GREENVILLE — On senior night, it was a couple of freshman helping to lead the Greenville Yellow Jackets to victory.
Playing for the second time in seven days against the Northview Wildcats, freshman Landon Kemp and Paige Hallock combined for 32 points in Greenville’s 48-37 O-K Bronze Conference win.
The win clinched at least a share of the league championship for a second consecutive season. The last time Greenville won back-to-back girls basketball league titles was in 1982 and 1983 as members of the Tri River Conference.
“I thought it was a great win because our best player struggled tonight,” Greenville coach Eric Nichols said. “That is the beauty of this team, girls step up. Tonight, it was Landon. I thought Paige played really well running the show tonight.”
Somerfield picked up two fouls in the first quarter, which relegated her to the bench for most of the second quarter. Northview (9-7, 2-5) was able to stay with Greenville in the first half as the Yellow Jackets led just 22-20 at the break.
“Greenville has been the class of the league all season long,” Northview coach Rick Albro said. “They have different people step up. We wanted to go at Leah (Somerfield) right away and yet other people stepped up when she wasn’t around. Credit to coach (Eric) Nichols on winning the O-K Bronze.”
Greenville came out of the locker room on fire. Kemp (19 points) drained four three-pointers in the quarter, while Danata Paulino hit one as Greenville extended its lead to 39-30.
While Kemp was dropping three’s on the Wildcats, Greenville’s defense also went to work as Northview did not score until the 3:00 mark of the third quarter.
“We changed up defenses,” Nichols said. “We played them last Saturday and they struggled against a particular look we had. They struggled again tonight against it.”
The fourth quarter was more of the same for Greenville defensively.
“I thought Nikota Howe, defensively is our glue,” Nichols said. “In the fourth quarter, she got on the glass and we limited them to one and done in the fourth quarter.”
Hallock had 13 points, while Somerfield finished with seven points and eight rebounds. Howe grabbed five rebounds.
“Greenville shot the ball well. We made some shots, but they really shot the ball well,” Albro said. “I thought we played a cleaner game than we did on Saturday against them. We didn’t have the turnovers we had last game.”
Kali Crawford led the Wildcats with 11 points.
Greenville improved to 16-2 overall and 8-0 in the league.
“This is the fist time in 30-some years and it’s the first time there has been back-to-back-to-back winning seasons in 35 years,” Nichols said. “It’s a feather in the cap for these girls. I think the culture changed with the class of 2012 that had enough of status quo. The 2013 group was mentally tough and carried the torch. This year’s 2014 class has done the same thing.”
The Yellow Jackets will travel to Cedar Springs on Tuesday.
GREENVILLE 48, NORTHVIEW 37
Northview 11 9 10 7 — 37
Greenville 11 11 17 9 — 48
NORTHVIEW (9-8, 2-5) — Annis 1 0-0 2, VanHoute 4 0-0 8, Crawford 4 0-0 11, Lowell 2 0-0 5, Shomin 1 0-0 3. VanZanten 4 0-0 8. Totals: 16 0-0 37. Three-point goals: Crawford 3, Lowell, Shomin. Total fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.
GREENVILLE (16-2, 8-0) — Sorsen 10-0 2, Paulino 1 0-0 3, Kemp 6 2-4 19, Bremby 2 0-0 4, Howe 2 0-0 4, Somerfield 3 2-2 7, Hallock 3 6-6 13. Totals: 15 10-12 48. Three-point goals: Kemp 5, Paulino, Somerfield, Hallock. Total fouls: 8. Fouled out: None.