to the Patriots deciding to begin to run out the clock on offense.

Tri-Village was stellar at the free throw line going 19-for-21 which helped it seal the game in the final minutes.

“Coming into the game, I thought it would be who’s going to shoot the ball the best,” Fulk said. “They did at the free throw line and we struggled to make shots.”

Ethen Caudill led the way with 14 points in his final game as he filled the state book with four assists, four blocks and two steals. Other Rams’ seniors Ben Myers and Witt had eight points, Jordan Erisman scored four while Ronnie McKinney and the team’s leading scorer Carter Williams was held to three, all of which came in the first half.

Williams received Second Team All-Southwest District honors recently, and Erisman and Caudill were Honorable Mention. But the Rams found success through team play through the season which had been built up years prior.

Caudill had recently spoken everyone understanding one another. Erisman did about the trust they had together. And Williams regarding how a perfect senior year had been built.

“It’s a group that I’ve seen pretty much every day for the last four years of my life,” Fulk said. “We shared some tears in [the locker room] and we shared some laughs about a couple of things. But it is a special group that will be missed.”

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.

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