Every team starts with a game plan. But more often than not, execution and adjustment decide the outcome, which is what happened Saturday night to the Greencastle Tiger Cubs at McAnally Center.
Sullivan's Golden Arrows switched from a passive 2-3 zone defense to a trapping 2-3 zone and Greencastle never made the adjustment in losing the boys' high school basketball game 58-46.
"When a team cranks up their pressure, like (Sullivan) did -- they brought their 2-3 (zone) out higher and really started pressuring (the basketball) out top -- you can't play at the pace they're playing at. You have to be poised; you have to be making easy decisions. But I thought we did the opposite. I thought we started playing at a pace that played right into how they were playing us, and that was the difference in the game," Greencastle coach Troy Greenlee said.
Under Sullivan's pressure, Greencastle turned the ball over 11 times in the second half -- four in a row to open the third quarter -- while falling to 2-3 on the young season.
"We had too many opportunities where we didn't even get a shot, then (Sullivan) went down to the other end and got an easy basket," Greenlee said.
Wade Huber and Ashton Marshall led Greencastle with 12 points each.
Greencastle hit 6-of-11 shots against Sullivan's passive 2-3 zone in the opening quarter. Huber nailed two three-pointers in the opening period and Marshall hit a three and scored six points as the Tiger Cubs took a 16-14 lead.
Kyle Harlan scored back-to-back baskets to open the second quarter, increasing the Tiger Cubs' lead to 20-14. A free throw by Marshall gave Greencastle its largest lead of the game, 21-14.
That's where things started to change.
Sullivan outscored Greencastle 10-4 over the final 3:52 of the first half, cutting the Tiger Cubs' lead to 25-24 at halftime.
"When you play at a pace where you're going too fast, you make decisions that are not very good decisions and that's kind of what happened tonight. The times we did execute we had great shots, but we didn't do it enough," Greenlee said.
The score was tied at 26 and 28 before Sullivan slipped out to a 32-28 lead. Greencastle's Marshall drove the baseline for two points and Huber hit a three that put the Tiger Cubs ahead 33-32 with 2:30 left in the third period.
That was Greencastle's last lead.
Sullivan's Jake Smith hit a three and Thad Thompson sank two free throws, as the Golden Arrows took a 37-35 lead into fourth quarter.
Sullivan opened the fourth quarter with a 9-1 run to take a 46-36 lead with 6:10 to play. The Tiger Cubs battled back within five, 49-44, with threes from Jordan Hickam and Huber and a deuce from Kyle Nobles inside, but couldn't overcome the deficit.
Greencastle returns to action on Friday night at South Vermillion (0-3).
Sullivan (58) -- R. Smith 2-5 3-5 7, Nash 1-2 2-2 5, Thompson 2-5 4-6 8, Bedwell 4-11 2-2 11, Boyd 4-9 1-1 11, J. Smith 3-10 1-1 8, Turner 0-1 0-0 0, Hiatt 2-6 2-4 8. Totals 18-49 FG, 15-21 FT, 58 TP.
Greencastle (46) -- Hickam 3-9 0-0 7, Huber 4-13 0-0 12, Nobles 2-3 0-0 4, Marshall 4-10 3-6 12, Bartrum 0-2 0-0 0, Hutcheson 3-5 1-2 7, Moore 0-1 0-0 0, Harlan 2-4 0-0 4, Shuee 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-47 FG, 4-8 FT, 46 TP.
Sullivan 14 10 13 21 -- 58
Greencastle 16 9 10 11 -- 46
3Pt. Goals -- Sul 7-10 (Boyd 2-2, Hiatt 2-4, Nash 1-1, J. Smith 1-1, Bedwell 1-2), GHS 6-17 (Huber 4-10, Marshall 1-2, Hickam 1-4, Moore 0-1). Total fouls: Sul 13, GHS 19. Fouled out: None.
Turnovers -- Sul 9, GHS 16. Rebounds: Sul 33 (J. Smith 11), GHS 32 (Hutcheson 6, Nobles, Marshall, Harlan 5). Steals: Sul 9, GHS 8 (Marshall, Hutcheson 2).
JV game -- Greencastle won 40-26.
Next Game -- Greencastle (2-3) travels to South Vermillion (0-3) on Friday night.