Three consecutive Grace Fisher three-pointers blew the lead wide-open for Greencastle in Friday night's game at South Putnam. The shots put the Tiger Cubs up 17 early in the third quarter, and they never looked back, defeating the Eagles 47-30.
After trailing by 10 at halftime, the Eagles (8-7, 1-2 WCC) got a glimmer of hope when Oceaia Boetjer cut the lead to single digits with the opening points of the third quarter.
After the game, Greencastle coach Glen Hile commented on the mental edge Fisher's hot shooting gave his squad.
"I told (the girls), 'The three-point shot can be as disheartening as the dunk or any other kind of run,'" Hile said.
Of Fisher, he added, "When she gets hot, she can light it up -- and she did tonight. I was tickled for her."
Fisher finished with 18 points on the night, including hitting 6-of-8 threes.
The Greencastle lead grew to as much as 24 in the third, before the quarter ended with the Cubs leading 43-22.
In the fourth, GHS slowed the game way down. Although they scored just four points in the final frame, they held the Eagles to eight and never saw their lead threatened.
For Hile, though, the game wasn't simply won from beyond the arc. The coach praised nearly every aspect of his team's game. He liked their post play, rebounding, defense and especially their passing.
"I thought our passing tonight was as good as I'd seen in a long time from us," Hile said. "Maybe we just learned a little bit from Mooresville (Tuesday) night. Because that was the most impressive thing the girls said in the locker room was how well Mooresville passed the ball."
The hot three-point shooting didn't really begin until late in the second quarter for GHS, up to that point, it was the inside play, especially the scoring of Kelsey Hennette, that built the Tiger Cub lead.
"Our post was strong. I thought we could have finished a little more, but we dominated the boards," Hile said. "When you go inside-out first, you're going to get good looks."
Hennette went 6-of-9 from the field to score 13 points for the Tiger Cubs.
For the Eagles, a notable absence was starting forward Leeah Butts, who is out with an illness. While coach Debbie Steffy acknowledged this, she also made sure to give GHS the credit it diserved.
"(Butts' absence) changed the way we were going to play against Greencastle, but that's not to take anything away from them. They're a very good team. They've improved over the year," Steffy said.
The one thing that kept the Eagles in the game for a time was their free-throw shooting. On a night in which they made just eight field goals, they were 13-of-17 from the charity stripe.
Meghan Canary hit nine of those free throws and led the Eagles with 15 points. Oceaia Boetjer was next with 13.
"We fouled them when they were shooting, and that's one of the things we didn't want to do," Hile said.
Ultimately, though, the shooting from the field was the difference in the game. South could not overcome their 20 percent (8-for-40) field goal shooting.
The Tiger Cubs shot 33 percent (18-for-54).
The Tiger Cubs visit Eminence at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, while the Eagles are back in action at 6 p.m. Friday at Monrovia.
At South Putnam
Greencastle 11 12 20 4 -- 47
South Putnam 5 8 9 8 -- 30
Greencastle (8-7, 2-1 WCC) -- Fisher 6-10 0-0 18, Hennette 6-9 1-2 13, Spencer 2-8 2-2 8, Grivas 3-8 0-3 6, M. Miller 1-3 0-0 2, O. Miller 0-7 0-2 0, Alspaugh 0-7 0-0 0, Samuels 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 18-54 FG, 3-9 FT, 47 points.
South Putnam (8-7, 1-2 WCC) -- Canary 3-13 9-11 15, Boetjer 4-13 4-6 13, Birt 1-6 0-0 2, Hughes 0-5 0-0 0, Searles 0-2 0-0 0, Mink 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 8-40 FG, 13-17 FT, 30 points.
3-pt FG -- GHS 8-17 (Fisher 6-8, Spencer 2-3), SP 1-8 (Boetjer 1-2). Turnovers -- GHS 12, SP 6. Total fouls -- GHS 16, SP 10.
Next game -- Greencastle travels to Eminence at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. South Putnam visits Monrovia at 6 p.m. Friday.