BRAZIL -- The Greencastle Tiger Cubs continued a midseason surge with their fifth victory in a row on Tuesday night, closing out the Northview Knights by a 43-26 score to improve to 9-5 overall this season.
The victory might not have been pretty for the Tiger Cubs, who shot just 31-percent (14-of-45) from the field during the game, but head coach Bradley Key was simply focused on the bottom line.
"I told them in the locker room that a win is a win is a win. The scorebook still says 'W'. We started off kind of slow and some of that is on me. We tried some different things defensively and we weren't real comfortable with it. Because of that we got in to a little bit of foul trouble. Our girls did battle and at no point do I feel like we gave up," Key said.
The Knights started well early in the contest, leading 8-6 at the first stop as Northview was able to get some buckets in transition and work in the ball into the post to 5-11 freshman Mallory Smith for a hoop and classmates Abbey Timberman and Whitney Halfhill.
However, Greencastle was able to limit Northview's penetration into the paint for the final three quarters and the Knights struggled to score in the second period.
Greencastle's Erynn Beck knocked down a 3-pointer and added two free throws and senior Hannah Wainman began to assert herself on the offensive end as the Tiger Cubs clawed to a 16-12 lead at intermission.
Greencastle opened the second half with a score by Taylor Pruitt in the paint and Wainman added two free throws to extend the lead to 20-12. McKenzi Kumpf added a jumper to get the Knights within 20-15 before Halfhill and Wainman traded 3-pointers. Northview got within 25-20 on a jumper by Cassie Weddle to end the quarter.
With the game firmly hanging in the balance, Greencastle came out with some fire to open the final quarter, scoring the first eight points.
Alex Basile drilled a jumper, Wainman added a field goal and free throws before Pruitt scored on a spin move to the bucket for a 33-20 lead with 4:45 remaining.
"I thought at times we played well. In the first half our defense was solid. We had good movement on offense and got some good, looking shots. I don't know if we got tired late in the game or what, but our energy and intensity just weren't there," Northview coach Scott Buell said. "It's a four or five-point game early in the fourth quarter and we just didn't get after it. (Greencastle) hit some shots there at the end to make the ending margin a lot larger than it was."
Cassie Weddle halted the Greencastle run with her fourth point of the game on a drive and Ashley Hughes closed the margin to 33-24 midway through the fourth quarter. From that point on however, it was all Tiger Cubs as Wainman scored on a drive to the hoop and Basile added two free throws. Beck ended the scoring with her second 3-pointer of the game to close out the Knights with 9-0 run.
"I thought Northview did a good job of hitting some key shots to keep themselves in it. In the second half we did a better job of turning up the intensity, taking some better shots. I thought when we needed Taylor Pruitt, she did well and Hannah Wainman is doing a good job of running the team. I thought she played really well in terms of getting people where they needed to be. Erynn Beck had one of the better games I've seen her play across the board," Key said.
Buell saw some good things from his Knights, but was disappointed with the final period of effort from his squad.
"I thought overall our team play was decent as far as X's and O's. It was the other factors tonight, the intensity, the passion they heart and those types of things," Buell said. "That's disappointing as a coach. There are positives we can take from this."
Wainman led all scorers with 18 points to go with eight rebounds with Timberman leading the Knights with six points as Halfhill added five points and a team-high six rebounds.
In the JV contest, a Northview rally fell short of the Tiger Cubs in a 29-25 Greencastle victory. Brittany Fagg led all scorers for the Knights with 13 points and Taylor Stoltey topped Greencastle with a 10-point effort.
The Tiger Cubs are at Speedway on Friday evening for a 6 p.m. contest while the Knights host Owen Valley at 6 p.m. on Friday night.
Greencastle 6 10 9 18 -- 43
Northview 8 4 8 6 -- 26
Greencastle (43) -- Basile 2-5 2-2 6, Taylor 1-11 2-2 4, Amis 0-3 1-2 1, Wainman 6-13 5-9 18, Pruitt 3-4 0-2 6, Beck 2-6 2-2 8, Covert 0-3 0-0 0, Lenihan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-45 12-19 43.
Northview (26) -- Halfhill 2-4 0-0 5, Timberman 2-5 2-2 6, Weddle 2-7 0-0 4, Hughes 1-9 1-2 3, Girton 0-3 0-0 0, Kumpf 2-5 1-4 5, Smith 1-2 1-2 3. Totals: 10-35 5-10 26.