By Stephen Buus
The Greenfield Wildcats shot lights out in the third quarter, exploding for 31 points including 7-for-7 from 3-point range, to pin the first loss of the year on the Marionville Comets, 63-47 in non-conference basketball Tuesday night.
Points were at a premium in the first half, as both teams came out emphasizing physical play, leading to numerous offensive fouls called. At halftime the score was tied at 19-19.
“It blows my mind,” Greenfield coach Preston Hyde said of the first half. “Both teams were ready to go.”
Then the third quarter happened.
The Wildcats (9-3) opened up a 7-0 run in the first 90 seconds to take a working lead at 26-19. After a Comet bucket, Greenfield started shooting from all over, and it seemed like everything was going in. With 1:20 left in the third, Sawyer Dodd hit his second trey of the night as Greenfield led 45-31. Before anyone knew what had happened, the Wildcats had opened up an 18-point spread at 50-32, thanks to three treys from Hayden Sims, two by Dodd, and one each from Marcus Wright and Mason Jones—all without a miss.
“Well, I didn’t expect 31 points (in that quarter),” Hyde admitted, “but I did know that we had it in us. I’ve said since last year when I got here that we had a really good offensive team, if we could just defend. I think in the third quarter we put both (offense and defense) together.
“I was living in the moment the whole time. When Sawyer hit the three to put it back to 14, I knew we had it in the bag.”
Wright led the Wildcats with 22 points while Dodd added 14 as Greenfield avenged an earlier loss.
Hyde said, “They beat us for first place in their tournament in early December, and I had talked to the guys all week about it being a ‘signature game,’ you know. You need those games at the end of your season and I feel like that was a great win for us.”
Aaron Head was the top scorer for Marionville (11-1) with 21 points with Levi Doyle adding 13. Comet coach Ted Young took the blame for his team’s first defeat.
Young said, “It’s my fault we got beat. I did not have our team prepared for this. We’ve got to get back in the gym and get better. But Greenfield played really, really well and got a lot of wide-open shots. They played harder than we did and therefore, they got the win.”
Greenfield next visits Stockton while Marionville takes on Mid-Lakes Conference foe Pleasant Hope. Both games have been moved up from Friday to Thursday in anticipation of severe winter weather this weekend.
Marionville 13 6 13 15—47
Greenfield 4 15 31 13—63
Marionville: Aaron Head 21, Levi Doyle 13, Cole Brown 5, Brandon Horn 4, Josh Goodman 2, Nick Dean 2.
Greenfield: Marcus Wright 22, Sawyer Dodd 14, Hayden Sims 9, Jalen Roby 6, Mason Jones 6, Jerrett Esposito 2