By Skip Weaver
Greenville Daily Advocate
GREENVILLE — Troy’s 10-0 run to open the game set the tone for a Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division battle at Greenville on Tuesday.
Chris DeMeo, playing in just is fourth game since returning, scored 7 of those 10 points in the first three-plus minutes of the game and had 15 at halftime as the Troy boys basketball team rolled to a 71-43 win over the Green Wave.
Despite the loss, Greenville coach Kyle Joseph felt it was a much better performance from his squad than when they played at Troy to open the season back in November.
“This is a team that we weren’t in the game with them the first time around for 10 minutes,” Joseph said of Troy’s 66-26 win on Nov. 30, 2018. “So we did a good job battling back there in the first half and making it a game into the third quarter, but we just need to continue to consistently attack our areas of weakness.”
One of those weak areas is finishing in the fourth quarter, according to Joseph. Greenville was in close range to Troy entering the fourth quarter down by 12 at 49-37, but the Trojans exploded for their biggest point quarter of the night with 22 to 9 for the Green Wave to seal the win.
“We have good kids who work very hard, but they all know we have to finish the fourth quarter better than what we did tonight,” Joseph said. “We had a pretty good first half I thought, although we are struggling to get off to good starts. It was 7-16 first quarter so it wasn’t awful, but I know we had eight turnovers and gave up six offensive rebounds in the first quarter. If you take those away and even with us not doing a ton offensively it is a tie game.
“In the second quarter we buckled down on that some more. We gave up that 3-pointer to end the half, but I think we played a pretty good second quarter, too, and a good third quarter. We just have to finish better.”
For Paul Bremigan’s team, it has been a mixture of players this season as some who missed the first half of the year are just returning — like DeMeo.
“We’ve had some guys that have been out all year and are just coming back, so just like I told Coach Joseph, it is like November to us because we have some new guys we are trying to work in with only a few practices to do it,” Bremigan said. “We are trying to get done what we have to do and still play games. If we can get them together to mold as a team and really put it all on the line for the team I think we will be alright, but tonight I felt like the first half we didn’t take advantage of our opportunities enough. It felt like we played well enough to be ahead a little bit more, but they were making their free throws and you know they didn’t shoot very many times but they were like 6 of 13 and we were something like 13 of 31 with a bunch of missed free throws, and that’s not a good recipe for playing on the road.
“A lot of times that will catch up with you with a team that is hungry like they are. Both teams are hungry, but they keep playing hard and I respect them for that because I have seen them on film and they just keep coming at you. They don’t give up, and you have to hand it to Greenville. I thought we got a good game out of Caleb Fogarty tonight, and Chris DeMeo did a nice job. Caillou Monroe, too, and all our guys.”
Monroe was the leading scorer for Troy with 21 points, followed by DeMeo with 19 and Fogarty with 15. Troy also drained 11 3-pointers in the game — three each by Monroe, DeMeo and Fogarty with one each from Brayden Siler and Tre’Vone Archie.
Greenville senior captain Noah Walker led all players in the game with 22 points. He had three triples and went 5 of 9 at the free throw line. Tyler Beyke and Foster Cole each added 7 points in the loss.
“Noah is always steady for us,” Joseph said. “He is our senior captain, so you know what you are going to get out of him. It was just a good, solid game for him tonight, and we are going to need more of that over our final seven games. Reed (Hanes) played pretty well, too, and that is something from the first time we played them when we had a hard time getting the ball across half court. We still had too many turnovers, but they were in the front court trying to post feed and make entries. He did a really good job handling their pressure — both him and Noah — tonight and getting the ball across half court.”
Greenville cut Troy’s lead to as little as eight points in the second half at 40-32 but could get no closer as the teams traded baskets for a while before the Trojans pulled away in the fourth quarter.
“We really focused on effort this week in practice, and I saw a lot of improvement in that tonight,” Bremigan said. “I think in the second half we made a little bit better use of our opportunities. We made some shots inside, got some offensive rebounds and things of that nature that really kind of helped us get going.”
With the win, Troy improved to 6-10 overall and 5-6 in the GWOC American North, while Greenville fell to 0-15 and 0-11 in the division. Both teams will play road games on Friday with Troy at Sidney and Greenville at Butler.
Reach Skip Weaver at firstname.lastname@example.org.