Friday was a tale of two teams. One was looking to be back in the win column; one was just trying to find its identity. Greencastle used a solid effort on both ends of the court to defeat Cloverdale 44-21.
"We needed one; we've lost a lot of close ones. I felt really good for the kids because their confidence was shaken badly in that fourth quarter against Danville," GHS head coach Glenn Hile said.
Greencastle grabbed control from the beginning and didn't relinquish it. They knocked down 3-of-4 from behind the arc, 6-of-8 from the free throw line and went to the locker room with a commanding 29-13 lead.
For everything that went right for GHS, it was the opposite for Cloverdale. They struggled from the floor and after a cycle through their offense, they became stagnant and settled for less than perfect shots, resulting in just a five-point second quarter.
In the second half, things didn't improve much for Cloverdale.
They managed to cut the Tiger Cub lead to 11 at 29-18, but the problems that plagued them in the first half came back with a vengeance. After their run early in the third, the Clovers watched as Greencastle went on a 13-0 run to put the game out of reach.
"Tonight was just effort -- it was just effort," Cloverdale head coach James Wade said. "They weren't executing really well, but it was mainly because of effort. Effort goes a long way on offense and defense.
"We had Elizabeth (Cheatham) back tonight," he acknowledged. "She's not 100 percent, but it was nice having her on the floor. We just didn't rise to the occasion all night. We had one minute to minute-and-a-half stretch in the third quarter where we came out fired up, but it didn't last long. I don't know what else to say."
For Greencastle, it was a night to see exactly where they stood. They were coming of a series of tough losses, but a trio of scorers in double figures helped get things moving in the right direction. Mallory Miller led the Tiger Cubs with 13 point, while Chelsea Samuels and Becky Grivas added 10 points each.
Hile noted that it was a total team effort that delivered the win for Greencastle on Friday. They came out and executed the Tiger Cub game plan to perfection. It called for them to shut down Cheatham and Kristin McCammon, and Hile thought they did a great job of that. He also expressed how pleased he was with the defensive effort across the board on the night.
"We did a good job defending the post, we had good help-side defense. Mallory Miller and Chelsea Samuels were our help tonight and they did an outstanding job. Kayla (Nobles) and Cassie (Alspaugh) had to guard Shepherd and McCammon and they knew they didn't have much help responsibility, so all the help was on Mallory and Chelsea's shoulders and they did a really nice job," he said.
Effort was something definitely on the Wade's mind after the game. He acknowledged it wasn't there on Friday and when asked how he could instill a sense of urgency and need for effort in his team, he was candid.
"I don't know if that's something you can instill. I don't know why we can't come in here to a county rival, playing for the paddle and can't get up for it," Wade concluded.
Greencastle will travel to Rockville at 7:30 Thursday, while Cloverdale will host Monrovia at 6 p.m. next Friday.
Cloverdale 8 5 5 3 -- 21
Greencastle 11 18 7 8 -- 44
Cloverdale -- McCammon 5, Franklin 4, Shepherd 4, Rightmyer 4, Cheatham 4. Totals: FG 8-33 FT 4-8 TP 21.
Greencastle -- M. Miller 13, Samuels 10, Grivas 10, Spencer 6, Nobles 3, Alspaugh 2. Totals: FG 12-37 FT 10-15 TP 44
Next game -- Greencastle will travel to Rockville at 7:30 Thursday, while Cloverdale will host Monrovia at 6 p.m. next Friday.