Greencastle jumped all over the Mounties to open the game, running out to a 15-6 lead at one point, with senior Mallory Miller providing 11 of the Tiger Cubs' 15 points. Point guard Alyssa Nichols added four in the quarter and Rayleigh Amis added three.
Head coach Bradley Key said his team gained some good experience with their tournament play over the weekend and knew he wanted to get his leading scorer going early. Because as he noted, that opened the court for her teammates.
"Coming from this weekend, that's the good thing about this past weekend, we got experience playing several games, so I got to know who we were a little bit. We started flat," he said. "We really wanted to make sure Mallory got involved early and I know a lot of teams, the one thing they know, is guard Mallory Miller. You heard them yelling it, but she lit it up early.
"Then that really opens it up for everyone else and it really did do that as time went along. I thought our first five did a pretty good job. I still think we had some things we need to work on. Blocking out is a big thing, but that comes with time and the more I harp on it, the more we'll get it through our head. The shot will go up and the first thing they'll think is block out," he said.
In fact the Tiger Cubs were able to extend their lead to 34-15 at the half with Miller going scoreless in the second quarter. Picking up the slack for GHS was Chelsea Samuels with nine second quarter points, with Nichols, Taylor Pruitt and Hannah Wainman adding buckets.
A stifling GHS defense held the Mounties to less than 25 percent shooting from the floor in the first half.
Speed is a staple of the Greencastle offense and at times it's difficult to harness it, but Tuesday saw a more controlled squad attack, willing to pull it out of traffic and look to set the offense. Key said that was crucial to be successful.
"We talked a lot about, Alyssa and I talked about that before the game because against West Vigo our first game of the year, she did a marvelous job of that," he said. "Then we got into some tighter games and kind of got into out of control Alyssa and I told her she's my little captain on the floor, she's got to understand when we can and when we can't.
"We always want to put pressure on the defense, especially with her speed and today she did an excellent job of putting pressure on the defense, (it's) not there we can back it out and run the offense. But we always want to put pressure on the defense at all times. I thought Alyssa did a great job of understanding that tonight for sure," Key said.
The second half was much of the same for Greencastle with multiple people getting into the scoring act. Samuels scored eight in the third quarter, with Miller adding seven of her own.
Holding onto a 30 point lead entering the final quarter, Key decided to put some of his bench players in to get them the experience that will pay off later in the year.
In the final quarter, Southmont was able to get something going and chip away at the Greencastle lead, but the hole was too deep for the Mounties to dig themselves out of. When the final buzzer sounded, GHS was victorious 64-45.
Getting his bench some playing time came from a hard lesson Key learned a year ago. On the biggest of stages, he realized when one of his starters hit the bench because of fouls in sectional, he had no replacement waiting in the wings. It's something he's thought about and something he's making sure doesn't happen again.
"I told them I learned a very important lesson as a head coach in sectional when my point guard fouled out and I looked around and I didn't have a back-up point guard. I'm a history teacher and you have to learn from your mistakes. So, I want to make sure we get into a situation I can plug someone in and be fairly confident we'll be good to go. It wasn't completely smooth, but it's not going to be. But when you have a 20-point lead, I think that's the time you need to work on some things," Key said.
He also commended Southmont on continuing to fight and scrap even when the scoreboard showed as much as a 30-point deficit.
"Southmont did a great job of fighting. It's fun to watch a team continue to battle the entire time and they did. It gave those girls that aren't in their normal position a run for their money and it was fun for me to watch," he said
Greencastle will next be in action against Cloverdale in the opening game of the Putnam County Tournament Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at South Putnam
Southmont 8 7 14 16 -- 45
Greencastle 19 15 25 5 -- 64
Southmont -- Wetli 13, Martin 12, Shelton 8, Berninger 4, McKinsey 3, Chadd 4, Booth 1
Greencastle -- Miller 18, Samuels 18, Nichols 9, Amis 5, Wainman 5, Pruitt 4, Beck 3, Covert 2.
Next game -- Greencastle will next be in action against Cloverdale in the opening game of the Putnam County Tournament Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at South Putnam