GREENVILLE – Sometimes a sense of deja vu falls over a crowd as was evidenced Tuesday night at the Greenville High School gymnasium as the Green Wave lost a hard fought Miami Valley League contest to Vandalia-Butler by a 48-36 count. However, in this case, two scenarios repeated themselves as a small but vocal gathering of fans on a cold evening can attest.
On September the 3rd this past fall, Butler’s football team defeated Greenville 45-6, partly on the strength of senior quarterback Luke Seibert passing for 122 yards and two touchdowns as Butler was on its way to a share of the MVL Miami Division title and a 9-3 overall record. In the second encounter of this basketball season between the Aviators and the Wave, the 6’3” Seibert came oﬀ of the Butler bench to score 12 points, including 8 in the fourth quarter as Butler outscored the Green and White 14-9 to secure the win and improve to 7-4 in league play and 7-7 overall.
The second example came as the Wave missed several opportunities in the final four minutes in an attempt to draw within one or two possessions of the lead, something that has plagued coach Matt Hamilton’s team over the course of the season.
Both teams played aggressive defense in the first half with Butler leading at the end of the first quarter by an 11-5 margin as the Vandalia man-to-man and Greenville zone defenses stymied the oﬀensive attacks. The second quarter was more of the same although the Aviators were able to put 13 more points on the scoreboard for a 24-11 lead at halftime.
The Wave clawed their way back into the game in the third quarter as junior guard Liam Jasenski erupted for 8 quick points and classmate Drew Hamilton added another 5, narrowing the Butler lead to 28-24 at the 3:00 mark of the stanza before the Aviators responded to hold a 34-27 advantage entering the final period.
Seibert took over at that point, scoring his team’s next 8 points as the Wave couldn’t stop his inside game in the paint. With a 42-34 lead and 3:45 remaining Butler iced the game by converting 6 foul shots while Greenville could only put one more basket in the books.
Seibert’s 12 points paced the V-B scoring while sophomore Julius Rusk added 9, junior TJ Green contributed 8, and senior AJ Holderman finished with 7. Butler next entertains Fairborn Friday night at the Student Activities Center.
Hamilton led the Wave with 14 points and Jasenski added 11 as Greenville fell to 2-9 in the MVL and 2-12 overall. The Wave go on the road to Troy Friday evening before returning home Saturday to face the Bethel Bees on Hall of Fame night.