Saturday proved to be no different, as Greencastle held on for a 63-56 win over the Cougars.
"Two big wins this weekend -- I'm really proud of our kids," Greencastle head coach Troy Greenlee said. "It was a very similar to the game we had last night. We got the lead and we had a chance to put it away, but give North Putnam credit, they kept battling. They got within shooting distance a few times of tying it up and we had to make plays and to our kids credit, we did."
Greencastle seemed to be in clear control of the game down the stretch, holding a 47-40 lead with less than five minutes remaining.
North Putnam's Mitchell Crum stepped behind the arc and erased the GHS lead by connecting on two consecutive treys, pulling North within one at 47-46 a the 4:38 mark. That would be as close as the Cougars would come.
"A couple plays here and there," Cougar head coach Brady Armstrong commented. "Give them credit, they made a couple of plays, our shots didn't go down and that was the game. We've come along way and we played right with them."
North Putnam had its chances, but was outscored 16-10 in the final four minutes of the game and suffered the seven-point defeat.
A positive for the Cougars was the return of senior Griffen Dahlstrom. The big man came off the bench and gave North Putnam 13 points and altered multiple GHS shots on the inside. With Dahlstrom back, Armstrong believes the team is ready to hit its stride at the right time.
"We finally got Griffen (Dahlstrom) back. He's been out for a couple of games and he just proved that he's a force on the glass and in the interior," he said. "With him on the floor and the guards learning to play inside-out, we're not what our record says we are."
Greencastle got an 18-point performance from senior Ashton Marshall and 13 from fellow senior Wade Huber. But it was the play of senior Kyle Harlan that seemed to spark the Tiger Cubs when they needed it.
Held scoreless in the first half, Harlan scored nine in the second half, including a hanging tip-in at the buzzer ending the third quarter. That extended the GHS lead to nine and could have been the play of the game.
"I thought he played great tonight," Greenlee acknowledged. "He did everything that doesn't get a lot of the notice (like) a lot of the other things do."
When asked about the impact of the tip-in, Greenlee noted that it is instances like that, those plays can propel a team to success.
"Plays like that are plays that can change the momentum of the game and he hit free throws in the fourth quarter -- I just thought he played an all-around great game and I'm proud of him," he commented.
After the contest, Armstrong made it clear that the Cougars aren't a defeated team. Their record might not be where they want it, but the Cougars don't understand the meaning of the word quit. With powerhouse Speedway awaiting them in the first round of the South Putnam Sectional, he believes the Sparkplugs could be in for a bit of a surprise.
"They (North Putnam) are hungry," Armstrong said. "Their eyes -- they can't wait to play Speedway. It's a great matchup for us and we feel great. We have nothing to lose. All of the media are doing their picks and it's Speedway, Tri-West, Covenant Christian, so it's like 'Let's go boys. Let's have some fun'. We have a great shot."
As he opened the door to enter the locker room, he had one last statement to make.
"Who knows, in March everything's zero-zero," he said.
The Greencastle junior varsity also picked up the win, defeating the Cougars 47-34.
North Putnam will face North Vermillion Tuesday, while Greencastle will face first round sectional opponent Owen Valley Tuesday. Both games are slated for a 6 p.m. tip-off for the junior varsity.
At North Putnam
Greencastle 20 15 12 16 -- 63
North Putnam 14 10 14 18 -- 56
Greencastle -- Marshall 18, Huber 13, Harlan 9, Hutcheson 7, Bartrum 5, Hickam 4, G. Moore 3. Totals: 20-42 FG 16-20 FT 63 TP.
North Putnam -- Crum 18, Dahlstrom 13, Hunt 8, Dean 5, Ban 5, Jones 3, Adams 2, Alcorn 2. Totals: 19-52 FG 7-9 FT 56 TP.
Next game -- North Putnam will face North Vermillion Tuesday, while Greencastle will face first round sectional opponent Owen Valley Tuesday. Both games are slated for a 6 p.m. tip-off for the junior varsity.