Cloverdale and Greencastle combined for 23 three-point field goals Friday, charging the air of Cloverdale's home court from the opening tip until the final horn sound. Greencastle won the contest 72-58 in large part due to its 13 three-pointers on the night.
"I told our guys, offensively, we were pretty good both halves. We shot the ball well -- we were hitting shots, so that makes it look better," GHS head coach Troy Greenlee said.
The Tiger Cubs began the game by hitting three consecutive three-point field goals from three different players, ultimately recording five in the first quarter alone. The Clovers didn't do too shabby either, connecting on three from downtown itself.
The team continued to trade baskets the entire first half, with Greencastle hanging onto a slim 38-35 lead at the half. The Clovers outscored the Tiger Cubs 19-17 in the second quarter and hoped to take that fire into the second half. Unfortunately that wouldn't happen.
Greencastle changed up it defense after the break and Cloverdale was slow to respond. The Tiger Cubs switched to their "Ambush" 1-3-1 trap defense to begin the second half and reaped the benefits. Greenlee said he didn't feel his team had a sense of urgency to his defensive play in the first half and wanted to change things up in the second half.
"It did just enough to cause some havoc for them and we were able to some break away lay-ups and open it up there. It was big win for us. It's a hard place to play down here and Pat (Rady) always has these guys ready to play and I'm just happy to get out of here with a win," Greenlee said.
The Tiger Cubs outscored the Clovers in the second half 34-23 and came away with a 72-58 victory.
Nick Hutcheson led the Tiger Cubs with 21 points. Brad Haussin connected on 5-of-7 three-points and scored 20. Nate Christy scored 10 points off the bench. Greenlee spoke after the game about the lift two of his bench players gave the team.
"I told the guys in here, I thought he was huge in the first half," Greenlee said. "If he's not hitting those shots, we're probably looking at a deficit in the first half. I thought Nate Christy and Michael Muncie in particular, those two guys, came in and gave us huge lifts off the bench. Nate hit some big shots and really played defensively well. Michael was on top of the 1-3-1 for us and I think he's as good as we have as far as getting deflections and making things happen."
Cloverdale head coach Pat Rady was positive following the loss. He knew his team was playing a tough team, a team that has experience on its side.
"We're getting better. We're not down," Rady said. "We knew Greencastle has one of the best teams they've had since I've been here and the potential is very high for them. They get to host the sectional and the regional and I think they're looking at that advantage at the end of the year. They have a great inside/outside game.
"Sometimes you have to face the reality -- we got beat by a better team tonight. But I think we're getting better. We're better than we were last week. Last week we were better than the week before and if we can just keep making these strides and keep improving, we're going to be alright before the year's over," he said.
Joe Fidler paced the Clovers with a game-high 22 points, followed by Kade Schroer with 13 and Brody Pfaff with 12. Even with fine performances for three individuals, when Rady talks about the game, it always come back to a team concept.
"We have to do everything as a team -- both offensively and defensively -- we have to do it as a team. We don't have an individual that's outstanding, so that's why we do it as a team. We call it the fist. We have to be united and we do everything as a team," Rady said.
The win keeps Greencastle perfect on the season at 4-0 as they travel to Sullivan tonight at 7:30 p.m. Cloverdale falls to 1-4 on the season and will next be in action next Friday on the road against Monrovia at 8 p.m.
Greencastle 21 17 21 13 -- 72
Cloverdale 16 19 12 11 -- 58
Greencastle -- Hutcheson 21, Haussin 20, Christy 10, Stuckwisch 9, Huber 8, Muncie 4. Totals: 28-44 FG, 3-5 FT, 72 TP.
Cloverdale -- Fidler 22, Schroer 13, Pfaff 12, Dorman 6, Williams 4, Strunk 1. Totals: 20-44 FG, 8-20 FT, 58 TP.