(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]
A slow first half saw the Tiger Cubs take a two-point lead into halftime finished with a furious final quarter in which the visitors held the Rox scoreless over the final 2:30 to escape with a 49-46 victory.
Neither side was able to wrestle control of the contest away from the other in the opening two quarters of play as the largest lead of the half was four points.
Both squads had a tough time getting baskets to fall, especially in the opening quarter as they had trouble knocking down a host of jumpers and three point shots.
Greencastle, down 16-12 midway through the second period, took the lead into halftime after Jessica Lenihan hit three straight shots to close the quarter.
The Tiger Cubs, after a flat start, came out buzzing in the third quarter.
Alex Basile led the charge by knocking down a pair of free throws, a layup, a jumper and a three-point shot that gave Greencastle its largest lead of the game at 32-24.
While the visitors looked to be in control, the foul count was rising at an alarming rate. By the two-minute mark in the third quarter, Greencastle had already collected 10 team fouls.
The slowdown in play allowed Rockville to regroup as the hosts cut the deficit in half to 33-29 heading into the fourth quarter.
Alexia Lear sandwiched a pair of Jenifer Lee free throws with two three-point baskets to give the Rox a 37-36 lead early in the final frame.
"We tried to take away (Jenifer) Lee, who had been scoring some big points against other teams," Key said. "I thought Rayleigh Amis did an outstanding job defensively to hold her to two points."
After two more free throws extended the hosts' lead to three, the squads traded baskets back and forth until Basile knocked down a three to tie the game at 43-43.
Lee answered with a three-point play at the other end with 2:30 to go, but the Rox would not score from that point forward.
Basile nearly tied the game on the following possession after a lay-up and foul but failed to knock down the ensuing free throw.
She did, however, take the lead for good with the final two of her game-high 19 points on a jumper that gave the Tiger Cubs a 47-46 lead.
Rockville could not make the basket needed to retake the lead and, instead of fouling on defense, allowed precious seconds to drift off the clock.
Shelby Earl was finally sent to the line with 21 seconds left and the junior knocked down a pair to give Greencastle a three point lead.
Rockville failed to get a shot off as Earl stole the ball with four seconds remaining and the Tiger Cubs escaped with back-to-back wins for only the second time this season.
Greencastle head coach Brad Key said that the squad held Rockville in check and adapted to the game situation well in the second half.
"We didn't come out with quite the intensity that we wanted to come out with," Key said. "In the second half, both squads picked up the intensity but we got into foul trouble. Callan [Taylor] and Rayleigh had to come out but our young girls stepped up and played big minutes."
The fouls caused Key to dip into his JV roster, including sophomore Tera Amis, sister of senior Rayleigh.
"Tera Amis came off the bench and played really well. She hadn't played many varsity minutes but she got big rebounds for us," Key said. "Alex Basile, though, was the star of this game. We got a similar performance from a senior in this game last year and Alex was impressive in the second half."
Key said Basile stepping up was not a surprise for him.
"We knew she had that kind of performance in her and she wouldn't let the team lose tonight," he said. "It's one of the reasons she's a captain and we got to see that tonight."
Greencastle hosts Northview next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in a rematch of the season opener for both schools.
Key said that playing the Knights will show the squad where they stand at this point in the season.
"Northview has a good group of sophomores. They've hit a little bit of a rough patch but we've improved since we played them the first time," Key said. "We have a better idea of who we are and what we do. We had a lot of girls in new spots for the opener. We saw that Alex Basile has taken that leadership role. Callan Taylor takes what's given to her.
"Jessica Lenihan has improved tremendously in terms of understanding the varsity game. Everyone has made strides but we need to put it together for one full game.
"If we get shots to fall, we'll be alright. We hit a lot of them in practice but we need to do that in a game. We're working towards February every day and Northview will be another step towards that time."
Greencastle -- 7 15 11 16 -- 49
Rockville -- 10 10 9 17 -- 46
Greencastle -- Basile 19, Lenihan 9, Earl 7, Taylor 6, T. Stoltey 4, R. Amis 2, Smiley 2
Rockville -- Lee 12, Black 11, Lear 10, B. Gordon 9, M. Gordon 4
Greencastle 41 (19 offense), Rockville 34 (14 offense)
Greencastle 11, Rockville 18