The Greencastle High School boys' basketball team started its season off big, knocking off Crawfordsville, 81-52, Wednesday.
From the start of the game to the end, the Tiger Cubs kept the intensity level high. Greencastle averaged more than 20 points per quarter and had four players in double figures with two of them coming off the bench. Greencastle's bench chipped in 28 points in its victory.
"If we're going to play this well we need to have everybody contributing and not depend on four or five guys to do all the work," GHS Coach Troy Greenlee said.
The Tiger Cubs came out on the court strong, winning the tip off and going on a 7-2 run. GHS fed the ball into the post to Brennan Burks every chance they got for the easy two point baskets. Burks ended the night with 20 points to lead the Tiger Cubs offense.
When the Tiger Cubs didn't possess the ball, they pressed the Athenians, forcing them to turn the ball over for a fast break attempt. Crawfordsville turned the ball over 18 times during the game with 10 of them coming in the first half.
Crawfordsville started to come back midway through the first quarter and got within eight points of the lead, Greencastle soon put a stop to it and after the first quarter, Greencastle led 20-12.
In the second period, Greencastle showed the Athenians that it could do more than pound the ball into the post; it could shoot around the perimeter. Michael Richardson stepped up and took over the Tiger Cubs offense, scoring nine points with three of them coming from beyond the arc. Greencastle's defense shut down Crawfordsville offense in the second quarter, outscoring them, 20-9. Only two Athenians scored in the second quarter -- Jaren Lindsey, who scored six of the points in the paint when Crawfordsville was able to get the ball past Greencastle's press, and Ross Wheeler, who earned three free throws.
By the end of the half, Greencastle extended its eight point lead to 19.
The third quarter proved different for the Athenians. They were able to score 18 points and hold the Tiger Cubs to only 19 points for the period. Lindsey got hot and picked up eight points in the third quarter to help the Athenians, but Greencastle's lead was too great for Crawfordsville to overcome. Greencastle continued to press its opponents, causing Crawfordsville turnover numbers to grow. The Tiger Cubs stole the ball five times in the third quarter with Richardson snatching the ball three times himself for six easy points. At the end of the third quarter, Greencastle sat on a comfortable, 59-39, lead.
Greencastle would never relinquish its lead to Crawfordsville. It added another 22 points to its score the last quarter and held the Athenians to only 13. With about three minutes left in the game, Greenlee pulled out his starters and sent in the bench to mop things up for Greencastle. Kendall Faust came in an hit two big three-point baskets back-to-back for the Tiger Cubs while Erick Burgeson chipped in a three-pointer himself.
Greencastle shot 58 percent from the floor, going 32-for-56 while shooting 72 percent from behind the arch, hitting 10-of-14 of its three point shots.
"We played well, but we still have a lot of things we need to get better at. We can't be satisfied with the way we are," Greenlee said.
Greencastle proved that they can do more than hand the ball off to their big man in the post. They showed that they can shoot the ball if they need to.
"Although we may be using a different style, we still have to use all our positions on the floor around the perimeter and the post," Greenlee said. "It's just like anything else. You have to look at all of your strengths and one of our biggest strengths we have is our athleticism."
Along with Burks' 20 points, Cal Gard had 13 points while Richardson had 12 and Zac Remsburg had 11 to round out the Tiger Cubs in double digits. Burgeson finished with seven points while Quinn Fenlon and Faust had six points each. Brian Troyer, Zach Smiley and Austin Miller had two points each.
The Tiger Cubs will be back in action on Saturday, when they host Edgewood at 8 p.m.
Crawfordsville 12 9 18 13 - 52
Greencastle 20 20 19 22 - 81
GHS - Burgeson 3 1-3, 7, Fenlon 3, 0-0, 6, Remsburg 4 0-0, 11, Faust 2 0-0, 6, Richardson 5 0-0, 12, Gard 4 2-4, 13, Troyer 1 0-1, 2, Smiley 1 0-3, 2, Burks 8 4-6, 20, Miller 1 0-0,2
CV- Harris 3 1-4, 8, Harris 3 1-3, 8, Wheeler 3 3-4, 9, Lourash3 1-2, 7, Zachery 2 0-0,6 Pruett 1 0-0, 2, Lindsey 10 0-0, 20
3PT- GHS 10 (Remsburg 4), CV 2 (Harris 1, Zachery 1). Rebounds - GHS 18 (Burks 9), CV 12 (Lindsey 5). Steals - GHS 14 (Remsburg), CV 5 (Lourash 2). Assists - GHS 6 (Gard 2, Richardson 2), CV 0. Blocks - GHS 2 (Burks 1, Fenlon 1), CV 1 (Wheeler1). Total Fouls - GHS 19, CV 15. Fouled Out - Troyer (GHS)
Next Game -- Greencastle hosts Edgewood Saturday at 8 p.m.