GREENVILLE — It was “Hunt for a Cure” night in Greenville. It was also hunt for a championship night as well.
Both were a success by far. Greenville senior Torrey Davis led the fourth quarter charge and fellow senior Chris Mickey sealed the deal with a swishing jumper with four seconds remaining to defeat the Grand Rapids Christian Eagles 58-56 and remain undefeated.
The win clinched at least a share of the O-K White Conference championship. The Yellow Jackets have a two-game lead with just two games remaining in league play.
It was the first conference title for Greenville since 1993 when they were members of the Seaway Conference.
“The game wasn’t the tempo I expected. I thought it would be more up and down,” Greenville coach Mark Haist said. “They stalled us out with their 1-3-1 zone. It took us a while to get used to it and into the paint.”
It wasn’t too late as the Jackets overcame a one-point deficit and tenacious defense by the Eagles to pull out the win. DaRohn Scott of the Eagles altered and blocked shots all night until the fourth quarter.
Davis scored 11 of his game-high 21 points in the deciding fourth quarter while Mickey scored six points including the game-winner.
“DaRohn Scott was blocking everything. We started pump faking him and going hard to the rim,” Davis said. “I got an and-one and finished my free throws.”
Greenville opened the fourth quarter with a 15-5 run to open a 50-41 lead with 3:30 remaining. Haist said it was his defense that spurred the run.
“I think defensive stops was the difference,” Haist said. “We were giving up offensive rebounds, but we were playing pretty good defense the whole time. We got some stops and some turnovers.”
With Greenville up 52-43, the Eagles’ Drake Harris took over. He scored 11 of his team’s final 13 points to tie the game at 56-56.
Harris finished the night with 19 points, but didn’t really assert himself offensively until late in the game.
“He is a very tough athlete. I’m not sure why he didn’t do that the whole game,” Davis said. “We played him tough. Whenever he came off screens our big men stepped out and let me get back. He made some good shots.”
The Yellow Jackets got the ball back with 48 seconds left. The plan was to play for the final shot.
“I told them to take the ropes off a little bit and play some basketball,” Haist said. “They held for the final shot and I hoped it ended up in Mickey’s hands and it did. He has an it factor and he stepped up and made a big shot.
“I credit Crebessa (Aaron), Heppe (Curtis) and all those guys that had to handle the ball and pressure before the end,” he added.
Mickey finished with 19 points while Austin Somerfield added 12 points.
Greenville improved its perfect season to 16-0 and 8-0 in the league. Christian dropped to 11-4 and 6-2 in the O-K White.
All year long the Jackets have taken it one game at a time. Come Monday that motto will continue. Until then, this is a win they will enjoy.
“I’ve never been a part of one (conference title),” Haist said. “I’m going to enjoy everything tonight. I’m just proud of my boys. I thank the community for coming out tonight. We couldn’t do it without them.”
Greenville will host Forest Hills Central on Tuesday.
GR Christian 12 13 11 20 – 56
Greenville 14 10 11 23 – 58
GR CHRISTIAN (11-4, 6-2) – Heemskerk 2 0-0 6, Frazier 3 2-2 8, Harris 5 8-11 19, Mach 1 0-0 2, Barfield 1 2-2 5, Daley 2 2-3 6, Spicer 0 2-2 2, Scott 3 2-5 8. Totals: 17 18-25 56. Three-point goals: Heemskerk 2, Harris, Barfield. Fouled out: none.
GREENVILLE (16-0, 8-0) – Davis 8 5-6 21, Somerfield 4 4-4 12, Mickey 7 5-6 19, Krusniak 3 0-1 6. Totals: 22 14-17 58. Three-point goals: none. Fouled out: Krusniak, Boehm.