And they got just that. The Tiger Cubs defeated Edgewood 62-59 to open their sectional play.
GHS got off to a quick start forcing a turnover on the Mustangs' first possession then driving right down the court scoring a 3-pointer. However, things started to slow down as both teams were proving to play tough defense. GHS' Hayden Stuckwish was on fire hitting two 3-pointers and also scoring a basket on a breakaway lay-up. He led the Tiger Cubs with 8 points in the first quarter.
On the other side, EHS' big man Levi Garner, who had all seven of his team's points in the first quarter was proving to be the leader of his team. GHS had a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Things started to get physical as the battle was becoming closely contested. EHS went on a 7-0 run to tie the game up at 16-all. The lead kept going back and forth as the two teams were dueling it out. Stuckwish, who was hot in the first quarter, was held scoreless in the second. And EHS' Garner was proving a force to be reckoned with as he had 17 points and five rebounds at the half.
The Mustangs took not only the lead, but also the momentum, as they outscored the Tiger Cubs 19-9 in the second quarter. The score going into halftime was 26-23.
Starting out the third quarter, GHS went on the offensive tearing apart EHS' zone defense and forcing them to switch to a man-to-man. Stuckwish found his rhythm again hitting 3-3 on 3-pointers.
The Tiger Cubs switched the momentum, and also seemed to find an answer to stop Garner, as he only scored four points in the quarter. Not only was their offense looking good, their defense was as well. "We knew that we had to do a good job on their two big guys, Narey and Garner, and I thought we did just enough to make it hard on them to score. And I thought the guys that weren't guarding those two, our help guys, did a tremendous job especially in the second half," head coach Troy Greenlee said. The score after the third quarter was 42-34 in favor of GHS.
The physical play continued into the fourth quarter as both teams were getting into foul trouble. Each team was shooting in the bonus with 6:20 left in the game. And just when GHS seemed to finally find an answer for Garner, their other big man, Alex Narey, was taking over.
The Mustangs fought back to pull within two points as the score was 46-44 with 5:06 left in the game. Then the Tiger Cubs took a hit as they lost a key player in Tyler Lewis when he fouled out with 2:17 left to play. As it had been the whole night, the game was very close. It was 52-52 with 2:11 left until the fate of each team would be decided.
Despite the loss of Lewis, GHS' Nicholas Hutcheson stepped up and made a 3-point play, went 2-2 on free throws, and grabbed two defensive rebounds all within in a matter of about a minute. GHS had a six-point lead with forty-four seconds left. EHS would then heave up multiple desperation 3-point shots, but none would fall.
Just when it looked like the deal was sealed, GHS made some costly fouls and missed some key free throws down the stretch. However, EHS could not capitalize. They kept missing their shots and free throws. The Mustangs were relentless not to let Tiger Cubs get the victory they were hoping for, but in the end their efforts fell short.
"We did enough to win. We missed a lot of free throws there at the end of the game, but we made enough to win, and that's what counts," Greenlee said.
The final score was Greencastle 62, Edgewood 59.
GHS will play Sullivan Friday night at 6 p.m.
"They're probably the favorite to win the whole thing, so we've got to be ready to go. We'll get to celebrate this one a little tonight, and tomorrow get back in here and prepare for Sullivan," Greenlee said.
Class 3A Sectional
Greencastle -- Hutcheson 21, Stuckwish 17, Lewis 10, Haussin 6, Moore 4, Carr 2, Hennette 2
Edgewood -- Garner 25, Narey 19, Horne 8, Walls 4, Newman 3