Cloverdale was able to convert just 1-of-7 from the field and watched as Greencastle built its lead to 16-2 after one quarter of play. Tyler Lewis led the way with six points, but it was a breakaway dunk from Nick Hutcheson that emphasized the point Greencastle came to play Friday.
Cloverdale's shooting woes in the second quarter allowed Greencastle to add to its lead and as the half ended Greencastle held a 34-10 advantage and in clear control of the game.
"The first half I was really pleased," Greenlee said. "I thought we came out with a lot of energy, a lot of aggressiveness. Offensively, we took the ball to the basketball pretty well and defensively we pressured them. We got up on them pretty good there for a while and then just came out in the second half a little bit flat. (We) kind of started out flat and we couldn't get ourselves going.
"It was a frustrating second half for us."
Despite going 7-of-11 from the field in the second half, turnovers and a stagnant offense allowed a more aggressive Cloverdale squad to begin chipping away at the lead.
For the first time all night, Cloverdale broke double figures and scored 11 points in the third quarter and outscored the Tiger Cubs 13-5 in the final stanza, but Greencastle's huge first half lead proved insurmountable for the Cloverdale squad.
Instead of packing it in and being content to battle for the consolation title, Cloverdale refused to give in and fought a full 32 minutes, a fact head coach Pat Rady was proud of following the contest.
"Our players didn't quit and I'm very proud of that," he said. "We're playing one of the stronger teams in the area and Nick Hutcheson, a Division I player and was county player of the year last year and he's just a very, very outstanding player. He is a dominant force and a very fine player.
"Greencastle, it's probably the best team they've had since I've been here. They're going to have a good year and win a lot of ball games," Rady added.
Rady said the Tiger Cubs didn't really switch anything in the second half, it was more of a fact of the Clovers becoming more comfortable with their game and letting things flow. He did point out experience isn't something the Clovers have in abundance and said his team will continue to work to improve all season long. Even if the road has a few speed bumps along the way.
"Our kids, when you stop and look at it, don't have the experience," Rady said. "We don't that the experience; even the seniors have not been on the varsity. So, this is going to be a ballclub -- I told them, this year the road of improvement is always going to be under construction.
"So we can't be discouraged. We put our hard hats on and we go to work every day and every practice. Each time we step on the floor we have to get better and our goal is be playing our best basketball in March," he said.
Defense is what boosted Greencastle to victory Friday, and Greenlee was proud of his team's effort on the night. However, he commented it's something he needs to see for a full contest if the Tiger Cubs are going to continue to be successful in 2010.
"We feel like that's how we have to play," Greenlee said. "You never know night in and night out how your shots are going to fall, but you can always bring the defensive intensity. That's one thing we've been working on and hopefully we're beginning to see strides in that area. I was just very pleased with how we, in the first half defensively, I just wish we could have carried that over into the second half.
"I think human nature kind of caught up with us a little bit. We have a lead and it's so hard to fight that sometimes. Hopefully we can correct that and be able to have the same intensity throughout the game," he added.
Something else Greencastle was able to achieve Friday was balanced play on the offensive end. Instead of dumping it inside to its big men, GHS was able to knock down four three-pointers and shot 50 percent from beyond the arc.
"I think that's a huge key to the game of basketball," Greenlee said. "If you can have a threat from the perimeter and a threat from the outside, you're just going to be hard to guard. I thought tonight we got a little more of the perimeter play than we did against Crawfordsville and it opened up a lot, not only for those inside guys, but the perimeter guys to get some good shots.
"That was, I thought, a positive tonight," he commented.
Hutcheson led all scorers with 20 points. Hayden Stuchwisch added 10 points off the bench and Lewis scored eight. Chuck Strunk and Jordan Hayden led Cloverdale with nine points each, with Mitch Williams and Chris Arnold adding six.
Greencastle will face North Putnam in the Putnam County Classic final at 8 p.m. tonight. Cloverdale will battle South Putnam in the consolation game at 6:30 p.m.
Putnam County Classic
Cloverdale 2 8 11 13 -- 34
Greencastle 16 18 12 5 -- 51
Cloverdale -- Strunk 9, Hayden 9, Williams 6, Arnold 6, Fidler 1, Scisney 1. Totals: 11-36 FG, 6-10 FT, 34 TP.
Greencastle -- Hutcheson 20, Stuckwisch 10, Lewis 8, Hennette 4, Tesmer 4, Haussin 3, Carr 2. Totals: 22-40 FG, 1-3 FT, 51 TP.
Next game -- Greencastle will face North Putnam in the Putnam County Classic final at 8 p.m. Cloverdale will battle South Putnam in the consolation game at 6:30 p.m.