"It's just a disappointing loss," coach Troy Greenlee stated after the game. "I was really proud of how our kids didn't give up."
The Tiger Cubs came out of halftime leading 33-31 and proceeded to execute their gameplan. Brennen Burks set up down low and began his domination of the second half. Burks scored 16 of his team-high 24 points in the second half, including two three-pointers.
Throughout the third quarter, Greencastle held the lead with scoring coming from Burks, Erick Burgeson, Drew Evens and Austin Miller.
Greencastle saw its lead fade as Owen Valley's Jared Maners hit a two to make the score, 42-40, in favor of the Patriots. Zac Remsburg connected on a three-pointer with three minutes to go in the third quarter to tie the game at 50-all. The Tiger Cubs' fate seemed foreshadowed as Michael Richardson drove to an empty basket and watched as the ball spun out of the hoop.
Remsburg proved to be king of the long ball, collecting four bombs and scoring 14 points on the night. The Tiger Cubs stayed close at the end of the third quarter as Miller scored on two inside shots and brought Greencastle within four points at 58-54.
The fourth quarter saw Owen Valley make a run that the Tiger Cubs were unable to rebound from.
The Patriots quickly ran their lead to 10 points on the strength of Maners, Andrew Mullins and Antonio Marshall. But as quickly as Owen Valley jumped out, Greencastle came roaring back.
Remsburg hit a three-pointer as Burks followed with at two to close the lead to six. Evens stole the inbounds pass and scored with 2:22 remaining on the clock. After a Patriot miss, Burgeson scored on a drive and Remsburg hit two free throws to bring the Tiger Cubs within one at 71-70 with 25 seconds remaining.
The Patriots Maners hit two free throws to ice the game, 73-70. Greencastle had two attempts to tie as the clock ticked away but both fell short and Owen Valley slid by 73-70.
Greencastle owned the first minutes of the game, jumping out to an 8-0 lead. The Patriots got within one twice but Greencastle answered the call. Michael Richardson and Remsburg hit back-to-back buckets and the Tiger Cubs held a 15-13 lead at the end of the first.
The teams spent most of the second quarter tied or with a slight lead. Owen Valley tied the game at 31 with 34 second remaining but Greencastle's Miller hit a shot at the buzzer to give the Tiger Cubs the lead at 33-31 at the half.
Greenlee focused on a single factor he felt was key to Greencastle's first-round loss.
"The difference was second-chance points," he said. "They're such a good offensive team, even if they do miss, you have to get the rebound."
Owen Valley will play West Vigo Friday at 6 p.m. Greencastle ended the year at 10-11.
Class 3A Greencastle Sectional 29
Owen Valley 13 18 27 15 -- 73
Greencastle 15 18 21 16 -- 70
Owen Valley (73) -- Temples 7, Maners 25, Marshall 19, Madorin 14, Mullins 2, Figg 6. Totals -- FG 28-47 FT 8-14 TP 73.
Greencastle (70) -- Burgeson 8, Remsburg 14, Richardson 5, Burks 24, Evens 13, Miller 6. Totals -- FG 29-53 FT 4-5 TP 70
3pt. FG -- Owen Valley 9 (Temples 2, Maners 2, Marshall 3, Figg 2), Greencastle 10 (Burgeson 2, Remsburg 4, Richardson, Burks 2, Evens).
Next game -- Owen Valley will play West Vigo Friday at 6 p.m. Greencastle ended the year at 10-11.