Two weeks after dropping a heartbreaker on the road to Rockville, the Greencastle Tiger Cubs' varsity boys' basketball team came back in a big way to defeat the Rox 60-42 in the opening game of the Wabash Valley Classic at Terre Haute South Wednesday.
"I'm really pleased with how we responded (Wednesday)," Greencastle coach Troy Greenlee said. "The guys knew we didn't give our best effort the last time we played (Rockville), so to see them come out the way they did today was great."
Despite the lopsided win, the game was in doubt for the Tiger Cubs midway through the third quarter.
The Rox went on a 12-0 run after coach Dave Mahurin called a 30-second timeout to slice the Greencastle lead to two, 35-33.
But Greencastle was undaunted, and after Greenlee called a timeout of his own the Tiger Cubs scored 11 unanswered points, sparked by Zac Remsburg, who scored nine of his 16 points during the run that put GHS on top, 42-33.
The fourth quarter was all Greencastle, as the Tiger Cubs outscored the Rox 18-9 in the frame, sending them to a win and a Thursday date with Terre Haute South in the winner's bracket.
"I just thought today that we came out defensively with better intensity," Greenlee said. "We didn't change a whole lot from the last time we played Rockville, but we had more of a defensive mentality. Defense can create offense for you, and that's what happened in the third."
Greenlee said that the Rockville run in the third quarter was a wake-up call for his team.
"They made that run on us and got us down to two, but our kids responded really well, and I was really pleased with that."
The game began with neither team gaining a clear advantage, as the first quarter ended in a 10-all deadlock.
Brennan Burks sparked Greencastle to a big second quarter, though, scoring 10 of his 18 first-half points in the stanza. Burks led all scorers with 20 points, shooting 8-of-11 from the field, including 3-of-5 from behind the three-point line.
Erick Burgeson contributed eight points in the win, and Michael Richardson and Drew Evens each chipped in with seven.
"We're a team that's going to have a lot of different guys step up in different ways," Greenlee said.
"When you have several guys that can do a lot of different things, it just makes your job as a coach easier."
As a team, the Tiger Cubs shot 20-of-37 from the field and 12-of-16 from the free throw stripe.
Greencastle was also 6-of-13 from beyond the arc, with Remsburg knocking down two and Burgeson hitting one of his own.
The Tiger Cubs (5-3) will be in action again today at 1 p.m. when they face the Terre Haute South Braves in the tournament's second round.
Wabash Valley Classic
At Terre Haute South
GREENCASTLE (60) -- Smiley 0-0 0-0 0, Burks 8-11 1-2 20, Burgeson 3-6 2-2 8, Richardson 2-4 2-2 7, Faust 0-4 0-0 0, Remsburg 5-8 4-6 16, Miller 1-2 0-0 2, Evens 1-2 5-6 7, Marshall 0-0 0-0 0, Walker 0-0 0-0 0, Bartrum 0-1 0-0 0, Nobles 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-37 FG 12-16 FT 60 TP.
ROCKVILLE (42) -- Mahurin 5-22 4-4 15, Bridge 3-11 2-4 8, Reed 3-4 0-1 6, King 2-6 0-0 5, Vauters 4-5 0-2 8, Clevenger 0-2 0-0 0, McMullen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-50 FG 6-11 FT 42 TP.
Greencastle 10 20 12 18 -- 60
Rockville 10 11 12 9 -- 42
3-point goals -- Greencastle 6-13 (Burks 3-5, Burgeson 1-1, Faust 0-1, Remsburg 2-5, Evans 0-1), Rockville 2-10 (Mahurin 1-5, Bridge 0-1, King 1-4). Total fouls -- Greencastle 12, Rockville 11. Technical foul -- Rockville bench. Fouled out -- None. Rebounds -- Greencastle 27 (Burks, Richardson, Evans 5), Rockville 25 (Mahurin 9). Turnovers -- Greencastle 11, Rockville 9.
Next Game -- Greencastle (5-3) will face Terre Haute South at 1 p.m. today.