The Greencastle High School boys' basketball team's first win of the season put them in the Putnam County championship.
The Tiger Cubs defeated Cloverdale 53-47 in the opening game of the 2006 Putnam County Tournament to advance to today's tournament championship.
Things started to click for Greencastle near the end of the second quarter, when the Tiger Cubs used a 8-0 run to close out the half with a 23-17 lead.
Midway through the quarter, Greencastle trailed Cloverdale by as many as seven, but Brennan Burks scored 10 of his game-high 22 points in the period to help lift Greencastle into the lead.
As the third quarter opened, Cloverdale seemed poised to make a run at the Tiger Cubs.
Michael Neese scored the Clovers' first four points of the quarter and kept Cloverdale close.
A three-point play by Burks gave the Tiger Cubs their largest lead of the night at that point, 30-21, but the Clovers went on to score seven of the next nine points to draw within five, 34-29.
But the Tiger Cubs had the last laugh in the third, scoring five unanswered points to head into the fourth quarter ahead by 10, 41-31.
Cloverdale's Christian Cheatham scored four points early in the fourth to cut the Clovers' deficit into single digits, but the Tiger Cubs managed to match every score CHS put o the board.
The Clovers were finally able to break loose and make a run at Greencastle at the 4:02 mark when Ryan Shoulders converted a three-point play that made it a six-point game, 48-42.
Neese hit one of two free throws before knocking down a three-pointer with 2:28 to go in the game.
Cheatham also connected on one of two attempts from the charity stripe, and suddenly a game that looked like a Greencastle rout just three minutes earlier was a one-point game with the Tiger Cubs leading, 48-47.
With 1:20 to go in the game, though, Burks headed to the foul line and hit one of two free throws to make it a two-point game.
Cloverdale had another chance to tie or take the lead but committed a costly turnover instead.
Michael Richardson hit four clutch free throws for Greencastle down the stretch to seal the win for the Tiger Cubs.
"We were struggling, that's for sure," Cloverdale coach Pat Rady said. "We had a rough time shooting the ball. This ball club is going to take time to get better, though. We're going to have to have some patience."
The Clovers shot just 17-of-47 from the floor, but the Tiger Cubs didn't fare much better, connecting on 18-of-56 attempts from the field.
Despite Cloverdale's shooting woes, however, Rady said he was pleased with the heart his team showed late in the game Friday.
"We didn't quit," Rady said. "Sometimes when the ball's not dropping for you, it would be easy to drop your chin, but we got back into the game.
"I'm pleased with the effort and with the fact that we didn't give up, and hopefully we can keep on improving."
Neese led three Clovers in double figures with 21 points, followed by Blair with 11 and Cheatham with 10.
Richardson finished with 14 points for Greencastle.
The Tiger Cubs (1-2) will take on North Putnam tonight for the Putnam County championship at 8 p.m. while the Clovers (1-1) will face South Putnam in the consolation game at 6:30 p.m.
Putnam County Tournament
Cloverdale (47) -- Neese 8-24 1-2 21, Blair 4-10 3-7 11, Cheatham 3-8 3-6 10, Dean 0-2 0-1 0, Shoulders 1-2 1-2 3, Hacker 1-1 0-0 2, Gregg 0-0 0-0 0. 17-47 FG 8-18 FT 47 TP.
Greencastle (53) -- Burgeson 2-12 0-0 4, Faust 3-9 0-0 8, Richardson 4-12 4-4 14, Smiley 0-0 0-0 0, Burks 9-18 3-6 22, Miller 0-0 2-2 2, Evens 1-5 0-0 3, Marshall 0-2 0-0 0. 18-56 FG 9-12 FT.
Cloverdale 9 8 14 16 -- 47
Greencastle 5 18 18 12 -- 53
3-pt shooting -- Cloverdale 4-14 (Neese 3-9, Blair 0-4, Cheatham 1-2); Greencastle 5-30 (Burgeson 0-9, Faust 1-4, Richardson 2-10, Burks 1-6, Evens 1-1). Rebounds -- Cloverdale 30, Greencastle 35. Personal Fouls -- Cloverdale 15, Greencastle 15. Fouled out -- Blair. Turnovers -- Cloverdale 12, Greencastle 9.
Next Games -- Greencastle (1-1) will face North Putnam for the Putnam County Championship tonight at 8 p.m. while the Clovers (1-1) will take on South Putnam in the 6:30 p.m. consolation game.