ELLETTSVILLE -- When Greencastle drew second-ranked Edgewood as its first round opponent of sectional play; they knew it would be a challenge and what a challenge it turned out to be. It didn't help matters that Edgewood hosted the Class 3A Sectional 29 and used it to their advantage.
Edgewood jumped out of the gate and took a 12-0 lead, leaving Greencastle scrambling for the remainder of the contest. Mustang standout Garrett Butcher scored eight in the opening quarter en route to a game-high 27 points.
The Tiger Cubs had a vision for the game but the Mustangs quickly dismantled it.
"We knew that one thing we didn't want to happen was for them to get up quick on us and that's kind of what happened," GHS head coach Troy Greenlee. "They hit a two right off the bat and then we let (Tommy) Weakley get open for a three, so we're down 5-0 right away and against a great team like that, if you doing uphill the whole way then it's going to be tough, so we knew that was going to be a big factor."
A deciding factor in the game Greenlee thought was the physicality the Mustangs brought to the floor. As the GHS players made cuts and attempted shots, Edgewood's defense made the Tiger Cubs work for everything.
Like any good team, Greenlee pointed out that when Edgewood sensed they had control of the game, they never looked back. When asked to pinpoint what made the game against the Mustangs so difficult, he responded that is was a range of factors.
"(It was) a combination of things -- They're a great team, they're a physical team, they're a very confident team and when you give them any kind of idea that they're going to have a good night, they just run with it. It was a tough night."
Greencastle battled with Edgewood's Butcher throughout the night with an assortment of defenders assigned the task of stopping him. Brennan Burks, Kyle Nobles and Bo Walker seemed to hold the scorer in check but Butcher found ways to get his shots. Second shots and offensive rebounds were a factor Greenlee acknowledged after the game. He thought the initial defense was solid but the second chances the Mustangs received helped do in GHS.
"We just didn't do an effective job of getting them off the boards and make them make that first shot," Greenlee said.
The Tiger Cubs leading scorer Burks had a difficult night, converting 1-of-9 from the field for two points. Whenever he was able to get away from his defender there was a group of defender awaiting him.
"It was one of those games where we had trouble getting open looks, getting anything where we were comfortable shooting the ball. We just didn't get the ball where we needed to offensively," Greenlee said.
The game marked the final game for GHS seniors Burks, Kendall Faust and Austin Miller. Greenlee lit up speaking of his seniors after the game and one would hope that their leadership and character would impact the Tiger Cub program for years to come.
"They (Burks, Miller, Faust) are three guys were really going to miss not only for what they do for us on the basketball floor but just because they're great kids," Greenlee commented. "They are three great examples of young men who are going to be very successful in life because they do the right things and as a coach that is something you're always looking for. Yeah you want good basketball players but you want those kids to be successful in life and those are three kids I have no doubt will be extremely successful.
"It been a privilege to coach them and they'll be sorely missed."
Greencastle ends its season with a record of 10-10.
Edgewood 16 18 24 20 -- 78
Greencastle 4 10 18 6 --38
Edgewood -- Butcher 13 1-2 27, Weakley 7 0-0 20, Garner 4 0-0 10, Baugh 2 2-3 8, A. Butcher 1 1-2 3, Thornton 1 0-0 2, Collier 1 0-0 2, Breeden 1 0-0 2, Walton 0 2-2 2, DuMond 0 2-2 2. Totals 30-55 FG 8-11 FT 78 TP.
Greencastle -- Marshall 3 0-0 6, Miller 3 0-0 6, Huber 2 0-0 6, Nobles 1 2-2 5, Bartrum 2 1-2 5, Faust 1 2-2 4, Burks 1 0-0 2, Walker 0 2-2 2, Hickam 1 0-2 2. Totals: 14-47 FG 7-10 FT 38 TP.
3pt. FG -- EHS 10 (Weakley 6, Garner 2, Thornton, Baugh), GHS 3 (Huber 2, Nobles).
Total fouls -- EHS 14, GHS 12.