Greenville denies Tippecanoe MVL Title with stunning upset win over Red Devils
GREENVILLE – The 3-18 Greenville Green Wave pulled of the upset of the MVL season defeating the 16-4 Tippecanoe Red Devils 53-44 to deny Tippecanoe a share of the Miami Valley League Championship.
“About half way through the season we told everybody that these seniors are going to leave a legacy behind for these younger guys to follow,” said Greenville coach, Bobby Jones, “and what a fantastic way for them to go out.”
Tippecanoe came into the night with a 15-2 conference mark only needing a win over the Green Wave, owners of a 3-14 MVL record but came up short with Greenville pulling off the stunning upset.
“This being my second year here, I know there have been a lot of big wins in this gym but I would put that right up there with some of the biggest wins in this gym,” Coach Jones stated. “I just couldn’t be happier for our senior class.”
The Red Devils took a 15-10 lead after one quarter of play. Hayden Bush knocked down a 3-pointer and a bucket for 5-points to lead Greenville, Nolan Curtis buried a trey and Million Bryant added a basket.
Defense was the name of the game in the second period with both teams putting 7-points on the board sending the game to the break with Tippecanoe holding a 5-point 22-17 advantage. Curtis hit his second triple of the night and an Alex Baumgardner thundering slam dunk and a Bryant basket rounded out second quarter Wave scoring.
Greenville’s defense held the Red Devils to 5-points in period No. 3 while the offense was adding 11-points to the board to grab a slim 28-27 lead heading to the final period of play.
Bryant pace the Wave with 7 third quarter points including a trey, a 2-point basket and 2-2 at the free throw line. EB Fall and Bush each added a basket to complete third period scoring.
Greenville saved its best of the season for the final quarter of the last regular game of the 2021-2022 season beginning with a Bryant running floater in the lane to give the Wave a 30-27 lead at 7:50 in the fourth quarter to propel Greenville to a 25-17 fourth quarter over Tippecanoe sending the seniors out with a stunning upset win over the heavily favored Red Devils.
Oriol Ribera Garcia led the Greenville fourth with 8-points including a perfect 6-6 at the charity stripe, Curtis and Bryant both chipped in 7-points; Curtis nailed two 3-pointers and added a free throw – Bryant a 3-pointer, a 2-point basket and 2-2 at the line, Hayden Bush hit a basket and Baumgardner knocked down a free throw.
“When Million Bryant gets his feet set, when Oriol Ribera gets his feet set, when Nolan Curtis gets his feet set they can shoot with anybody,” said Coach Jones. “We haven’t had the greatest year shooting the ball but when its going in we can compete with just about anybody and tonight we hit our fair share of shots.”
Greenville was 10-12 at the fourth quarter charity stripe and 12-14 for the game good for 85.7 percent shooting.
“You don’t beat good teams and you don’t win close games if you can’t hit free throws especially in crunch time,” Jones noted.
Bryant led Greenville and all scorers with a game high 18-points.
Greenville seniors playing their final home game: Hayden Bush, Million Bryant, Oriol Ribera Garcia, Nolan Curtis, Alex Baumgardner, DJ Zimmer (injured) and Truman Nicholas (injured).
Following the game, Coach Bobby Jones took time to talk about his seniors, his team and his coaching staff.
“For years these kids have fought and battled and gotten better with each year,” Jones said. “I got to coach them for two years, but to see our seniors out on the floor at the end of that game and to see their reaction and the smiles on their faces was all worth it because they deserve that.”
“They deserve to go out with a big win like that regardless of who it is. To go out in that fashion and to just grind it for four quarters and be there for each other and knock free throws down at the end regardless of who we are playing, those guys absolutely put it all together for 32 minutes tonight and I couldn’t be happier for them.”
“They just kept it all together mentally, weathered the traps physically. Seemed like every time we got trapped somebody was open and we found the open guy so just a credit to those guys. They have just battled and battled and battled all year long and regardless of what their record is, to go out like that on your home floor in front of your home crowd they are so deserving of that.”
Coach Jones talked about the team struggling much of the season to close out a game in the fourth quarter.
“The difference tonight was we left those seniors on the floor together and we just told them to keep playing and keep playing. Nolan Curtis has been kind of that glue for us all season long – the kid has played with a torn labrum, he sat on the bench for most of the third quarter in foul trouble and I said, ‘listen, you’re my senior shooter, I need you to come in, I need you to get it done’ and I’ll be darned if he didn’t sit right over there and canned one from 3-point range to put us back up three.”
“That’s what senior leaders do but to have a player like Nolan who has been through it for four straight years of varsity basketball to be our glue out there – I had all the confidence in the world that they were finally going to get over the hump and seal the deal – and they did. You don’t beat a team like that if you don’t hit your free throws and we did it.”
Coach Jones thoughts on keeping Tippecanoe from sharing the League Title with Sidney.
“We look at it from a standpoint we possibly have to play Alter (No. 1 seed) in our first game in the sectional and if you ever want to get to a point where you’re either winning consistently, winning big games, winning championships it just starts with that one game. This could have been at Sidney last game, could have been but it wasn’t. It wasn’t our time.”
“In order to validate what you’re doing and what you’re preaching to these kids at all levels, you have to have that signature win and the first thing I said to the kids when I walked in the locker room is: ‘I told you so – we told you so, we told you if you stuck with it and you stuck together and if you cared more about each other than you did yourselves something good is bound to happen’ – and I would not have wanted to play any other than Tippecanoe tonight just for the simple fact I want to see where we are at headed into the sectional. Your hope is as a coach that when you get down to the end of the season regardless of whether you’re winning or losing – you’re playing your best basketball and that was our best basketball.”
Coach Jones on his 2021-2022 coaching staff.
“This is my 24th year of coaching and 14th as a head coach and in the 10 years I was at Hagerstown, my last seven years there I had former players of mine on the bench – it’s good to have those guys jump in and scrimmage against your team during practice but I can honestly say this is the best coaching staff that I have ever been a part of in 24 years of coaching and I have been pretty fortunate to be on some pretty good coaching staffs.”
“The amount of time and effort that our coaches put into this and the level of care and love that they have for each of these players, it shows every practice and it shows every game. These players know that we’re here for them and we’ve got their back and I know my assistant coaches no matter what, through thick and thin they’ve got my back.”
Coach Jones on the future of the Green Wave boys basketball program.
“As coaches we can tell them and we can tell them your time is coming, you’re about to turn the corner if you just keep doing the things we ask you to do, your day is coming. These are teenage kids and at some point there has to be something during the season that validates everything they go through on a daily basis in practice and with every game.”
“We tell the guys we’re either winning or learning – I don’t have any losers on this team. Losers are kids that quit and give up and think more about themselves than they do their teammates and that was not the case with these guys all year long and that is a credit to the legacy that our seniors wanted to leave behind.”
GREENVILLE 53, TIPPECANOE 44
GREENVILLE – Million Bryant 18, N. Curtis 13, H. Bush 9, O. Garcia 8, A. Baumgardner 3, EB Fall 2 – TOTALS 10 12-14 7 53
TIPPECANOE – G. Caldwell 14, G. Garlitz 12, C. Coppock 7, J. Dietz 5, L. Poronsky 4, L. Hoover 2 – TOTALS 4 9-14 9 44
Greenville 7 (N. Curtis 4, M. Bryant 2, H. Bush 1)
Tippecanoe 9 (G. Caldwell 4, G. Garlitz 3, J. Dietz 1, C. Coppock 1)
SCORE by QUARTERS
10-07-11-25 53 Greenville
15-07-05-17 44 Tippecanoe