Balanced effort helps Xenia cruise against Greenville, Caudill’s first win


XENIA — A good night’s rest is coming up for Xenia head coach Jason Caudill.

His team is buying in to the first-year coach’s style of play and objectives for each game, but they also wanted to make sure Caudill didn’t have any more sleepless nights trying to do what he can to help them get their first win.

Xenia got that win, the first of Caudill’s career, with a 74-41 romp of Greenville at home Friday.

“I’ve told the kids the whole time the first one is always the hardest,” Caudill said. “Just seeing how excited they were and how happy they are, it just felt really good for them and I was glad to see them have some success.”

The Bucs were in good shape during the season opener to get the first win out of the way before giving up a second half comeback at Piqua to lose by one. Since then, the offense has struggled to click until Friday’s contest.

Balanced scoring against Greenville saw 12 different Xenia players score, led by Alijah Withers’ 16 points and 10 by Tommy Ehrsam as seven different players scored at least six points in the game.

Nine players made a basket, seven got at least one point at the free throw line, and four connected from beyond the arc.

“We’ve put a lot of weight on Alijah,” Caudill said. “It was nice to see him distribute more we had some guys step up and make some shots tonight.

“That’s the type of team we’re going to be. We’re not going to have one guy put up 30, we’re going to be a group effort getting after it with a bunch of guys contributing.”

Xenia’s defense helped with multiple forced turnovers by not relenting on its full court pressure even after Greenville got across midcourt. Easy baskets in transition helped the Buccaneers shoot 50 percent from the floor.

“Anytime you get those easy baskets and do so early, it’s amazing how the ball suddenly goes in the hoop for you,” Caudill said. “I’m just impressed with how hard they’re playing because when you get up it’s easy to just quit playing. Our big focus has been to get everybody to give maximum effort.”

Xenia built a 10-point lead in the first quarter before Greenville was able to get a pair of baskets to cut its deficit in half. The effort Caudill mentioned helped his team quickly recover as the second quarter began to get back its double digit lead back and eventually grow it to 18 by halftime.

With students chanting for young players to get in the game late as the Xenia lead ballooned, the bench was full of smiles in the closing minutes knowing they were heading toward the win column.

Caudill said getting his first victory as head coach was made more special having come during Xenia’s Athletic Hall of Fame recognition night with former coach Kent Anderson as part of the 2023 inductees.

Most of all he was happy to see the smiles on kids faces to be rewarded with a win Caudill said he will remember.

“It amazes me how hard they work every single day,” he said. “We’ll figure things out just because of how hard they work.”

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on X (formerly Twitter) @Steven_Wright_.

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