GREENCASTLE -- Greencastle had the lead with a minute to play Saturday, but West Vigo was within striking range and had the momentum and the ball.
The Vikings' Ryan Crowther drove the lane and put up a shot near the basket. Brad Hussain, at 6-foot two inches shorter than Crowther, batted it away. A Tiger Cub grabbed the loose ball, passed it at mid-court to Nick Hutcheson, who scored on a breakaway lay-up that secured Greencastle's 55-49 victory at the McAnally Center.
"It was a huge turnaround," Tiger Cubs' coach Troy Greenlee.
Greencasle (6-3) had held the lead since midway through the first quarter and had stretched it to 37-23 late in the third period. The Tiger Cubs held a 45-36 advantage with 2:04 remaining in the game after the 6-foot-7 Hutcheson caught Hussain's lob pass next to the basket and put it in.
West Vigo's Adrien Corenflos made a 3-ponter from the corner to start an 8-3 run that left it trailing 48-44 with 1:13 remaining.
Haussin missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw at 1:06 and the Vikings (7-5) went flying down court with a chance cut their deficit to two. Hussain's block became a four-point turnaround when Hutcheson scored on a easy breakaway for a 50-44 lead.
From there, it was a matter of making free throws and the Tiger Cubs made 5-of-6 in the final 32.6 seconds.
Greenlee was beaming about his defense in the aftermath.
"The biggest thing we've been waiting to see was our defensive effort," Greenlee said. "We rotated well. We were as active as we've been all year. Their guards can score on the outside and we were getting a hand up on their shooters. It was a key for us. I'm really pleased with our defense. As a coach, we've focused on our defense this year and a defensive play made the difference."
Greencastle limited the Vikings to 34 percent (17-of-50) from the field including 6-of-25 (24 percent) on 3-pointers.
Hutcheson had 24 points and nine rebounds and created opportunities for his teammates. He double-teamed regularly and finds the open man. The Tiger Cubs made 18-of-37 (48.6 percent) of their field goal attempts.
"I think Nick has been really consistent on the offensive end," Greenlee said. "He opens up things for his teammates. He recognizes what we need to score and kicks it out. He's so unselfish. He does a great job."
Haussin added an efficient 10 points on 3-of-5 from the field, 2-of-3 on 3-pointers, and 2-of-3 at the foul line. Tyler Lewis contributed nine points and seven rebounds.
Greencastle had a 27-19 advantage on the boards.
"Offensively, we did some good things," Greenlee said. "We turned the ball over some (18 to eight for the Vikings), but I was proud we didn't hang our heads."
Haussin didn't hang his head, either, after missing that free throw with 1:06 left. He alertly got back on defense, picked up the player with the ball and made the play that put the game away for the Tiger Cubs.
Greencastle's next game is Friday night against South Putnam at the McAnally Center in a West Central Conference game.
West Vigo 8 8 10 23 -- 49
Greencastle 13 10 14 18 -- 55
WEST VIGO (7-5)
Crowther 3-8 1-1 7, Thornton 5-12 1-2 13, Lyon 0-2 0-0 0, Houser 4-12 4-5 13, West 1-9 3-4 6, Corenflos 4-5 0-0 10, Lindsey 0-2 0-0 0, Totals 17-50 9-12 49.
Stuckwisch 2-5 2-2 7, Lewis 2-4 5-7 9, Hutcheson 9-17 6-8 24, Carr 1-4 0-0 2, Haussin 3-5 2-3 10, Hennette 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 18-37 16-22 55.
3-point field goals: WV 6-25 (Corenflos 2-2, Thornton 2-7, West 1-6, Houser 1-7, Lindsey 0-1, Lyon 0-2), G 3-9 (Haussin 2-3, Stuckwisch 1-4, Hutcheson 0-1, Carr 0-1). Rebounds: WV 19 (Corenflos 4), G 27 (Hutcheson 9, Lewis 7). Turnovers: WV 8, G 18. Total fouls: WV 17, G 11. Fouled out: None.