YELLOW SPRINGS — It was hard for Yellow Springs coach Steve Grasso to keep from smiling.
His host Bulldogs team weathered several Greenon comebacks to win Friday night’s opening round of the Bulldog Invitational boys basketball tournament, 61-55, and advance to tonight’s championship game.
“In the fourth quarter, we made some shots. They weren’t going in in the first half. We missed a lot of shots then. But we had a couple of key baskets from Liam Weigand, who’s a junior captain, and that was big for us.
“We still have a long way to go. Geez, there’s so many areas to improve, but I’m really happy to get a chance for the boys to get a win on their home court tonight.”
Greenon (2-5) led 44-42 heading into the final quarter of play. They then held a 50-49 lead midway through the final quarter when Aiden Stockton scored from the right baseline.
But Weigand drilled a 3-pointer from the right corner to give the Bulldogs a 52-50 lead with 3:57 left to play. Devon Perry then canned a trey with 3:12 left, and Weigand scored from the right baseline seconds later to put the ‘Dogs up for good, 59-52, with 1:39 left on the clock.
Isaiah Taylor led Yellow Springs with a 17-point effort, and Kaner Butler finished with 16 in the win.
“Those are two young sophomores on this team who are really coming along. They understand their roles and what they have to do, and it’s starting to show,” Grasso said.
He described Taylor as a solid scoring threat who has a good in-and-out game, but said he didn’t realize that Butler had as good of a game as he had. “He’s our garbage man. He finds ways to be productive and gets the job done,” Grasso added.
Stockton led Greenon with 13 points, Jacob Riegel finished with 11 points and Chase Green added 10 in the loss. Knights coach Todd Shuttleworth was surprised by his team’s effort.
“I’d like to give Yellow Springs a lot of credit for tonight,” Shuttleworth said. “I thought they played a lot harder than we did tonight, and that’s a little upsetting. We just came off a nice victory last Friday (a 42-40 win over New Paris Graham), and so I wish I knew what it was. … We got the lead for a little bit, and then didn’t take care of the ball when we had it, and Yellow Springs took advantage of that.”
Shuttleworth credited Tim Blase for a solid eight-point first half, and said he liked Stockton’s all-around play
With the win, Yellow Springs (1-5) will play Dayton Meadowdale in tonight’s 6:30 p.m. title game. Meadowdale mashed Horizon Science Academy 85-48 in the night’s earlier contest. The Horizon Hawks will match up with Greenon in today’s 5 p.m. consolation game.
GREENEVIEW 63, MIAMI TRACE 44: Future University of Cincinnati Bearcat Ashton Lovely scored a game-high 27 points and had five assists to lead Greeneview to Friday night’s girls basketball win over host Miami Trace.
Kristen Combs scored 12 points for the Rams (6-2), Sophie Sonneman added 11 points and had 12 rebounds and Alex Rice finished with nine points and five rebounds in the win.
Brooklyne Baldwin was the leading scorer for Miami Trace (8-2) with 15 points.