MONROVIA -- The Greencastle boys' junior varsity basketball team was crowned WCC champs with a hard-fought 44-36 overtime win at Monrovia Thursday night.
A nip-and-tuck game from the beginning saw the young Tiger Cubs hit free-throws down the stretch to pull out the win.
Jumping out to a 13-7 lead after the first quarter, Greencastle scored the opening basket of the second quarter and looked poised to run away with the victory.
The Bulldogs would have nothing to do with that, however. Two quick three-pointers from Grant Burgess brought Monrovia within two at 15-13.
The Tiger Cubs again went on a mini-run of their own and opened up a 21-14 lead with less than a minute to play in the opening half.
Jordan Gray and Cody Berling hit shots for Monrovia and at half Greencastle led 21-18.
Both teams were tough defensively to open the second half until Gray buried a three-pointer for Monrovia to knot the score at 21.
After that, neither team led by more than 5 points the remainder of the game. Tenacious defense by the Tiger Cubs forced numerous turnovers and set-up the wild finish.
Down by three with just over a minute to play, Greencastle worked their half-court offense to perfection and Tanner Nicholson hit a three-pointer from the top of the key to knot the score at 34-all.
Both teams traded baskets and with 14 seconds left, it was all tied at 36-all.
Once again employing strong defense, Greencastle stopped Monrovia and coach Doug Hudson called a time-out with 1.5 seconds remaining to set up a last second shot.
The Tiger Cubs got the shot they wanted but the ball bounced off of the rim as the buzzer sounded to send the game into overtime.
Greencastle secured the tip to start the overtime and Lane Winslow was fouled, hitting one of two free throws and the Tiger Cubs never trailed again. Forcing numerous off-balance and contested shots, Greencastle was 6-of-10 from the charity stripe in the extra period, while Monrovia was 0-for-4.
"I told the team after the game that we didn't play our best basketball tonight, but it was good enough to win," head coach Doug Hudson said. "Also going 5-0 in the conference is a huge accomplishment.
"We set several goals prior to the season, and we have accomplished No. 1, an outright conference championship. I told them that is something that can never be taken away. This team is also one of the toughest I have ever coached and tonight they persevered. We will enjoy this for now and then get ready to face Brown County Saturday," Hudson said.
Holden King led Greencastle in scoring with 10 points and Tanner Nicholson added nine.
Burgess led all scorers with 12 for Monrovia and Gray added nine.
GHS 13 8 6 9 8 -- 44
MHS 7 11 9 9 0 -- 36
Greencastle -- Mitchell 7, Foxx 4, King 10, Bollman 6, Nicholson 9, Winslow 8
Monrovia -- Gray 9, Burgess 12, Hale 2, Berling 7, Benge 2, Wright 4