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Monday, May 2, 2016

Greencastle blasts Eagles in opening round

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Greencastle's Tyler Lewis drives on South Putnam's Cameron Chestnut in the second half of game two of the Putnam County Classic. [Order this photo]
GREENCASTLE -- It was apparent early Friday that Greencastle's loss to Crawfordsville to open the season had a profound effect on the team. Head coach Troy Greenlee was disappointed in their effort in that contest, but he was more than pleased with their performance Friday.

"It was a good win," he said. "Any time you come in here in County and are able to win, that's a great thing. I was particularly pleased how our kids responded this week, because after last week's game we were disappointed. Not as much about the loss, but the way we played.

"After watching the film, I got more and more upset about our lack of intensity and effort, so we really focused on that this week. I thought it was much better tonight on both ends of the floor. Obviously, it was a lot better outcome tonight than it was the first time," Greenlee added.

GHS exploded out of the game and built a massive 20-9 lead at the end of the first quarter and extended it to 37-23 by halftime.

Greencastle gained their lead by using a balanced attacked. Jordan Hickam, Tyler Lewis and Nick Hutcheson combined for 32 of the Tiger Cubs' 37 points.

The Eagles struggled to find their offense on the night, which allowed for Greencastle to add to its lead. Nathan Welty scored 10 points in the opening quarter, with Cameron Chestnut adding five.

Head coach Micah Elliott commented that he felt the defensive effort wasn't where it should have been, and liked some things he saw on offense, but ultimately he took responsibility for the team's performance.

"I give credit to coach Greenlee, he had his guys ready to play and I didn't have our guys ready to play," he stated. "I take credit for that. I didn't think we came out and were patient offensively.

"A lot of it (defense) is just coming out with a hand up. It's just defensive fundamentals that I didn't think we did tonight," he continued. Offensively, there are times when there are glimpses of good ball movement and screening and we're getting good shots out of that. There's also times where they're standing, watching and waiting for someone to do something and we don't get a lot out of it. And that's going to take time."

When Greencastle took the floor after the break, it was clear they were holding nothing back.

Three minutes into the third, Greencastle sent an outlet pass to Hickam that bounces high out of bound toward the crowd. Hickam leapt out of bounds, caught the ball in midair and flipped in back in bounds, where teammate Eric Embry was waiting to drain the first of his three second half three-pointers.

The next offensive possession for Greencastle almost literally shook the rafters.

After seeing his defender sail past while going for a steal, Hutcheson collected himself close to the three-point line and set his sights on one thing -- the rim. Hutcheson drove the sideline to the basket, rose and thundered a dunk home to give Greencastle a 30-point advantage at 54-24. Hutcheson however, was cited a technical foul for hanging, which South Putnam's Chestnut happily knocked down the two freebees.

In the end though, the Tiger Cubs were able to hold on their lead and come away with the 73-43 win.

Greencastle's Lewis led the way with 18 points, followed by Hutcheson and Hickam with 15 and Embry with 12.

Although Greenlee singled out a few players following the game, he made it clear it was a total team effort that afforded the ability to win.

"I thought Tyler Lewis really played like a man tonight," he said grinning. "We've been kind of waiting for that to happen because we knew he was capable. I'm just glad to see him play well, but he wasn't the only one. I thought Jordan (Hickam) played well, I thought Nick (Hutcheson) played well. Eric (Embry) came in and made some shots for us and that's what we want him to do.

"Spencer (Moore) might not have scored a lot, but he does so many other things on the floor for us that make us a complete team," Greenlee continued. "He's going to be guys that we ask to do the things that aren't the limelight type things, but make as big of difference as anything else that happens on the floor. I can't think of anybody that I was disappointed with tonight.

"I thought the intensity level was good throughout and for a game this early in the year -- we're pleased, but we're not satisfied," Greenlee acknowledged.

In turn, Elliott said that he saw some positive things on the evening, but stated his team can't give up 73 points and expect to win many game. He said they would focus on defense and he was confident the offense would come. He said the team will do what it needs to do to get better.

"We're going to come back. The coaching staff is going to work hard and the kids are going to work hard, that's the point of it. They work hard and they want to get better -- and we're going to get them better," he said. "The good thing is, they are correctable mistakes and that's a positive thing."

Cloverdale and Greencastle will meet for the Putnam County Classic title tonight, and according to Greenlee, it seems that the two have been doing battle for years on this stage. He also knows it's not going to be an easy task getting a victory over them.

"We know Cloverdale is going to throw a lot at. They're really quick and athletic and make things tough offensively for us. We're definitely going to have to come with the same intensity as we did tonight," Greenlee concluded.

Greencastle faces Cloverdale in the Putnam County Classic title game, which follows the South Putnam and North Putnam contest that tips at 6:30 p.m. tonight.

At Greencastle

Greencastle 20 17 22 14 -- 73

South Putnam 9 14 7 13 -- 43

Individual Stats

Greencastle -- Lewis 18, Hutcheson 15, Hickam 15, Embry 12, Hennette 6, Moore 5, Haussin 2. Totals: 28-47 FG, 9-13 FT, 73 TP.

South Putnam -- Welty 14, Chestnut 12, Dean 8, Varvel 4, Gibson 3, Masters 2. Totals: 15-50 FG, 10-16 FT, 43 TP.

Next game -- Greencastle faces Cloverdale in the Putnam County Classic title game, which follows the South Putnam and North Putnam contest that tips at 6:30 p.m. tonight.