JAMESTOWN — With first-place Springfield Catholic Central hounding Greeneview’s Mason Schneider for much of the contest, another Rams player needed to step up his game if they were to win.
It turned out that several Rams stepped up in Greeneview’s 51-46 win, Friday, Feb. 2 at Greeneview High. A day after a home lost to West Liberty Salem, Greeneview coach Kyle Fulk appreciated his team’s play against the Ohio Heritage Conference leaders.
“That was a great bounce-back win for us,” Fulk said. “West Liberty took it to us, but our guys responded well from the very beginning. We were locked into the game plan of what we wanted to try to do to them defensively. … They’ve got kids all over the floor who can score with the ball, get to the rim and knock down shots. They’re a scary team, therefore they’re well coached.”
Catholic Central knew to do its best to shut down Greeneview’s senior forward Mason Schneider, too. It was a common occurrence for there to be three Irish defenders surrounding Schneider whenever he had the ball. A frequent double-figures scoring threat, Schneider finished with seven points and did not convert a shot from anywhere but the foul line in the second half.
That meant that guys like Nick Clevenger had to step up their games in order to grab a win. Clevenger responded with a game-best 16 points, and 11 of those came in the second half.
“We knew we were going up against one of the best teams in our conference, and we knew we had to do what coach was telling us to do,” Clevenger said. “We did everything we needed to … maybe not the boxing out on the defensive end so much … but everything else just fell into place.”
Fellow junior forward Collin Wilson scored nine points for the Rams, with Jack Nix, Cam Treadway, Ian Tamplin and Gabe Caudill combining for 19 points.
“Our guys weren’t as focused as they needed to be, we didn’t execute and it just didn’t go our way tonight,” said Irish coach Cody Sarensen. “Defensively, we just didn’t play the way we know how to play. … They did a nice job of moving without the basketball, pulling off the screens and getting some good looks because of that.”
Greeneview led by as much as a dozen points late in the third quarter, after a Nix 3-pointer from the left corner, but the Irish created some turnovers to battle back and pull within four points with just over a moment left in the game.
The Rams got key freethrows down the stretch from Treadway, Tamplin and then Schneider to salt the game away.
Clevenger said that after a late-game timeout, he and his teammates refocused themselves to nab the win.
“We’ve got a few good scorers. I can score some. Everybody is capable of doing it on this team. So really, if one of us has an off night, we’ve got other guys who are more than welcome to pick up the slack,” Clevenger said.
The Rams are now 10-8 overall and 9-4 in the OHC. Catholic Central dips to 13-3, 9-2 OHC, one game ahead of Greeneview in the standings with both teams having three conference games yet to play. Greeneview hosts Anna for a 7:30 p.m. night contest on Saturday, Feb. 3, while SCC has until Friday, Feb. 9 for its next game — against Greenon.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.