Greenville preps for Cornerstone tourney

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 9:56 am on Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Greenville’s Austin Somerfield goes up for a shot during the season opener against Cedar Springs this year. The Yellow Jackets are 4-0 overall.

GREENVILLE — It’s been a very good start for the Greenville boys basketball team.

The Yellow Jackets are 4-0 after beating East Grand Rapids in the final game before the Christmas break.

“We took a few days off for a break, but last week we tried to pick up the intensity a bit,” Greenville coach Mark Haist said. “The other situation at some of these holiday tournaments, there isn’t much of a crowd, so we don’t want to come out flat.”

The holiday tournament that Haist is talking about is the Cornerstone Holiday Basketball Tournament, which starts on Wednesday night for the Jackets when they play Byron Center.

“We’re taking it one game at a time,” Haist said. “So right now we’re thinking about Byron Center.”

Haist said he doesn’t want to change much in the game against the Bulldogs.

“I really don’t know Byron Center that well, but I hope we can get out and play sharp early, try to force tempo and dictate tempo and shoot the ball well,” Haist said.

But one thing he wants to do is not get too far away from the offensive game plan.

“We have to be disciplined on offense and we have to come out aggressive and intense,” he said. “If we do those things we’ll come out on top most nights.”

One of the things that will help decide whether Greenville wins or loses is “probably team defense, making sure help side and rotations are there,” Haist said.

“We focused on boxing out, so hopefully we’ll see that,” he said.

But the one thing that has been the focus of the Greenville team is getting out and running in transition offense. It won’t change against Byron Center, Haist noted.

“We want to try to dictate tempo every game,” he said. “We want to use our athleticism to our advantage. But we’ll still have to grind out possessions on offense and defense.”

The winner of the game will play in the championship game Friday against either Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central and Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern.

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