VERSAILLES — Greenville finished strong Saturday night, but Versailles’ early dominance propelled the Tigers to a 71-51 win in both team’s regular season finale.
Versailles led 19-6 at the end of the quarter, which was capped off by a buzzer-beating shot from near midcourt by Carter May.
Versailles continued to pull away in the second quarter, scoring the first 10 points of the period to increase its lead to 29-6. Greenville scored the final four points of the first half but trailed 29-10 at halftime.
Versailles’ dominance continued in the early stages of the third quarter. The Tigers scored 10 of the first 12 points of the period to increase their advantage to 39-12 before Greenville started to make a comeback.
Down by 27 points, Greenville scored 14 of the next 16 points to reduce its deficit to 41-26.
“Just couldn’t quite put them away,” Versailles coach Travis Swank said. “Greenville kids played really hard here tonight. We kind of relaxed a little bit.”
Versailles did manage to get back on track and led 52-33 at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was evenly contested with Versailles outscoring Greenville by a single point to win 71-51.
Justin Ahrens, an Ohio State commit, led Versailles with his game-high 26 points on Saturday. McEldowney added 17 points and AJ Ahrens scored 10.
Versailles finished the season 18-4 with Saturday’s win. The Tigers hope to have a long run in Division III, beginning with a sectional quarterfinal against Houston at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Northmont.
“I think this team has a shot, but it’s easier said than done,” Swank said. “You’ve got to make sure you’re working at it to go far in the tournament.”
Versailles’ five seniors – AJ Ahrens, Justin Ahrens, Kyle Jones, Keaton McEldowney and Noah Richard – are focused on a long tournament run as any game could be their last in the single-elimination tournament.
“For those five seniors, besides Justin, it’s going to be their last basketball game ever,” Swank said. “So we’ve got a lot riding on things. I think we’ve got the leadership in place to help us get over the hump and lead us as far as we can get. I’m excited about the challenge.”
Lima Perry 62, Botkins 49
A big third quarter helped Lima Perry put away Botkins in a nonconference game on Saturday.
Perry led 34-26 at halftime and outscored the Trojans 13-6 in the third to take a 47-32 lead into the final quarter. Botkins ate into the final deficit a bit with a 17-15 scoring advantage in the fourth.
Spencer Heuker led Botkins with 18 points while Ethan Butcher scored 10 and Josh Madden added nine. The Trojans made 16 field goals an 16-of-21 free-throw attempts.
Logan Dray led Perry with 24 points.
Botkins (7-15) will open tournament play against Riverside on Saturday at Piqua’ Garbry Gymnasium. The Pirates won a regular-season matchup between the two 46-41.
Minster 63, Spencerville 39
The Wildcats jumped out to a 25-6 lead by the end of the first quarter and cruised from there in a nonconference game on Saturday. The Wildcats used a 17-0 scoring advantage in the second to put the game away.
Jarod Schulze led Minster with 11 points while Isaac Schmiesing and Mike Ketner each added nine. Seven other players scored for the Wildcats (13-7, 5-3 Midwest Athletic Conference). Minster shot 25 for 55 (45.4 percent) from the field and outrebounded Spencerville 32-30.
Minster will wrap up regular season play on Friday at Parkway.
Convoy Crestview 68, New Knoxville 45
Crestview jumped out to a 40-21 halftime lead and cruised from there in a nonconference game on Saturday.
Nathan Tinnerman led the Rangers with nine points while Ben Lammers added nine.
New Knoxville (6-15, 1-7 MAC) will conclude regular season play at Fort Recovery on Friday.
Other scores: Marion Local 58, Russia 38.
Sidney Daily News sports editor Bryant Billing contributed to this article.