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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

SPHS responds, moves to PCC championship game

Saturday, December 1, 2012

SPHS senior Justin Bumgardner attempts a lay-up over Greencastle senior Nick Gilliam. Bumgardner had a game-high 17 points in the PCC semifinal.
(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]
After taking a 30-seven lead into halftime, it looked like the South Putnam High School boys' basketball team would cruise into the county final with an easy victory, but nothing comes easy between county rivals.

Greencastle's response fell short and South Putnam advanced with a 58-34 win, but the second half scare left Eagles coach Troy Burgess looking for more from his team.

"(GHS is) a very good team; they're very well coached. They're not going to roll over," Burgess said. "We changed up a little bit this week after Tuesday night's game (a loss at Danville). We put our post player, (senior Ryan) Chestnut, down in the press. He's a big strong kid. If we get the ball to him he's strong enough to turn, square and find the open guy."

The Eagles opened the game with a 14-0 lead, holding Greencastle off the scoreboard for the first 6:35 of the game.

South Putnam's defense only improved in the second quarter.

"We took a lot of contested shots tonight," GHS head coach Troy Greenlee said. "Shots are hard enough when they're uncontested, but when you force things and when you don't move the ball to get open looks, it's going to be hard to shoot a high percentage."

Leading 18-five after one, the Eagles gave up an early bucket to sophomore Lane Winslow, then totally locked down the Tiger Cubs for the last six minutes of the half.

Six-foot-three junior guard-forward Trey Moore had eight points and four rebounds at halftime for the much-taller Eagles team.

"It was like we were pressing tonight, but we weren't pressuring as well as we should have," Greenlee said. "We gave them way too many opportunities at the end of the press. We'll have to look at the tape and find out exactly why.

"I don't think we were aggressive enough at the front end of the press and I don't think we did a very good job of getting back past the ball once it got past us."

Greencastle senior guard Nate Christy dribbles around South Putnam senior guard Logan Pell. Christy's four second-half threes helped keep GHS in the game, but the Eagles prevailed with a dominant 58-34 win.
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The Tiger Cubs upped the tempo to start the second half then senior guard Nate Christy caught fire, making three three-pointers.

The scores allowed the much-quicker GHS team to employ a full court press, rattling the Eagles.

SPHS began missing lay-ups and the Tiger Cubs began to crawl back into contention.

"The best way to attack a press is to go try to shoot lay-ups," Burgess said. "When you press somebody, you're trying to get a turnover and speed it up. When you're playing a press offense, you want to attack and get lay-ups."

Leading 42-27 entering the fourth quarter, the Eagles missed shots began turning into free throw attempts.

SPHS made eight-of-12 shots from the line in the final period and held GHS to only three-of-14 shooting.

Eagles senior Justin Bumgardner was the games high-scorer, finishing with 17 points, including 11 in the final frame.

"We talked about this as a coaching staff: to be successful, we're going to have to press," Greenlee said. "It's something we're going to have to get better at, and tonight we learned some lessons about some things we need to do better."

South Putnam's height advantage allowed them to swing the ball around the perimeter with ease and get shots near the basket throughout the game.

"We feel like right now, that's the strength of our team," Burgess said. "We've got some big guys, strong guys inside. We've got some guys that get to the rim pretty well."

The Eagles will face North Putnam in the PCC final on Saturday at 8 p.m., but Burgess said the team would need to make improvements to get up to its potential.

"We're not too bad when we get to the rim," Burgess said. "Now we've got to be able to finish. We've got to be able to make free throws."

Greencastle faces Cloverdale in the consolation final at 6:30 p.m.

"There's definitely things we've got to get better at," Greenlee said. "We're not going to go crazy and change a bunch of stuff, we've just got to get better at what we do."

At Greencastle
Putnam County Classic semifinal
South Putnam -- 18 12 12 16 -- 58
Greencastle -- 5 2 20 7 -- 34

Individual Scoring
South Putnam: Bumgardner 5-14, 7-14, 17; Arnold 3-8, 3-4, 11; Pell 3-4, 2-5, 8; Moore 4-6, 0-0, 8; Chestnut 3-5, 2-4, 8; Franklin 3-5, 0-0, 6; Long 0-2, 0-0, 0.
Greencastle: Christy 4-13, 0-0, 12; Gilliam 2-15, 2-3, 7; Winslow 3-11, 0-0, 6; Bollman 1-5, 2-2, 4; King 0-6, 3-3, 3; Gerard 1-4, 0-2, 2; Mitchell 0-1, 0-0, 0; Foxx 0-3, 0-0, 0; Hughes 0-4, 0-0, 0.

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