The Greenacastle High School boys' basketball team is starting to show they are a force in the West Central Conference.
The Tiger Cubs picked up their third win and second straight WCC win Friday when they defeated North Putnam (5-6, 1-4) 54-51.
After knocking off Cascade last week, GHS coach Troy Greenlee was curious on how his team would respond Friday.
"We responded well to North Putnam and I was curious how we would after beating Cascade," he said.
For most of the game it was a matter of a few points on who was leading. Greencastle controlled the game in the first quarter, outscoring the Cougars 16-12 and for almost two minutes of the first quarter it was all Greencastle. From the 6:15 mark to the 4:30 mark the Tiger Cubs dominated the court, going on a 10-0 run.
The tables turned on Greencastle when North Putnam took control in the second quarter. The Cougars posted their best quarter score with 17 points in the second period. After opening the quarter with a little 4-0 run, the Cougars traded off with the Tiger Cubs one basket after another until the last 90 seconds of quarter. With just about a minute and a half left, the Cougars went on one last run. They scorrf eight straight points, ending the half with a 29-27 lead.
"We knew that North Putnam was going to come here and play hard and they have some talented players, and we had to play hard," Greenlee said.
And that is what the Tiger Cubs did.
Greencastle changed things up on the Cougars in the third quarter. Instead of shooting the ball on the perimeter, it was going to feed the ball to Brennan Burks. Burks stepped it up and scored six of the Tiger Cubs 12 third quarter points and proved he is a force to be reckoned with in the paint.
'We started getting Brennan the ball, and if we can get the ball to him, he'll be a factor in the game,' Greenlee said.
North Putnam did all they could but couldn't stop Burks in the paint.
'The problem with Greencastle is that their perimeter players are so good and that they put so many of them on the floor at one time you have to concentrate on them. We did a good job on their perimeter guys, but when you concentrate on them so much, Burks runs wild,' NPHS Coach Wes Peek said. ' Burks is a good player and has a bright future.'
North Putnam only scored seven points in the third quarter.
The Cougars launched one last offensive on the Tiger Cubs in the last quarter. The Cougars started the quarter being down 39-36 and after Brian Troyer and Michael Richardson of Greencastle hit a pair of jump shots to put the Tiger Cubs up 43-36, the Cougars attacked.
Jake Mullis started North Putnam's run with an inside jumper, then it was Lee Fordice from there on. Fordice scored three straight buckets in the paint, putting the Cougars up 44-43, but North Putnam was unable to hold on for the win.
'For as poorly as we played, we had a chance to win this game and that says a lot for our guys,' Peek said. 'Greencastle played a great game and they kept coming at us.'
Burks led the Tiger Cubs offense with 20 points while, Brian Troyer followed up with 12 points and Erick Burgeson had nine points. Richardson pitched in seven while Quinn Fenlon scored four and Zach Smiley had two points.
North Putnam was paced by Fordice with 20 points and Jake Mullis had 14 while Riley McGaughey chipped 11 points. Brayden Dahlstrom had six points.
The Tiger Cubs are now 6-8 on the season and 3-2 in the WCC and travel to Tri-West today for a 6 p.m. game while the Cougars drop to 5-6 and 1-4 in the WCC and host North Montgomery today starting a 6 p.m.
Greencastle 16 11 12 15 -- 54
North Putnam 12 17 7 15 -- 51
GC -- Burgeson 3 1-2 9, Fenlon 2 0-0 4, Remsburg 0 0-0 0, Faust 0 0-0 0, Richardson 3 0-0 7, Troyer 6 0-0 12, Smiley 1 0-0 2, Burks 10 0-0 20. Totals -- FG 25-45, FT 1-2, TP -- 54
NP -- Ensor 0 0-0 0, Fordice 0 0-0 0, Fordice 9 2-3 20, McGaughey 4 2-2 11, Dahlstrom 2 1-2 6, Mullis 6 0-2 14, Trent 0 0-0 0, Blaydes 0 0-0 0, Diebold 0 0-0 0, Dahlstrom 0 0-0 0, Schreiber 0 0-0 0, Alcorn 0 0-0 0. Totals -- FG 21-38, FT 5-9, TP 51.
3pt -- GC 3 ( Burgeson 2), N 4 (Mullis 2). Rebounds -- GC 8 (Burks 4), NP 17 (Mullis 8). Assists -- GC 13 (Gard 5), NP 1 (Mullis). Steals -- GC 7 (two players with two each), NP 3 (Mullis 2). Total Fouls -- GC 14, NP 12. Fouled Out -- None.
Next Game -- Both Greencastle and NorthPutnam are back in action today. Greencastle travels to Tri-West while North Putnam hosts North Montgomery. Both games start at 6 p.m.