"It's been a dream from our freshman year. It's a great start for our senior year," Greencastle senior guard Cassie Alspaugh said while teammates cut down the nets at South Putnam High School.
Greencastle outscored South Putnam 16-5 in the second quarter to build a 27-11 halftime lead, then got 14 points, four steals and three rebounds from Hannah Spencer in the second half to hold off the Eagles.
Spencer, who is coming off a leg injury from soccer, came off the bench to lead the Tiger Cubs with 18 points seven rebounds and six steals.
"(Spencer) just proved why she is so valuable to our team. Her ability to take the ball to the hole is just… she's so quick it's hard to defend her," Greencastle coach Glenn Hile said.
South Putnam coach Debbie praised the Eagles' effort.
"Everybody played well for us tonight. If I could find one major fault it was our passing tonight. We just made some errant passes. Hannah Spencer did a good job of anticipating our passes," Steffy said.
Oceaia Boetjer led South Putnam with 10 points, including a pair of three-pointers in the second half rally.
"(Boetjer) one of those kids that knows when it's a big game she needs to step it up," Steffy said.
Leading 11-6 after the first period, GHS then took control in the second period with good defense and alert play and teamwork. Mallory Miller had two steals and Spencer and Kelsey Wainman one each for the Tiger Cubs in the quarter.
Greencastle scored five points in one sequence during the second quarter. Miller stole the ball and converted a lay up while being fouled. When Miller missed the free throw, Chelsea Samuels rebounded and passed out to Kayla Nobles, who nailed the first of two threes in the period that put the Tiger Cubs up 20-9 with 4:21 to play in the half.
"We really turned it up a notch defensively and we got some big threes to drop. Kayla Nobles hit two really big threes that kind of pushed us out front where we needed to be," Hile said.
"We had to try to change up some defenses here and there. In the first half we used three defenses in order to try and get out on their shooters. We didn't rotate out on them when they would screen us off, so we were trying to make changes on that," Steffy said.
Alspaugh scored at the buzzer to give Greencastle a 27-11 halftime lead.
"I knew the second half we were going to get a run for our money," Hile said.
And rebounding was the key.
South Putnam outrebounded Greencastle 24-8 in the second half, including an 11-3 advantage in the third quarter. Kelsey Searles pulled down seven boards and Brooke Boetjer and Emily Dabowski grabbed six each.
"Our post players did a great job. I know in the second half, in particular the fourth quarter, we missed a lot of shots underneath the basket. But we got rebound put backs too, so we were able to capitalize," Steffy said.
Leah Butts put back a rebound that brought South Putnam within seven, 33-26.
That's when Greencastle put together a 6-1 run of its own. Samuels and Spencer put back rebounds for baskets and Spencer converted a steal into a lay up that gave the Tiger Cubs a 39-27 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Greencastle could not put South Putnam away until the final minute. Alspaugh put back her own missed free throw to give Greencastle a 43-31 lead with 6:13 to play, but a three by South Putnam's Jenny Thompson closed the gap to 43-36 with 5:15 on the clock.
Greencastle converted 6-of-10 from free throw line in the final 2:30 to secure the victory.
"That's the thing about South, they don't stop. They're always in (the game) with us. That's what made it a good game. We didn't want (the Eagles) to roll over, we wanted it to be a good hard game and we wanted to know we played a good team to win this county (title)," Alspaugh said.
In the consolation game, the North Putnam Cougars got their first win of the second, downing Cloverdale 32-26.
North Putnam didn't score in the first quarter, but allowed Cloverdale only three points. The Cougars took an 18-17 lead after three quarters.
Carlye McGaughey led North Putnam with nine points, five in the fourth quarter. Megan Robinson pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds, including seven in the second half.
Cloverdale was led by Kristin McCammon with seven points, five coming in the fourth period. Kayla Shepherd led Cloverdale with seven rebounds.
At South Putnam
Putnam County Tournament
Greencastle 11 16 12 13 -- 52
South Putnam 6 5 16 13 -- 40
Greencastle (52) -- Grivas 2-8 0-0 5, M. Miller 3-8 5-6 11, Samuels 3-6 0-0 6, Nobles 2-5 0-0 6, Alspaugh 2-6 0-1 4, Spencer 7-12 4-9 18, Burgeson 0-1 0-0 0, J. Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Wainman 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 20-49 FG, 10-20 FT, 52 TP.
South Putnam (40) -- B. Boetjer 1-9 2-6 4, O. Boetjer 4-11 0-2 10, Butts 4-5 0-0 8, Dabowski 1-5 2-2 4, Jes. Thompson 0-3 0-0 0, Burnham 1-2 0-0 2, Jen. Thompson 2-5 0-0 5, Searles 0-1 7-10 7, Minor 0-0 0-0 0, Douglas 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-41 FG, 11-20 FT, 40 TP.
3-Pt. Goals: G 2-5 (Nobles 2-2, M. Miller 0-1, Alspaugh 0-2), SP 3-9 (O. Boetjer 2-6, Jen. Thompson 1-1, Jes. Thompson 0-1). Total fouls: G 18, SP 18. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: GHS 19, SP 22. Rebounds: G 32 (Spencer 7, Samuels 6), SP 38 (Dabowski 9, B. Boetjer 8, Searles 8) Steals: G 12 (Spencer 12), SP 8 (Dabowski 2).
Next game -- South Putnam (1-3) will host West Vigo on Tuesday and Greencastle (4-0) will host Crawfordsville on Tuesday.
Putnam County Tournament
Cloverdale 3 8 6 9 -- 26
North Putnam 0 10 8 14 -- 32
Cloverdale (26) -- Shepherd 1-6 0-0 3, McCallie 1-5 2-2 4, McCammon 2-6 3-8 7, Rightmyer 3-10 0-2 6, Anderson 1-1 0-2 2, Byrd 2-2 0-1 4. Totals: 10-30 FG, 5-15 FT, 26 TP.
North Putnam (32) -- McGaughey 3-10 1-2 9, L. Crosby 1-6 1-2 3, Malayer 2-7 0-0 4, Alles 2-6 0-2 4, E. Crosby 2-11 1-2 5, Robinson 1-3 2-2 4, Frye 0-2 0-0 0, Kumaran 1-4 0-0 3. Totals: 12-49 FG, 5-10 FT, 32 TP.
3Pt. Goals: C 1-7 (Shepherd 1-3, McCallie 0-2, McCammon 0-1, Rightmyer 0-1), NP 3-15 (McGaughey 2-6, Kumaran 1-4, Malayer 0-3, E. Crosby 0-2). Total fouls: C 17, NP 16. Fouled out: Malayer. Turnovers: C 28, NP 23. Rebounds: C 30 (Shepherd 7), NP 34 (Robinson 10).
Next game: North Putnam (1-4) plays at South Vermillion on Tuesday and Cloverdale (1-4) travels to Riverton Parke on Dec. 2.
Putnam County Tournament gallery www.bannergraphic.com/gallery/3270/