"I thought it was game of runs," South Putnam head coach Debbie Steffy said. "There at the beginning of the game, we got out to a little bit of a lead and then they took it back and we couldn't get it back until the end of the game. I thought everybody played pretty steady in the middle, both Greencastle and South Putnam. It was just a good game. (It was) fun to be a part of and fun to coach."
The fourth quarter began with the Tiger Cubs leading by four and it was at the 3:33 mark when GHS was able to extend their lead enough to survive the Eagles. Sophomore Mallory Miller was fouled on a three-point attempt and converted a trio of free tosses to give GHS a nine-point lead 39-30.
"We did a nice job of building the lead in the fourth quarter. They made a nice run there at the end," GHS head coach Glenn Hile commented. "If we finished layups and hit some free throws (we could) sit back and relax, but that didn't happen. They hit some big shots and their young kids have improved immensely."
Two of those talented underclassmen were freshman Jenny Thompson, who scored five points in the final stanza, and sophomore Kelsey Searles scored a bucket to pull the Eagles within two with 2.2 second remaining.
Thompson also gave the Eagles their final opportunity of the night when she tied up Greencastle's Hannah Spencer in hopes of getting a jump ball call to no avail. The Tiger Cubs held on for the 42-40 win.
Greencastle took control of the game early and held an advantage from the end of the first quarter for the remainder of the game. The Tiger Cubs used a balanced attack in the first half to take a 22-19 advantage into the half.
Kayla Nobles led GHS with five points, with Spencer and Kelsey Wainman following with four each.
South Putnam's Oceaia Boetjer scored 11 of her game-high 17 points in the first half to lead the Eagles, as freshman Emily Dabkowski added six of her own.
"I thought our freshmen stepped up again for us. Our upperclassmen -- they did a good job too, it's just kind of an expectation, we know they're going to do a good job for us," Steffy said. Freshmen Dabkowski and Thompson scored 13 points for the Eagles.
Hile commented after the contest that his team executed well, but failed to convert on its opportunities. When asked to explain his team's difficulties, Hile pointed out the fact that his team has had less court time than a coach would like.
"(I think it's) rustiness," he said. "We hadn't played in a week and we didn't practice three days this week. Chelsea's (Samuels) sick, Becky's (Grivas) been sick; I'm not making any excuses; we just have been kind of disrupted since Dec. 13 to be quite honest. We just haven't been able to get into any kind of rhythm. Everyone else has been able to play at least one a week and we had two weeks where we didn't play at all."
Steffy spoke about how the team wanted to pound it inside, but settled for outside shots. Though the shots fell, she also wanted to see what her team was capable of and that didn't happen on Saturday.
"I thought we did a pretty good job early," Steffy said. "We tried to get the ball inside early and we settled for some job shots. It was a little frustrating on the sideline because we wanted to get the ball into the post to see what we could get done there. For the most part I was pleased."
With the win, Greencastle moved to 7-9 on the season and sits in third place in the WCC with a record of 3-1. Hile was encouraged after the game and was more than complamentary to Steffy and her core of young players.
"It's always good to get a win against a county opponent. South Putnam has to be, in my opinion, the most improved team since the beginning of the year. Her young kids are playing really well," Hile said.
South Putnam (8-8, 1-4 WCC) will travel to Tri-West today at 6 p.m., while Greencastle (7-9, 3-1 WCC) will host Indianapolis Manual Tuesday at 6 p.m.
South Putnam 8 11 11 10 -- 40
Greencastle 9 13 17 3 -- 42
South Putnam -- O. Boetjer 17, Dabkowski 8, Jen. Thompson 5, Searles 5, Jes. Thompson 3, B. Boetjer 2. Totals: 15-38 FG 4-6 FT 40 TP.
Greencastle -- M. Miller 11, Grivas 9, Spencer 7, Nobles 5, Wainman 4, Burgeson 3, Samuels 2, Alspaugh 1. Totals: 14-40 FG 12-18 FT 42 TP.
Next game -- South Putnam (8-8, 1-4 WCC) will travel to Tri-West today at 6 p.m., while Greencastle (7-9, 3-1 WCC) will host Indianapolis Manual Tuesday at 6 p.m.