NASHVILLE -- Turnovers by South Vermillion and the inside play of Kelsey Hennette helped the Greencastle girls' basketball team build a 33-15 halftime lead over the Wildcats Tuesday night in game one of the Brown County Class 3A Sectional.
With that lead in hand, the Lady Tiger Cubs were able to overcome 10 second-half turnovers of their own and even build their lead, winning by a final of 67-45.
The Lady Tiger Cubs (12-9) advance to face Brown County at 6 p.m. Friday in the first semifinal.
In the first half, Hennette was the biggest factor, as she scored 15 before the break, many of those after offensive rebounds.
"My nickname for her is 'Hoss,' and she was one in the first half. She was really good. She just anticipated offensive boards. I told her before the game, 'You should get a double-double tonight.' She said, 'I will.'"
Hennette finished the night with a game-high 22 points.
It wasn't just Hennette, though, but the Lady Tiger Cubs' inside game in general that opened up their offense.
"We just decided to go back to that post game, and the post game is good to us because if you go inside, you're going to get the outside," Hile said. "(South Vermillion) collapsed that zone back in there on the post and then all of a sudden Grace (Fisher) and Mallory (Miller) are shooting lights-out everywhere. That's how you get the good open three. You go in and out."
Defensively, the Tiger Cubs forced the Wildcats (5-16) into nine first half turnovers and made them pay for them.
GHS led 14-8 after the first quarter and had built the lead to 18 by the break.
Greencastle opened the third by outscoring South Vermillion 11-5 and stretching the lead to 24. Hile said this sort of run was key, but he also thought the Wildcats might have a run in them.
"We got up by 24 and I thought we were this close to burying them. But they hung around and went on a 7-0 run. They got things a little interesting, but then we seemed to find a way to get a basket and stop panicking," Hile said.
The 7-0 run came courtesy of South Vermillion's press, which they had adjusted at the half. Hile said once his team figured out they needed to take the ball up the sideline, things got better.
"There was one time we made four passes and scored a layup off the dribble. That was really huge for us," Hile said. "Becky (Grivas) finished the end of couple of breaks there. That was big because they were making a run."
Although the Tiger Cubs turned the ball over 10 times in the second half, they found a way around it and always got buckets when they needed them. Hile said his team would be working on adjusting to the press between now and Friday's semifinal game.
Ultimately, Greencastle was able to build its lead throughout the game, outscoring the Wildcats in each of the four quarters.
Besides Hennette, Fisher was in double figures with 13 points, as was Hannah Spencer, with 10.
The Tiger Cubs advance to face Brown County (11-9) in Friday's semifinal. The Eagles drew the tourney's first-round bye.
Although Greencastle beat Brown County 60-41 to open the season, Hile made sure to point out that was without Eagle star Molly Fox. Brown County opened the season 0-7 and is 10-2 since.
But the coach also believes his team will be up for the challenge, knowing how his team has improved throughout the year after such a struggle last season.
"For this ball club to be 12-9, after 1-20 last year, that's a remarkable recovery," Hile said.
Greencastle and Brown County tip off at 6 p.m. Friday in the first sectional semifinal.
At Brown County
IHSAA Girls' Basketball Sectional
Greencastle 14 19 19 15 -- 67
South Vermillion 8 7 16 14 -- 45
Greencastle (12-9) -- Hennette 9-12 4-6 22, Fisher 5-11 0-0 13, Spencer 3-8 4-4 10, Grivas 3-7 2-3 8, O. Miller 2-6 0-0 4, Alspaugh 1-3 0-0 3, M. Miller 1-5 0-0 3, Burgeson 1-1 0-0 2, Samuels 0-2 2-2 2. Totals: 25-55 FG, 12-15 FT, 67 points.
South Vermillion (5-16) -- McLeish 7-13 3-3 17, Cheesewright 4-11 1-1 10, Milam 2-6 4-4 8, Myers 3-7 0-0 6, Fuqua 1-3 0-0 2, Samuelson 1-6 0-0 2, Thomas 0-1 0-0 0, Reed 0-0 0-1 0. Totals: 18-47 FG, 8-9 FT, 45 points.
3-pt FG--GHS 5-15 (Fisher 3-7, M. Miller 1-2, Alspaugh 1-3), SV 1-9. Turnovers--GHS 14, SV 14. Total fouls--GHS 10, SV 17. Fouled out--None.
Next game -- Greencastle will face Brown County at 6 p.m. Friday in the Brown County Sectional semifinal.