JAMESTOWN — Take two of the area’s top players, and watch them improve of the summer months. Then put a talented supporting cast of teammates around them and watch the numbers soar.
Greeneview’s Faith Strickle and Frankie Fife appear to be better than ever, and the entire team looked to be improved in a convincing 95-36 rout Dec. 9 of visiting Ohio Heritage Conference foe Springfield Catholic Central.
Rams coach Tim Hoelle enjoys having the luxury of two field generals on the court almost at all times. And when Strickle & Fife get into a scoring zone, the intensity appears to be contagious with the rest of the Rams.
“It’s a good feeling having two players like that,” Hoelle said. “And it’s not just the scoring part of it. It’s just the general basketball abilities they have, being out on the court and being able to direct plays. They can make shots, which is a plus. But they’ve done a really good job this year of sharing that ball and keeping everybody else involved.”
In Saturday’s dominating win, Strickle led the way with 31 points, Fife scored 27 and six other players combined for 37.
Fife and Strickle combined to score the first 12 points of Saturday’s Ohio Heritage Conference game to get the Rams out to a 12-0 lead midway through the opening quarter. Catholic Central responded with a 4-0 mini run, then Greeneview sophomore Sylvie Sonneman scored the next five points, and the rout was on.
“I was just really proud of the way we moved the ball and shared the ball today,” Hoelle said. “… We do get energy when (Strickle and Fife) are playing well, and that’s what you want when your two best players get hot. You should get energy from that.
“I think the most important thing is that, this season, they’ve really learned to trust their teammates a lot more. The girls that we have coming into the game, they’re giving energy right back to them. It definitely goes both ways, which is great.”
For much of her career, Strickle seemed to take on the role of inside scorer and rebounder. And she did a nice job of it. But this season, the senior guard appears to have stepped up her outside game too.
In Saturday’s win, Strickle drained four 3-pointers as part of her 31-point effort. She admitted to having spent a lot of time in the offseason on her outside game.
“I worked on that hard in the summer, my outside game and my inside game,” she said. “… The whole team is doing a really good job. Frankie had 27 points tonight, and Sylvie’s been playing really good defense. The other girls, or course, are doing a really good job of finding the open player and getting them the ball.”
Strickle said a good dose of summer ball with her teammates has helped the team’s chemistry. With the talented Sonneman as the only sophomore on the varsity roster early on, the other six juniors and four seniors have become pretty familiar with each other’s tendencies.
In four games thus far, Greeneview has outscored its opponents by an average of 82.8 to 26.3. Catholic Central was the first opponent to score more than 30 points against the Rams this year.
“I think we’re moving the ball really well this year, and we’re playing good defense,” Strickle said. “I mean, last year we played really good defense too, but we’re playing really good offensively, now too.”
Greeneview has a trio of road contests ahead. They head to North Lewisburg to take on Triad on Thursday Dec. 14, then they’re in Enon to play Greenon on Dec. 14 before closing out the road swing with what could be a key OHC battle at Cedarville on Dec. 21.
“We’re not concerned with who’s next on our schedule. We’re just trying to get better each and every day,” Hoelle said.
Greeneview’s not concerned, but maybe the rest of the OHC should be.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.