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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Second half surge seals Tiger Cubs' fate

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tiger Cubs Sonney Basham (27) gains position against a Center Grove defender during Wednesday's regional battle. [Order this photo]
GREENWOOD -- Greencastle's hope of the school's first regional win came to an end Wednesday at Center Grove. The Trojans were able to score two quick second half goals to end the Tiger Cubs' season. Center Grove won 2-1.

Greencastle fought with every ounce it had and head coach Dave Lilly said if a few things had went differently, the outcome might have shined on the Tiger Cubs.

"There was definitely no quit," he said. "When they got that first goal and we hung our heads a little bit and then the second one came boom-boom, we thought the guy was offsides. Despite my telling them to play to the whistle, they're assuming and they get two quick goals and that ends up being the difference.

"I felt had we got a goal in the first half, we pretty much dominated play. We had some really good chances. If we get a goal, we're up 1-0 and I think we end up with a different result. You have to give them credit, they're a good team. That's why they're here year in and year out," he said.

After a fast, furious and scoreless first half, Greencastle held the Trojans in check for much of the second half, but two goals within 15 seconds of each other sealed the Tiger Cubs' fate.

Greencastle was able to attack the Trojan defense, but was unable to get a goal. But as soon as it looked as if the game would be headed for extra time, the Trojans were able to penetrate deep and finally score.

With 15:11 on the clock, Hayden Wood scored on a kick that was a rebound from a shot that hit the goal, bounced out and he put back in. As soon as action began, Center Grove was able to strike once more.

Evan Vansant scored with 14:56 on the clock to extend the Trojans' lead to 2-0. But instead of giving in, the Tiger Cubs dug in and fought with everything they had.

Even before the Trojans' goals, GHS had a great chance when senior Spencer Moore broke free from the pack, but as he bared down on the goal it appeared the Center Grove defense gave him just enough of a bump to cause him to lose his footing and let the ball roll harmlessly to the keeper.

With 10:10 remaining, Sonney Basham was able to maneuver past a Center Grove defender to score Greencastle's only goal of the night. As the clock ticked away, the Tiger Cubs tried to find a way to get another score, but the buzzer sounded and Greencastle had been knocked out of the tournament.

Despite the loss, Lilly still felt his team was the best on the pitch Wednesday and thought his team put together a wonderful season.

"We felt like we were the better team and from watching them play, I still feel that way, but it's a funny game," he said. "Sometimes the best team doesn't advance. My hats off to the whole team. It was a great effort. The seniors were hoping to accomplish something that no one prior to them did and win a regional game, but it just didn't stack up for us. I'm still proud of them. It was a heck of a season."

The Tiger Cubs bid farewell to seniors Cameron Cash, Spencer Moore, Clark Wilson, Josh Bonebrake, Cody Watson, Marcus Benassi, Kyle Parker, J.T. Hennette and Nathan Tharp. However, the team will be having several key players returning, and Wednesday might serve as a stepping stone for bigger and better things.

"The experience is invaluable," Lilly said. "From two years ago when some of these guys were here as sophomores and freshmen, we were a lot more composed. We played a lot more under control.

"I'm sure the core group of guys we have coming back and the younger guys will be competitive," Lilly added.

At Center Grove

Greencastle 0 1 -- 1

Center Grove 0 2 -- 2

Second Half

CG -- Wood 15:11

CG -- Vansant 14:56

GHS -- Basham 10:10