GREENCASTLE -- Coach Troy Greenlee outlined three keys for his Greencastle boys basketball team prior to the start of Wednesday night's showdown with a talented Danville squad.
If they succeeded, at least partly, in these three areas -- defensive intensity, rebounding and all-around hustle -- he thought his Tiger Cubs would have a good shot at the win. But the home team didn't, and despite 29 points and 11 rebounds from junior Nick Hutcheson, Greencastle fell 76-62.
"I thought those three things were crucial for us going into the game, and that ended up being the case," Greenlee said. "Danville broke us down, and we didn't adjust like we needed to."
While Hutcheson was his usual dominant self in the low-post, scoring at will no matter how many Warrior defenders attempted to guard him, Danville senior guard Tyler Hall -- who entered the contest as the state's 10th-leading scorer -- put on a show of his own as he matched Hutcheson's scoring output and routinely found open teammates in the paint after his dribble drive drew help defenders.
"We knew they had a very good player (senior guard Tyler Hall), and that we had to be great defensively, not only in helping on Hall but also in helping the helper -- and we just didn't do that tonight," Greenlee said. "We were leaving guys wide open."
Greencastle (4-3) fell behind early and went into the halftime break down nine. But with Hutcheson scoring near the basket and occupying Warrior defenders, Greencastle's Brad Haussin was able to drill three straight triples to help cut the deficit to just two, 45-43 midway through the third quarter.
That was as close as the Tiger Cubs would get, as Danville (5-2) quickly reasserted control of the game behind the red-hot play of Hall, both shooting and distributing, made easier by repeated defensive mishaps that left Warriors wide open below the bucket. By the end of the third, Danville had again stretched their lead to 11, and would go up by as many as 20 late in the fourth quarter.
"We scored 62, and that should be enough to expect to win," Greenlee said. "But we've got to take care of our business defensively. We have to have that spark to control a kid like that (Hall), especially when he's feeling it like he was."
Greencastle did have that spark offensively, at least in the second half. Scoring wasn't the problem, especially for Hutcheson, Haussin (12 points) and guard Hayden Stuckwisch (11 points).
Danville coach Brian Barber had high praise for the play of Hutcheson, and Greencastle as a unit, on the offensive end.
"They have a special player with Hutcheson, but the guys around him are doing a nice job, too," Barber said. "Hutcheson can get to the rim, can spot up outside and is just a really smooth player. But he can't be successful without his teammates knowing how to play off a guy like that, and they really do."
Haussin 12, Lenihan 4, Stuckwisch 11, Lewis 4, Hennette 2, Hutcheson 29