LAKE ODESSA — The Greenville Yellow Jackets continue to evolve its offense this season.
From a fast paced (patterned after Grinnell College) style offense to a half court, more deliberate post style game, the Yellow Jackets have done a little bit of everything this season. They still shoot the three, but their defense is toughening up and the changes have helped the Yellow Jackets to three straight wins.
On Tuesday, despite leading by 14 points in the third quarter, the Yellow Jackets needed some playmaking late for a 69-64 nonleague win over the Lakewood Vikings.
“The kids worked hard. We are still trying to clean up some of the stuff we put in defensively,” Greenville coach Mark Haist said. “Credit Lakewood for having as many three’s as they did.”
With 5:12 remaining in the third quarter the Yellow Jackets led 42-28 after a Parker Syrjala basket. Lakewood’s Joseph Parks scored 15 third quarter points, while the Vikings drained five three-pointers to outscore Greenville 25-16 in the quarter.
The Vikings’ spurt left the game tied 50-50 after 24 minutes. Greenville led 34-25 at halftime.
“We don’t know their personel. We don’t see them very often,” Haist said. “We didn’t know No. 3 (Parks) was such a good shooter. We were able to take two others away. Then they had their third and fourth best shooters draining three’s.”
Lakewood finished with eight second half three-pointers and 12 overall for the game.
“Our game plan is to take away their top options. They did a good job with their other options,” Haist said. “Our kids were resilient too. When they (Lakewood) made the run, we kept our composure and made plays to win the game.”
Starting the fourth quarter, the Yellow Jackets went to work inside. The Ian Cooper/Nick Reamer combination combined for 14 fourth quarter points. The combo scored Greenville’s first 11 points, but still held a small 61-59 advantage.
Greenville’s post play was a staple of its offense in past seasons and worked perfectly against Lakewood on Tuesday.
“It’s something we’ve done in the past. We got away from it when we went up tempo,” Haist said. “We don’t want to go away from up tempo, but in the past when we run it teams adjust and take it away. Hopefully, now we can adjust and catch teams off guard off inside.”
From there, defense and free throws led the Yellow Jackets to the win. Syrjala — a game-high 25 points — drained five of six free throws late help extend the Greenville lead.
Reamer finished with 16 points, while Cooper added 10 points — all in the second half.
“We never questioned if Nick (Reamer) would work hard. Our scheme was making it so only one big kid was out there at a time,” Haist said. “That limited his time. We changed things up and he is making the most of the opportunity. He was huge tonight.”
Parks finished with a team-high 21 points for Lakewood. Colin O’ Mara and Nate Kaufmann each scored 11 points.
Greenville will finish its regular season schedule on Thursday at Grand Rapids West Catholic.
“It’s good to be peaking at the right time of the year,” Haist said. “We still have things to clean up, so we feel there is still progress out there. We haven’t reached our potential, which is exciting.”
The Yellow Jackets host Forest Hills Northern for the first round of district play on Monday.
GREENVILLE 69, LAKEWOOD 64
Greenville 17 17 16 19 — 69
Lakewood 13 12 25 14 — 64
GREENVILLE (10-9) — Syrjala 8 8-9 25, Roy 2 0-0 6, Bedenbaugh 1 0-1 2, Cooper 3 3-6 10, Niewoonder 2 0-0 5, Reamer 8 0-1 16, Cossou 1-3 5. Totals: 26 12-19 69. Three-point goals: Roy 2, Syrjala, Cooper, Niewoonder. Total fouls: 18. Fouled out: Reamer.
LAKEWOOD (5-13) — Makley 0 0-1 0, Parks 6 6-6 21, O’ Mara 4 0-0 11, Kaufmann 4 0-0 11, Caudy 3 2-5 9, Sauers 1 2-4 5, Davis 3 0-0 7. Totals: 21 10-17 64. Three-point goals: Parks 3, O’ Mara 3, Kaufmann 3, Caudy, Sauers, Davis. Total fouls: 18. Fouled out: None.