Yellow Jackets ready for conference showdown

By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 10:18 pm on Friday, December 16, 2011

GREENVILLE —  There will be no baby steps into the O-K Conference boys basketball season this year for the Greenville Yellow Jackets.

The Yellow Jackets (3-0) will take a giant leap tonight as they face conference favorite East Grand Rapids (1-0) at home. Not only are the Pioneers a favorite to win the conference, but are considered one of the best in the area and the state.

Needless to say, tonight will be a big game for the Yellow Jackets.

“They are picked to be at the top of the conference,” Greenville coach Mark Haist said. “If we give our best effort and are disciplined we can play with anybody. We just have to make sure to play good basketball.”

The Yellow Jackets have been doing just that. They have won their three games by a margin of 22.6 points per game.

“I think the guys are sharing the ball real well. We move the ball well and are finding the guys that are open,” Haist said. “Defensively, we have to be more disciplined and box out. I’ve been please so far with the effort.”

Greenville lost twice to the Pioneers last year. Tonight’s game, definitely won’t be easy.

“They are very athletic and like to shoot the ball from all over the court and they can,” Haist said. “They have a real good offensive rebounder inside. They run dribble-drive and when we rotate he cleans up on the glass. We have to make sure we rotate and help the help and box out.”

The Pioneers have played only one game and it was a close one against Muskegon Mona Shores. The Pioneers won 63-58 on the road.

“They lost a couple of key players from last year,” Haist said. “Their starting five will all be very athletic and very skilled.”

The Pioneers are led by DeAndre Grady, Marcus Hall and Austin Howell (13 points vs. Mona Shores).

Greenville’s “Hunt for a Cure” game was originally scheduled for tonight, but has been bumped to Feb. 12 against Grand Rapids Christian.

“I think tonight will be a game of runs,” Hasit said. “We just have to stay disciplined as a team and withstand those runs and keep our composure. It will be a big game atmosphere and those are fun to be apart of.”

The Greenville girls (3-0) kick off the night against East Grand Rapids at 6 p.m. The boys game will follow.

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