For the Greencastle girls' basketball team it's been an impressive beginning to the season. They opened the season with a 23-point win and followed that with an 11-point victory over visiting Southmont Tuesday.
Tuesday's game was a low-scoring affair, but it was the fashion in which the Tiger Cubs got the win that was notable. The first half saw the Tiger Cubs struggle from the floor, so instead of powering through on the offensive side, they dug in their heels and won the game on the defensive end.
"Some nights when your offense isn't clicking so well, you got to win it with defense," GHS head coach Glenn Hile commented. "We decided at halftime that we had to go do something that will make the tempo of the game change. It was playing into their hands."
Hile went on to point out that during the first quarter the Mounties went to a zone defense that forced his Tiger Cubs into some poor decisions.
"We took 17 shots outside the lane and only seven inside in the first half and very few of those 17 went in," he noted. "At halftime we made two adjustments -- one, we decided to go half court trap to pick the tempo up; two, we wanted to pound the ball inside and we did a better job of that the second half."
Greencastle was just 5-of-22 from the floor in the first half and despite leading early, went to the locker room tied at 13-all. Becky Grivas and Mallory Miller led the Tiger Cubs in the half with five points.
It was in the second half that the Tiger Cubs came alive. They returned to the court with a look of cool determination and set to work as soon as the whistle sounded.
GHS attacked and soon began to build its lead. Buckets from Cassie Alspaugh, Miller and Grivas opened the third quarter and pushed the Tiger Cub lead to six. Alspaugh also connected on a bucket from downtown to lift GHS to a 26-23 advantage after three quarters.
The Tiger Cubs continued to pressure in the fourth and strong performances from Tenille Burgeson and Kelsey Wainman off the bench paced the team.
"We had good bench contribution. Kelsey Wainman came in in the fourth quarter and did a great job," Hile said.
As the quarter wore on, Greencastle pulled away and secured its second win of the season. Hile acknowledged that he got some good performances from some players, but that it was a team effort that took the Tiger Cubs to 2-0 on the season.
"Cassie did a fantastic job of leading people on the floor tonight and getting us to where we need to be," Hile said. "Becky had an off night offensively, but her rebounding and presence on defense, her and Chelsea Samuels both were really good.
"It was all eight of us. Defense wins games. I wasn't sure we were going to be the defensive ball club that maybe we're starting to become, but it sure is a good feeling to go into the County tourney 2-0," a beaming Hile concluded.
Grivas and Miller led Greencastle with 11 points each, while Chelsea added six and Alspaugh five. Burgeson and Kayla Nobles had three points each for GHS.
Greencastle plays Cloverdale in the second game of the Putnam County Tournament this Friday at South Putnam beginning at 8 p.m.
Southmont 10 3 10 5 -- 28
Greencastle 10 3 13 13 -- 39
Southmont -- Porter 11, Joyce 6, Flowers 3, Demoret 2, Burton 2, Byers 2, Martin 2. Totals: FG 8-26 FT 8-9 TP 28.
Greencastle -- Grivas 11, Miller 11, Samuels 6, Alspaugh 5, Burgeson 3, Nobles 3. Totals: FG 15-40 FT 6-10 TP 39.
Next game -- Greencastle plays Cloverdale in the second game of the Putnam County Tournament this Friday at South Putnam beginning at 8 p.m.