Greenville basketball rolls by rival Redskins

By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 10:21 am on Monday, December 12, 2011

Greenville forward Chris Mickey buries a jumper over Belding defenders Brendan Zuver, left, and Cody Saliers in first-half action Friday night. Mickey scored 23 points to lead the Jackets.

GREENVILLE — The Greenville Yellow Jackets game plan was to run and score quickly.

They did just that.

The Yellow Jackets boys basketball team won their second straight game to open the season with a 79-41 victory over the rival Redskins at North Gym on Friday night.

“We wanted to push it. We figured they would run zone on us because we are so big,” Greenville senior Austin Somerfield said. “They went man. We wanted to run our Jacket offense with dribble-drive and try to get it to the big guys inside.”

The Redskins started quickly, scoring the first six points of the game, five by junior guard Brendan Zuver. The Yellow Jackets chipped away and took a 8-7 lead on a basket by Torrey Davis.

The Yellow Jackets dominated the offensive glass in the first quarter, but struggled to score inside. Greenville still managed to lead after the first quarter 14-8.

“Both teams worked hard. It was kind of a sloppy game and we missed a lot of layups,” Greenville coach Mark Haist said. “Belding had some chances they didn’t convert. Anytime there’s a rivalry I think that kind of stuff happens with the emotion and adrenline.”

Greenville outscored the Redskins 20-10 the third quarter to open a 34-18 halftime advantage. Six Yellow Jackets scored points, including five by Chris Mickey.

“I was definitely pleased tonight,” Haist said of the offensive rebounds. “Greg Krusniak was a beast inside. Everyone hit the glass. Colton Boehm came in and did the same thing.”

Belding opened up the third quarter scoring with four of the first six points on baskets by Andrew Leppink and Dylan Hunt.

The Yellow Jackets then put the game out of reach with a 13-0 run. Mickey scored 10 straight points, including a left handed slam dunk to take a 49-22 lead. In all, Greenville outscored the Redskins 21-5 in the third quarter to lead 55-23.

The Redskins did not give up, scoring 18 points in the fourth quarter. Hunt and Jake Chickering each scored five points in the quarter.

Neither team shot free throws well. Belding was 9-for-25 and the Yellow Jackets 15-for-30.

“Right now we need to work on our free throws,” Somerfield said. “We have to make the close ones. We just have to calm down a little so we don’t miss the little ones.”

Hunt led the Redskins in scoring with 13 points while Leppink finished with seven points.

Mickey finished with a game-high 23 points and is averaging 18.5 points through two games. Torrey Davis had 10 points as every Yellow Jackets player scored.

Both the Yellow Jackets freshman (1-1) and junior varsity (2-0) teams earned victories.

Belding (0-2) will travel to Grand Rapids to face West Catholic on Tuesday to begin O-K Blue play. The Yellow Jackets (2-0) will host Grand Rapids Union.

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