James Martinez drives for the layup during Greenville’s game against Butte Valley on Feb. 19. The Indians went into overtime to finally win 65-62. Photos by Lauren Allen
The Greenville boys basketball team (14-10) was bumped out of the playoffs in the second round by Loyalton (15-7) on Feb. 21. The Indians lost 73-45 to the home team.
Earlier in the week, Feb. 19, Greenville advanced in the playoffs after taking down Butte Valley (10-9) in a close 65-62 victory.
Loyalton outscored the Indians every quarter, but truly dominated defensively in the second half. Greenville had trouble keeping the ball throughout the game.
“Loyalton is a really good team,” said the Indians’ coach Russ Crouch. “To play with them we have to be on the top of our game, and we weren’t that night.”
Greenville’s start was the best they played in the game. Towards the beginning the Indians had a small lead. Loyalton rocketed back, however, and racked up 19 points in the first quarter while Greenville put 13 on the board. Loyalton kept up its fast pace and led 42-30 at the half.
Loyalton kept the points coming, while stopping Greenville’s efforts to retaliate. The Indians only scored nine points in the third quarter and six in the fourth.
“Loyalton rebounded very hard,” said Crouch. “We didn’t have too many opportunities.”
Walker Meyers carried the Indians’ efforts, making 22 of the team’s 45 points. Cooper Kingdon was the next highest scorer with seven points; two three-pointers and a free throw.
Greenville’s home game against Butte Valley was much more satisfying for the Indians. The two teams ran neck and neck through the whole game until Greenville finally put an end to the game in overtime.
“This was a battle the entire game between two evenly matched teams,” said Crouch. “In overtime we were able to out-hustle them a little bit.”
The teams seemed to trade shots through the first half and Greenville led at halftime by only 31-28. Greenville extended its lead in the third quarter to 48-42. Butte Valley made up the six-point difference in the final quarter, outscoring the Indians 18-12 to tie the two teams 60-60 and head into overtime.
Defense was both teams’ main weapon in overtime and both teams succeeded. Greenville was able to take five points, however, while only giving up two.
“It was a tough defensive overtime,” Crouch continued. “We weren’t taking bad shots, either. It was just really tough defense the whole time.”
This was Greenville’s best season in more than 10 years.
“The boys played and practiced very hard,” noted Crouch. “This was a great group of players to be associated with. I’m very proud of them.”