GRAND RAPIDS — The Greenville Yellow Jackets boys basketball team was looking to get back on track after their first loss of the season on Saturday.
They were looking to attack, they were looking to pressure and they were looking to run. They did just that.
“I wanted to see us come out with intensity and I thought we did that offensively and defensively,” Greenville coach Mark Haist said. “I wanted us to be the aggressor, I wanted us getting the loose balls, getting the rebounds and to push the tempo. We did all those things.”
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 14-0 lead and never looked back in a 71-58 regular season ending win at Kenowa Hills on Tuesday night.
Greenville seniors Torrey Davis and Austin Somerfield traded first quarter baskets as the Jackets led 27-6 after eight minutes. Somerfield scored 14 of the 27 points while Davis dropped in the other 13 points.
“We wanted to start pressuring early because, obviously with the loss, none of us were happy about it,” Greenville senior Torrey Davis said. “We wanted to show people that we are still a good team, regardless.”
In addition, to playing well on the court, Haist wanted his team to play mad. Just because people don’t think the Yellow Jackets can make a run in the postseason.
“I wanted us to be angry and mad,” Haist said. “We were. We jumped on them. We lost some of that edge, but it’s hard not to. I was very pleased with their effort.”
The game evened out after the first quarter for a couple of reasons. One, it’s tough for a team to continue the same intensity with such a large lead and second, because of a combination of different lineups as the reserves played a good portion of the game.
Eight Yellow Jackets scored in the second quarter as they led comfortably at halftime 41-21.
The starters opened the third quarter and played together briefly before heading to the bench for the remainder of the game.
Senior Chris Mickey scored eight points in the third quarter as Greenville led 54-37 after three quarters.
Kenowa Hills continued to battle. They hit four three-pointers in the fourth quarter — nine overall in the game — to pull within nine points midway through the quarter.
Back-to-back baskets by Alex Playford and Miguel Nieto opened the Greenville lead back to 13 points as they finished out the game with a 7-3 run.
Every player on the Greenville roster scored as the Yellow Jackets finished the regular season 19-1.
“They deserve it and they worked hard all year long,” Haist said of the reserves. “It was 11 men winning the conference and 11 men winning all these games.”
Nieto added 13 points for Greenville.
Trey Bowman led the Knights with 15 points what J.D. Vereeke added 11 points.
Greenville will face the Northview Wildcats, who handed the Jackets their only loss, on Monday in the first round of the district tournament at Rockford High School.
“Now, the second season begins,” Haist said. “I thought we played with a chip on our shoulder most of the season. We have to get that back again. People are saying we are going to have a short run in the playoffs and we need to prove them wrong.”
The winner will face the Lowell Red Arrows in the semifinals.
GREENVILLE 71, KENOWA HILLS 58
Greenville 27 14 13 17 - 71
Kenowa Hills 6 15 16 21 - 58
GREENVILLE (19-1) – Davis 6 0-0 13, Heppe 1 1-2 3, Crebessa 2 0-0 4, Lindeman 0 2-2 2, Somerfield 6 2-5 14, Nieto 4 4-7 13, Karatkiewicz 3 0-0 6, Boehm 2 0-0 4, Mickey 3 1-3 8, Playford 1 0-0 2, Krusniak 1 0-0 2. Totals: 29 10-19 71. Three-point goals: Davis, Nieto, Mickey. Fouled out: None.
KENOWA HILLS (8-11) – Bowman 6 2-3 15, VanTimmeren 0 2-4 2, Thomas 2 0-0 6, Seely 3 0-0 8, Vereeke 4 1-1 11, Hollenbeck 3 0-2 7, Gannon 2 0-0 5, Fransted 1 0-0 2, Gloe 1 0-2 2. Totals: 22 5-10 58. Three-point goals: Thomas 2, Seely 2, Vereeke 2, Bowman, Hollenbeck, Gannon. Fouled out: None.