After a slow start, Greencastle revved the engines and blew past North Montgomery 60-44.
The hosts started all five seniors, but it took nearly a quarter for the squad to get into any offensive rhythm, scoring only ten points in the opening period.
Fortunately, the defense was forcing the Chargers to commit turnover after turnover, holding the visitors to six points to claim a 10-6 lead heading into the second quarter.
Greencastle soon began to take control of the game, pounding the ball inside to exploit their interior size advantage. Senior Tyler Lewis and junior Nick Hutcheson proved to be too much as they collectively score 22 of the Tiger Cubs' 28 first half points.
The defense continued to pressure North Montgomery, who could only muster eight points in the second and trailed by fourteen entering halftime.
Though Greencastle was getting looks from the perimeter, few shots were going in. The Lewis/Hutcheson combo, however, continued to dominate the interior in the second half.
North Montgomery began to put together some offense, but could not threaten the Greencastle lead, even after employing full court pressure to try and slow down the Tiger Cub attack.
By the fourth quarter, the Chargers had the look of a frustrated group that could do nothing to slow down Lewis or Hutcheson. The duo combined for 44 points on the night, equaling North Montgomery's entire offensive output.
The seniors were given a few final minutes to play together at home before a standing ovation greeted them when subbed out of the game. Though North Montgomery, who trailed by as many as 20 at one point in the fourth, whittled the lead down to 11, they were never able to mount a serious challenge and the seniors walked out of McAnally victorious.
Greencastle head coach Troy Greenlee said that after a rocky first quarter, his squad was able to bounce back quickly.
"You just have to regroup," Greenlee said. "You're going to have runs in every game, positive runs and negative runs. We always talk about limiting the negative runs and extending the positive runs. Unfortunately, it was the beginning of the game in which we had that negative run.
"But I think our kids did a pretty good job of not panicking. Sometimes, when you have those runs, you can panic a little bit. Our kids came out in the second quarter and were able to assert themselves on the offensive end."
Greenlee also acknowledged the defensive efforts of one of his seniors.
"I thought one key to the game was the way Spencer Moore defended (Jake) Thomas. He's the kind of player that can go for 25, 30 a night. I thought Spencer made him frustrated all night long," Greenlee added.
"A lot of things go through him. When you can limit some of those things, you help you team and I thought Spencer had a great impact on the defensive end tonight."
Coming out of the halftime break had been a source of problems of it's own, but Greenlee said that wasn't an issue Friday night.
"I think one thing we struggle with is when we build a lead, going into halftime we had a 14 point lead, we let human nature take over a little bit and have a let down. I was proud of the way the kids didn't let them happen," Greenlee said.
"Also, I was really happy with the way we handled their pressure. There were several games, including against Southmont, where we weren't very good when they pressured us. Tonight, we hit the open man, got it down the floor, attacked when we had the opportunity and when we didn't, we were patient on the offensive end."
With the regular season completed, Greencastle, hosting IHSAA sectional No. 29, hosts a red hot Edgewood squad that's won eight of their last nine games. Greenlee boiled it down to two points.
"I think it's pretty simple. I think we have to handle their pressure. They love to pressure on the ball and off the ball. We've got to be able to handle their pressure and be strong with the ball, get the ball where we need to get it instead of letting their pressure affect where it goes," Greenlee said.
"On the other side of it, we have to defend two outstanding players. Alex Neary, he's a kid were going to ask Spencer and the other guys to prevent him from having a great game against us. Levi Garner is also a threat for us, so we have to guard them and handle their pressure," Greenlee added.
He also took a moment to reflect on the work of his five seniors, Moore, Lewis, Joe Lenihan, Keith Carr and J.T. Hennette.
"All five of those guys are high-class, quality kids that come from great families. They're extremely hard working kids and they're unselfish. Regardless of what they do on the basketball floor, you want to coach guys like that, that are going to be great teammates, do what they're asked to do and everyone of those guys do that," Greenlee said.
'It's been a pleasure to coach them and hopefully this isn't it for us. We've got a big game Tuesday night, first game of the sectional, so hopefully we can get them a sectional championship."
North Montgomery 6 8 15 15 -- 44
Greencastle 10 18 15 17 -- 60
North Montgomery -- Krutzsch 15, Thomas 8, Warren 8, Rogers 7, Randolph 4, Shelton 1, Dowell 1
Greencastle -- Hutcheson 23, Lewis 21, Haussin 6, Moore 5, Gilliam 3, Stuckwisch 2
Next game -- Greencastle hosts Edgewood next Tuesday in IHSAA Sectional No. 29 at 7 p.m.