Fans entering Green-castle's McAnally Center for the 2007 Putnam County Classic were treated to game that more than lived up to it's billing. The home Tiger Cubs battled Cloverdale for the championship and walked away with the win 65-57, but not before the Clovers brought the legion of Tiger Cubs fans to the edge of their seats.
The Clovers jumped out of the gate, grabbing a 6-point lead within the first two minutes of the game. Greencastle's Brennan Burks scored six straight points to tie the game and a bucket from Kendall Faust with 5:03 in the quarter gave the Tigers Cubs the lead.
The Clovers' Brandon Moon was scorching from the field, connecting on all four attempts, including a three, in the opening quarter. The Clovers rode Moon's hot hand and ended the quarter with a one point lead 18-17.
The Clovers controlled the early action in the second quarter but the Tiger Cubs took the lead with 4:41 on the clock when Faust drained a trey to bring the score to 24-23 in favor of GHS. Burks scored Greencastle's final seven points of the quarter as the Tiger Cubs went to the half with an 11-point lead 36-25.
"It was a game of runs and they got our early but we were able to get back and get up on them a little bit. We extended it in the second quarter," Greenlee said.
The first half deficit proved to be too much for the Clovers to overcome.
Cloverdale outscored GHS 11-10 in the third quarter to close the gap to 10 points entering the fourth. CHS struggled from the field in the third, as did their counterparts. Drew Evens, who was held to two points in the first half, accounted for all of Greencastle's scoring in the third.
"At halftime we really talked about coming out in the third quarter and extending the lead because we haven't come out in the third quarter really at all this year and played well; and we didn't again tonight I didn't think. I was proud of the way the kids kept battling," Greenlee commented.
The Tiger Cubs held off a charging Cloverdale squad in the fourth quarter to secure the win. Greencastle struggled at the line and gave the Clovers a window of opportunity that they were unable to capitalize on.
"It's a good win against a county rival for a county championship. We just have to keep working on getting better," he said.
After the game Cloverdale head coach Pat Rady voiced his pleasure with his team's performance and liked the strides he's seen from his squad.
"I think that if we'll take this game and use it as a springboard, I think we can be at a good point," Rady said. "I liked how the kids came back the second half. I thought we played some very good basketball on both ends of the court. We could have folded our tent but we didn't.
"If we can come out and get a win or two I think we'll relax a little bit and I think we'll be OK," Rady commented.
Greencastle (5-1) will take on Brown County at 7:30 p.m. Thursday while the Clovers (2-5) will compete in the Graber Post Buildings Classic at North Daviess beginning at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Cloverdale 18 7 11 21 -- 57
Greencastle 17 19 10 19 -- 65
Cloverdale -- Moon 22, Blair 18, Young 10, Dean 4. Hayden 2, Dean 1. Totals: FG 19-47 FT 14-23 TP 57.
Greencastle -- Burks 23, Evens 14, Miller 12, Faust 11, Bartrum 5. Totals: FG 22-41, FT 16-21, TP 65.
Next game -- Greencastle (5-1) will take on Brown County at 7:30 p.m. Thursday while the Clovers (2-5) will compete in the Graber Post Buildings Classic at North Daviess beginning at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.