"It was just one of those games where a possession here or there...it was very similar to the game we played against them the first time," GHS head coach Troy Greenlee said. "Our kids played hard, I'm really proud of all of them and we just came up short."
It all came down to the fourth quarter -- six minutes and 13 second to be exact. After falling behind early in the game, Greencastle seized control and held the advantage until that point.
The Tiger Cubs entered the final quarter with a three-point lead, but baskets by the Patriots' Dayton Gobert and Tyler Collier and a free throw from Randy Lientz tied the game at 41-all. Gobert's bucket at the 4:56 mark gave Owen Valley the lead, 43-41, which they never relinquished.
Greencastle showed they weren't going down without a fight and kept the game close. Senior Griffin Moore hit his third three-pointer of the night and brought GHS within two at 48-46.
With 7.7 left on the clock, Greencastle got the ball back and called a timeout to regroup for one final shot. As the teams took the court, Owen Valley head coach Trent Heckman held up the game as he shouted assignments to his squad while on the court, the whistle sounded and the countdown began. The Tiger Cubs got the ball in, but the shot found iron and ricocheted high into the air as the buzzer sounded, ending Greencastle's season.
Greencastle had fallen behind early, but fought its way back to take the lead and control the game for three-plus quarters.
Greenlee acknowledged the difference came in the fourth quarter, but couldn't quite put his finger on what exactly went wrong.
"I thought it seemed like they were getting the ball inside pretty easy," Greenlee commented. "I don't know if we weren't beating them to spots or we weren't pressuring the ball on the perimeter. It just seemed like we weren't defending as well in the fourth quarter, gave them some easy baskets on the inside. We weren't able to capitalize on the offensive end."
The Tiger Cubs were led in scoring by freshman Nick Hutcheson's 15 points. He scored 10 of Greencastle's 18 points in the second quarter. Moore connected for nine points, while Ashton Marshall, Kyle Nobles and Kyle Harlan scored six points each. Wade Huber and Graham Shuee added three points each.
The game marked the final time Marshall, Moore, Nobles, Harlan, Huber, Shuee and Justin Bartrum would don a purple and gray uniform. Following the contest, Greenlee spoke at length about his senior core and what they have meant to the team as well as himself this season.
"They've meant a lot," he said. "Anytime you have a team, the average person looking at a team, looks at points, rebounds and those sorts of things. As a coach you look at much more than that. You look at what kind of person you have and every one of these kids we have seniors this year were just unbelievable as far as their character. I couldn't have asked any more from them.
"When you're playing a sport where there's only five guys on the court at a time and some guys might not get to play as much as they think they should or want, it's very easy to get resentful and very easy to become selfish. None of them did that this year," Greenlee continued. "I can't be more proud of the way they carried themselves as seniors."
At South Vermillion
Class 2A No. 29 South Vermillion Sectional
Owen Valley 15 9 14 13 -- 51
Greencastle 9 18 14 7 -- 48
Owen Valley -- Gobert 14, Vest 13, Lientz 10, Herbert 4, Collier 4, Gilstrap 3, Worland 3. Totals: 18-38 FG 14-22 FT 51 TP.
Greencastle -- Hutcheson 15, G. Moore 9, Marshall 6, Nobles 6, Harlan 6, Huber 3, Shuee 3. Totals: 18-42 FG 7-10 FT 48 TP.