The Greencastle eighth grade boys team defeated South Putnam 43-39 Wednesday to claim the Putnam County championship.
"It was definitely a special night for the kids on our basketball team," GMS head coach Jarrod Duff. "Being down by 14 points with four minutes left to go in the game and coming back to win doesn't happen very often. It will be one of those games that these kids talk about w/each other many years from now."
The Tiger Cubs received a monster game from Hayden Stuckwisch, who threw down 27 points to pace the team. Mac Shuee scored eight points, Nate Christy and Landon Miller three and Brett Gierke added two in the win.
South Putnam had a balanced scoring attack with three players scoring in double-figures. Aaron Parked led the way with 13 points, as Lewie Knoy and Kinser Franklin followed with 10 each. Jordan Frame, Justin Bumgardner and Ryan Chestnut chipped in two points apiece.
"We were playing our best basketball during the county tourney which was great," Eagles head coach Nathan Aker commented. "I know our kids are disappointed in the loss, but should be very proud of the improvement we made all year. I am very proud of them, they were a great group to coach.
"Greencastle deserves all of the credit they played a great ball game," Aker said
The Tiger Cubs erased a 12-point deficiet entering the fourth quarter to take the win. GMS scored 24 points in the final stanza as opposed to the Eagles' eight.
Duff complimented South Putnam on their great job and acknowledged "They flatout outplayed us in every aspect of the game for the first 20 minutes."
He also spoke of how pleased he was with his squad and their ability to come from behind to get the win.
"I am extremely proud of the group of kids on our basketball team," Duff said. "We overcame so many mistakes we made in the first 20 minutes of the game with the effort they made in the last four minutes. These guys just decided that they were not going to allow our team to lose.
"These guys truly showed the heart of a champion," Duff commented.
Greencastle 6 9 4 24 -- 43
South Putnam 13 8 10 8 -- 39
Greencastle -- Stuckwisch 27, Shuee 8, Christy 3, Miller 3, Gierke 2.
South Putnam -- Parker 13, Franklin 10, Knoy 10, Frame 2, Bumgardner 2, Chestnut 2.