XENIA — The host Xenia Buccaneers withstood a barrage of Green Wave threes, then turned up the offense for a 92-76 win Jan. 19 over Greenville.
The two Greater Western Ohio Conference teams traded the lead six times, with Xenia (8-6, 5-2 GWOC American South) grabbing a four-point lead on a Samari Curtis jumper with 17.3 seconds left in the opening quarter. Greenville’s prowess at hitting the 3-point shot kept the Green Wave (1-11, 0-8 GWOC American North) in the contest, however.
Kyle Mills drained a three ball midway through the second quarter to even the game at 33-all, but then Xenia went on a 16-0 roll punctuated by Meechi Harris’s desperation half-court score, after a stealing a loose ball, at the buzzer.
After the run, Xenia was in control 49-33 at the break.
“We gave up a lot of uncontested shots early, and they got a lot of confidence shooting the basketball. Obviously, with the way they shoot threes, they shot very very well tonight,” Xenia coach Kent Anderson said. “I’m more disappointed in the reaching, not stopping penetration, some of those defensive things. Doubling off on the wrong spots on the floor … Defensively, we weren’t at our best. But once we got the game into an up-tempo, that’s when we were able to make that run at the end of the second quarter.”
Greenville shooters buried 13 3-pointers in the game, with Noah Walker draining six of those to lead the team with 26 points. Three other Green Wave teammates scored in double figures: Will Coomer (two 3’s) finished with 12 points; Marcus Wood (two 3’s) and Kyle Mills (one trey) each scored 10.
But the Greenville players couldn’t keep up with Xenia’s speedy up-and-down the floor offense in the second half.
After Curtis sandwiched a couple NBA-range threes around Jay Evans’ nice alley-oop pass for a Harris dunk, the Buccaneers were solidly out in front 59-37, and there was still 5:18 left to play in the third quarter.
Curtis, who entered the game as the GWOC’s leading scorer with a 31.2 points per game average, finished with a game-high 34. Harris scored 12 of his 21 points in the second half, and Evans also ended the night in double-figure scoring with 10 points for Xenia.
Anderson warned that his team will need to pick up its defensive play for its next contest, a Tuesday Jan. 23 road battle at once-beaten Butler (13-1, 7-1 GWOC American North).
“Tonight’s game was probably a fun one to watch for the fans who enjoy a lot of offense,” Anderson said, “but it’s not so fun for a coach that wants his team to defend better as we go forward, especially against a one-loss Butler team on Tuesday night.
“We’ve gotta stop offensive penetration better. We didn’t do that very well today at all.”
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.