HOWARD CITY — Ultimately, the end result is what counts.
The Greenville Yellow Jackets boys basketball team didn’t have a great start, but they improved as the game continued and finished strong for its third win in as many games. Greenville’s offense ignited in the third quarter as the Yellow Jackets routed the Tri County Vikings on Tuesday 76-37.
“It was sloppy early and I think it was a sign of how our practice went yesterday (Monday),” Greenville coach Mark Haist said. “It wasn’t a good practice. I’m going to chalk it up to that emotional let up after the big rivalry game Friday night (Belding).
“I told them, tomorrow we have to come back with a new focus. We can’t let a previous game impact us, win or lose, moving forward,” he added.
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but allowed the Vikings to take an 11-10 lead with 3:30 remaining in the first quarter. Greenville responded with a 15-3 run to close out the first quarter for a 25-14 advantage.
“We were just outmanned. They were bigger, stronger and faster than us,” Tri County coach Chad Gould said. “They did a nice job of executing what they wanted to execute.”
Both teams traded turnovers several times throughout the second quarter, but the Yellow Jackets outscored the Vikings 19-9. Greenville senior Ian Cooper scored eight of the 19 points.
Cooper finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
“I think early they contested (Ian) Cooper and they played him fairly physical,” Haist said. “In the second quarter, he had uncontested offensive rebounds and putbacks.”
The Greenville offense caught fire in the third quarter and outscored the Vikings 30-10 to open up a 74-33 lead. Seven different Yellow Jackets scored in the quarter.
“I think we cleaned it up a lot in the third quarter,” Haist said. “A big thing that we want to do is wear teams down. I think that was obvious.”
With the Yellow Jackets holding a 40-point lead a running clock was instituted to start the fourth quarter.
“We watched film on them and decided there was no slowing them down,” Gould said. “So we decided to run with them. We did some good things early, then we couldn’t buy a bucket and started pressing. We don’t play well that way.”
Because of the running clock just six points was scored between the two teams in the fourth quarter.
Stephen Roy added 13 points for Greenville, while Ethan Morris scored 11 points.
Kyle Slater-Bakhan led the Vikings with 11 points, while Ryne Dailey added 10 points.
Tri County fell to 1-2 overall and will host Fruitport on Friday.
The Yellow Jackets (3-0) will host the Lowell Red Arrows on Friday.