GRAND RAPIDS — The Greenville Yellow Jackets boys basketball team used a strong fourth quarter finish to remain undefeated this season.
The Yellow Jackets outscored the Byron Center Bulldogs 23-14 in the fourth quarter to earn their fifth win, in as many games, 67-58 at the Cornerstone University Holiday Tournament on Wednesday night.
Wednesday’s game wasn’t the Yellow Jackets best game of the year, but it was enough for another victory.
“Their zone took us out of our flow. We were passive, slow and we didn’t play up tempo like we wanted,” Greenville coach Mark Haist said.
The Bulldogs, due to vacation, sickness and eligibility, played with just seven players and were tied after the first quarter and held a two-point lead in the fourth quarter. “We usually get a lot of transition baskets, but they took care of the ball really well,” Haist said. “They beat our zone without problems. I give most of the credit to Byron Center. I didn’t think it was our best effort.”
The game was tied at 13 after the first quarter. The Yellow Jackets outscored the Bulldogs 19-12 in the second quarter for a 32-25 halftime lead. Six different Greenville players scored in the second quarter, led by Torrey Davis’ six points.
Byron Center began the third quarter on an 8-2 run to pull within 34-33. The game remained close as each team held leads of no more than four points through the final minutes of the game.
“We saw them on tape and knew they were going to execute,” Haist said. “We did not have the energy to beat them to spots. I give them credit because they outplayed us tonight.”
Leading 60-56 with 1:10 remaining, Greenville closed out the game with a 7-2 run courtesy of five free throws and a basket.
“My guys have given me a ton of effort all year for the numbers we have,” Bulldogs coach Jared Crandell said. “Greenville has some real nice kids and they kept pushing on us all game and I think that wore on us late in the game.”
Byron Center was led by Aaron Delange and Jordan Bylsma who each scored 18 points. Delange grabbed nine rebounds while Bylsma had five assists.
“They made big shots and they didn’t turn the ball over,” Haist said of the Bulldogs duo. “They made us work hard.”
Davis led the Yellow Jackets with his second consecutive 21 point effort. Chris Mickey added 16 points and Austin Somerfield 13 points. Mickey and Somerfield each had six rebounds.
“I’m proud of my guys for hanging in there,” Crandell said. “Greenville is a real good team and they should do some good things this year.”
The Yellow Jackets were outrebounded 32-28 by the smaller and shorthanded Bulldogs team including a 14-7 advantage on the offensive glass.
“We tried to block every shot they put up instead of getting into position,” Haist said. “It’s discipline is what it is. We need to box out.”
The Yellow Jackets will face Forest Hills Central on Friday night in the championship game of the tournaments Gold Division at 7:30 p.m. at Cornerstone University.
Forest Hills Central defeated Forest Hills Eastern 59-49.
Byron Center 13 12 19 14 — 58
Greenville 13 19 12 23 — 67
BYRON CENTER (1-4) — DeLange 7 4-6 18, Bylsma 9 0-2 18, Johnson 1 2-2 4, Grzywacz 3 1-2 8, Cross 4 0-1 8, Humphrey 1 0-2 2. Totals: 25 7-15 58. Three-point goals: Grzywacz. Total fouls: 19. Fouled out: None. Technical foul: Delange.
GREENVILLE (5-0) — Davis 8 4-5 21, Crebessa 5-6 5, Somerfield 4 5-8 13, Mickey 7 2-4 16, Krusniak 1 0-0 2, Nieto 2 0-0 4, Karatkiewicz 2 0-0 4, Boehm 1 0-0 2. Totals: 25 16-23 67. Three-point goals: Davis. Total fouls: 17. Fouled out: None.