GREENVILLE – The Lady Wave JV basketball team closed out the 2017-2018 season at home on a high note with a 26-22 win over the Sidney Lady Yellow Jackets on Senior Day giving the Greenville girls a 13-9 season ending record to match the varsity girls season ending 13-9 record.
“I told the girls in the locker room I have a rule and you’re not allowed to lose on senior day,” said Greenville JV coach Laura Swigart. “Senior day is a way for them to honor the seniors. Payton (Brandenburg) and Cassie (Cromwell) were with us at the beginning and they are with us at the end.”
“They were there during the rough times and there with us while we are rebuilding our program,” continued Swigart. “It was about honoring them. I told the girls – take a look at the crowd. We’re starting to get fans here, fans other than parents. It’s about playing for those people because they enjoy watching you play. We talk about effort, you can control your effort and I think my kids really do play hard.”
The Lady Jackets took a 5-3 lead after one period of play with Greenville points coming from two Chloe Sowry free throws and an Annie Hayes free throw.
The Lady Wave double the score on the visitors 8-4 in period two sending the teams to the break with Greenville holding a slim 11-9 advantage.
Addie Haupt paced the Lady Wave with two baskets and Allison Powell and Abbie Yoder each added a bucket.
Period No. 3 had the Greenville girls pushing their lead to 17-9 at 5:22 in the third before closing out third quarter play with the Lady Wave holding a 22-18 lead.
Grace Shaffer knocked down a third quarter three pointer and a field goal good for five points while Haupt, Yoder and Hayes each added a basket.
Greenville scored the first four points of the fourth period to lead 26-18 with 5:22 showing before the Lady Jackets would score the final four points of the game giving the Lady Wave junior varsity girls the Saturday GWOC win.
“We had a lot of kids score, maybe only two or four points but when you get six kids scoring four points it makes it a little tougher to guard,” Swigart stated.
Grace Shaffer led the Lady Wave in scoring with seven points.
Coach Swigart took time following the game to reflect on the Lady Wave’s winning season.
“To begin the season we were five games below .500 and then we went on a little stretch where we won five games in a row, six out of seven games, so we really had a good end of the season,” said Swigart. “We beat some teams that we lost to previously in the season and from a coach’s perspective I would rather start off slow and finish strong than vis-versa.”
“A lot of kids started to play with more confidence. There were kids I had to tell all season – I need you to shoot the ball, I need you to feel confident with the ball, I need you to handle the ball, I need you to be able to make a post move. It was about feeding them with confidence and if you watched them towards the end of the season, a lot of the girls really felt confident in what they were doing.”
“It’s a pretty tight nit group,” noted Swigart. “It’s a challenge sometimes when you have freshmen coming in and playing with sophomores and you’re starting to mix grade levels that has not happened before. You never know what you’re going to get out of them, but these groups really did start to connect together and start to mesh together.”
With some of the injuries to varsity starters during the season, Lady Wave varsity coach Rachel Kerns had to dip into the JV program to fill those vacancies at the varsity level at times during the season.
“It’s about giving kids playing time and wherever they’re going to get the maximum playing time is where they need to be,” noted Swigart. “There was some shuffling of kids back and forth with injuries, but we just needed them to play. For them to sit the bench is not making them better basketball players and kids accepted that role and they understood.”
With the 2017-2018 JV season in the history book, Coach Swigart looked to next year’s JV squad.
“I’m really excited to see where this programs going,” said Swigart. “There’s some talent there with the JV kids. The junior high programs had some pretty good records and there is talent down there.”
“There is some size in the eighth grade class,” concluded Swigart. “They have some kids that can handle the ball, they have some kids that can shoot so we’ll mix them in with the group of kids we had this year and it will be fun to watch.”
GREENVILLE 26, SIDNEY 22
LADY WAVE – G. Shaffer 7, A. Haupt 6, A. Hayes 5, A. Yoder 4, C. Sowry 2, A. Powell 2 – TOTALS 10 3-6 1 26
LADY YELLOW JACKETS – Reynolds 8, Marcuo 7, Conrad 4, Henley 2, Kiser 1 – TOTALS 8 6-14 0 22
Greenville 1 (G. Shaffer 1)
SCORE by QUARTERS:
03-08-11-04 26 Greenville
05-04-09-04 22 Sidney
PHOTO CAPTION: Referee Greg Place looks on as Lady Wave JV coach Laura Swigart gives instructions to GHS freshman Grace Shaffer in season ending win over Sidney. (Gaylen Blosser photo)