LIZTON -- Greencastle's boys couldn't stay with Tri-West's potent firepower
Saturday, losing 73-58 in a non-conference basketball game on the Bruins' court.
The Tiger Cubs had strong offensive performances from Cal Gard with 21 points and Brennan Burks with 19, but the Bruins had three scoring stars in Tyler Bruce with 25, Steve Ricks with 21 and Marco Moses with 16.
Greencastle (7-9) hasn't been the only team which has had trouble slowing down the Bruins (12-2), a team without a senior that has been steadily improving and is ranked No. 5 in the state's 2A poll.
'I don't think we played poorly,' Greencastle coach Troy Greenlee said.
'We didn't take advantage of the opportunities given us. Early in the season, we won some games that I didn't think we could take positive things away from. I think we can take positive things away from this game.'
Tri-West's quickness, ball-handling and shooting ability made it difficult to defend. The Bruins opened up 9-2 and 17-7 leads early. They held a 31-17 advantage midway through the second quarter and were in front 37-26 at halftime.
When Tri-West scored the initial five points of the second half, its lead swelled to 16.
The Tiger Cubs showed resiliency, twice chopping their deficit to seven.
They went on a 13-4 run to close the gap to 46-39, with Burks scoring eight on a 10-foot baseline jumper and two offensive rebounds that he converted into conventional three-point plays.
The Bruins regained control and took a 56-43 lead with 6:40 remaining inthe fourth.
Greencastle bounced back to close to 57-50 with five minutes remaining.
After Brian Troyer made a 15-foot jumper for the Tiger Cubs, Bruce made a free throw for the Bruins.
Gard scored on a 5-foot jumper in the lane and, following a Tri-West miss, netted a 23-foot three-pointer from the left wing.
The Tiger Cubs went two minutes, and 27 seconds without scoring. The Bruins scored 13 straight points for a 70-50 lead.
'We had our chances to get within a couple of baskets,' Greenlee said.
'We got to the point where he had to make shots and crank it up on defense. The analogy is we got the hump, but we couldn't get over it. If you don't take advantage of things like that against a team like this, you're not going to win.'
Burks had 12 points in the third quarter, but didn't take a shot in the fourth. For the game, the 6-foot-6 sophomore was 7-of-8 from the field, including missing his only three-pointer, and 5-of-5 from the foul line. Burks also had seven rebounds.
'He's a force in there,' Tri-West coach Eric Rauch said.
Rauch changed tactics in the fourth period, using full-court pressure to force turnovers in the Tiger Cubs' backcourt and increase the tempo.
'I decided to go small,' Rauch said. 'We had a timeout with six minutes left and I told my players, 'Let's sprint them out of here.' I thought we had put enough pressure on them that they were starting to wear down.'
Tri-West's pressure contributed heavily to Greencastle committing 13 turnovers. The Bruins' biggest scoring bursts were keyed off them.
Gard made 9-of-18 from the field, including 3-of-11 three-pointers. Burks and Gard were a combined 16-of-26 shooting, including 3-of-12 on three-pointers, and the rest of the team was 7-of-28 and 1-of-12 on three-pointers. The Tiger Cubs were 8-of-9 from the foul line.
Greencastle out-rebounded Tri-West, 28-23, but the Bruins committed only six turnovers.
Bruce, Ricks and Moses were a combined 22-of-38 shooting, 7-of-13 on three-pointers.
Bruce was 9-of-10 from the foul line.
Greencastle 13 13 17 15 -- 58
Tri-West 23 14 15 21 -- 73
Greencastle -- Burks 7-8 5-5 19, Fenlon 2-3 0-0 5, Gard 9-18 0-0 21, Richardson 0-3 0-0 0, Remsburg 1-5 0-0 2, Troyer 3-8 1-2 7, Burgeson 0-4 0-0 0, Faust 1-4 0-0 3, Smiley 0-1 2-2 2, Totals 23-54 FG, 8-9 FT, 58 TP.
Tri-West -- Thompson 0-3 2-4 2, Robertson 2-4 1-2 5, Ricks 8-13 1-2 21, Moses 7-13 1-2 16, Bruce 7-12 9-10 25, Tanselle 0-1 0-0 0, Groth 2-4 0-0 4, Bowman 0-1 0-0 0, Totals 26-51 FG, 14-20 FT, 73 TP.
3-pt. FG -- Greencastle 4-24 (Gard 3-11, Faust 1-2, Burks 0-1, Troyer 0-1, Burgeson 0-2, Richardson 0-3, Remsburg 0-4), Tri-West 7-14 (Ricks 4-5, Bruce 2-5, Moses 1-3, Tanselle 0-1). Rebounds -- Greencastle 28 (Burks 7), Tri-West 23 (Moses 7). Blocked shots -- Greencastle 1 (Fenlon), Tri-West 1 (Groth). Assists -- Greencastle 5 (Gard 2, Richardson 2), Tri-West 4 (Ricks 3). Steals -- Greencastle 0, Tri-West 4 (Bruce 2, Moses 2). Total fouls -- Greencastle 12, Tri-West 12. Fouled out -- None.
Next game -- Greencastle hosts Monrovia Friday at 7:30 p.m.