Artesians out-muscle Woodmen in Mid-State opener


Greenwood boys basketball coach Bruce Hensley was smoldering as he sat in the locker room following his team’s 69-36 loss at Martinsville on Friday night.

Not because his team didn’t shoot well (28.5 percent), or turn over the ball 12 times in the first half after struggling on offense in a home loss earlier in the week, and not because the Woodmen got to shoot only eight free throws, hitting just three.

Hensley’s ire was all about how the Artesians played in comparison to his ballclub.

Martinsville was rough and ready, especially rough, from start to finish in the Mid-State Conference opener for both teams.

The long-time Woodmen coach didn’t like his team’s reaction to being pushed around in the lane.

That is, the lack of it.

“They played so much more physically than we did, and we really didn’t want much of the way they played,” Hensley said. “We’ve got to understand this is a physical game, and that’s the way it has to be played.

“There’s no excuses. We just didn’t handle it. I want to believe that we have enough character on this team and they’ll learn from this.”

The Artesians (2-0) essentially put the contest away in the first half, outscoring Greenwood 21-11 in the opening period.

Senior guard Gannon Myers scored nine of his game-high 18 points to boost the hosts in that first quarter. Martinsville led by 15 points at halftime at 36-21, but the opening half was more decisive.

In the third quarter, the Artesians ran away with it, outscoring the Woodmen 21-7 in the period. Martinsville committed just four turnovers prior to the final quarter and shot an even 50.0 percent from the floor for the night.

Artesians’ coach Kip Staggs was more than satisfied with his team’s efforts.

“We just played tremendously hard. We had a really good first half along with our intensity on defense,” Staggs said. “We held what we thought was a good basketball team to 28 percent (shooting).

“(Spencer) Isenthal played hard on the glass for them. I think he had 10 rebounds.”

Isenthal, a senior forward, was the game’s top rebounder and paced the Woodmen’s scorers with 14 points. He was the only player for Greenwood (1-2) to score points in double digits.

Backing Myers for Martinsville were junior forward Keegan Northern with 13 points and five rebounds, and junior guard Zach Anderson with 12 points.