CEDARVILLE — Long after most of the fans had left the Cedarville High School gym, after Thursday’s exciting 48-45 win over visiting Greeneview, students had formed a corridor and cheered the Indians players as they returned from their lockerroom after the game.
As each player re-entered the gym to be with their friends and family, the students would give each player a hearty cheer.
“If there’s a team that deserves anything like this, it’s them,” Cedarville coach Josh Mason said. “They’ve put up with me for seven weeks screaming at them. And even with all that we lost last year, and still being able to stay positive, … these girls come in every day and want to get better.
“Today, at one point we were down by 11 points. They were almost too calm! I wasn’t sure that they saw the scoreboard. But we battled, and they did everything I asked of them.”
Things started out rough for the hosts when Greeneview rolled out to a 10-0 lead in the game’s first four minutes of play. Cedarville trailed 17-6 after the first quarter, but pulled to within three points (28-25) at the break.
With a zig-zag passing play from Elly Coe to Maddie Kinney then ultimately to Gabby Tobias, the Indians had evened the score at 28-all with 4:47 still to play in the third quarter.
Greeneview’s Ellie Snyder gave the Rams a brief 30-28 lead, then Cedarville’s Ciara Horney scored some key points to enable the Indians to reel off a 10-0 run to lead 38-30 after three quarters of play.
Down by nine points (32-43) with 5:58 left to play, Greeneview went on a scoring run of its own — outscoring Cedarville 13-2 — to tie up the game at 45-45 with two minutes remaining. But Elly Coe hit a pair of free throws, Tobias added another, then Tobias snagged the steal of the game to preserve the win.
Greeneview had the ball and a chance to score with 9.8 seconds to go, but Tobias grabbed the crossing pass to end the game. She was then mobbed by her teammates as the final buzzer sounded.
Coe led the Indians (2-2, 2-2 Ohio Heritage Conference) with 14 points scored. Luisa Christian was next with 13 points and Horney finished with 12.
“It’s games like this, and not having Gabby (Tobias) being able to play at full strength early on this season — she tore her ACL last year, so she’s been slowly working up quarters of play. I love that girl for being patient and understanding the process. She wanted to play in our first practice, but that just wasn’t realistic. So the fact that she can come in and make the big play for us, I’m really happy and excited for her,” Mason said.
For Greeneview, Sylvie Sonneman led the Rams (1-3, 1-2 OHC) in scoring with a game-high 21 points, but she played with four fouls for a good bit of the second half. Snyder had fouled out of the game in the second half, and five other players had three fouls or more down the stretch.
“Our kids have to be able to play through the fouls,” Greeneview coach Tim Hoelle said. “So no, it’s not the fouls. It’s the way we played. … We’ve been talking all year about the need to defend well, the need to rebound, and to not turn the ball over. We struggled with all three of those things again tonight, and it just doesn’t work when you do that.
“And the other thing is effort. Cedarville just played harder than us for the majority of the game tonight.”
Both teams return to action on Saturday, Dec. 14. Greeneview hits the road to play South Charleston Southeastern for a 1:30 p.m. contest, while Cedarville stays at home to host London Madison Plains for a 12:30 p.m. game.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.