The Tiger Cubs faltered early and fell behind by 22-points in the third quarter, then stormed back and cut the lead to 12 at the end of three and shaved it to four with 5:53 remaining. As it has been the case it seems all season, the hole was too deep to dig out of.
GHS head coach Troy Greenlee is struggling to put a finger on exactly what is the trouble for his Tiger Cubs lack of execution. He did note after the game, that an adjustment in his team's frame of mind is needed to get things moving in the right direction.
"Well I told them in there, that we had groups in the game that acted like we could just show up and play with a good team like that," he said. "And the times we did that, I think they went on a 14-2 run to start the game and a 25-4 run in the second and third quarter. It dug us a huge hole, then we had a couple groups come in there and really fight to get us back in the game."
The unit that brought the Tiger Cubs was not its usual starters, but a group that took it upon themselves to get the game back. Starter Jordan Hickam began the third quarter resurgence, but it was bench players Kyle Harlan, Griffen Moore, Tyler Lewis and Graham Shuee that keep the Tiger Cub express rolling.
The GHS bench accounted for nine second half points and gave the Tiger Cubs a sense of urgency that had been lacking from the opening tip.
"I saw some really good things tonight from those bench players that came in and got us back in the game," Greenlee commented. "I just told them that I think that sometimes we just out there playing and we just kind of go though the motions instead of going out there with intensity. I also told them that if they are not really gassed within three or four minutes of playing, then you're not playing hard enough. I thought at times, again, they didn't play hard enough, that's the easiest way to put it.
"Looking at the game, you think 'why didn't he play them the whole game?' -- maybe that's not a bad idea," Greenlee said about a possible change. "We just have to get more consistent. You can't dig yourself a 20-point hole and expect to win games.
"I was proud of the way we battled back, but you can't get yourself in that situation in the first place," he added.
Greencastle began the game flat, but found its stride in the second quarter and took the lead for the first time with 2:54 remaining, but a three-pointer from Speedway's Jake Daghe gave the lead back to the Sparkplugs for good.
The Tiger Cubs played Speedway even in the second half, but a six point first quarter proved to be too much for them to overcome as they fell to the Sparkplugs 53-44.
When asked what he thought his squad needs to do to get themselves moving in the right direction, Greenlee singled out intensity as a key element to a successful team.
"That level of intensity that we had during that comeback is the level of intensity we have to have the entire game," he said.
The Tiger Cubs will host West Vigo tonight with the junior varsity tipping off at 6 p.m. Greenlee said that West Vigo is going to be a challenge, one that he hopes his team rises to meet.
"It's going to be a very tough game. A game that if we don't come ready to play, it could be a very long night for us," he said.
The game will be carried live on 91.5 WGRE.
Speedway 14 13 15 11 -- 53
Greencastle 6 12 12 14 -- 44
Speedway -- Linville 14, Hubbard 13, Lewis 7, Daghe 6, Eggert 5, Avance 4, Coates 2, #15 2. Totals: 19-44 FG 10-19 FT 53 TP.
Greencastle -- Hickam 13, Marshall 5, Hutcheson 4, Bartrum 4, Harlan 4, Moore 4, Huber 3, Shuee 3, Nobles 2, Lewis 2. Totals: 17-43 6-9 FT 44 TP.
Next game -- Greencastle will host West Vigo tonight at 6 p.m. The game will be carried live on 91.5 WGRE.