CLINTON -- The Greencastle boys' basketball team was defeated by South Vermillion on Saturday, 56-53.
It was a close match-up throughout the entire night with the lead changing many times, but a game-tying attempt in the final seconds left the Tiger Cubs short.
Greencastle seemed to gracefully solve South Vermillion's full court press early on, gaining a 7-1 lead midway through the first quarter, but the team was inconsistent.
"We needed to be a little more patient once we broke the press," GHS coach Troy Greenlee said. "I thought we got playing too fast a lot of times. We would break the press and then settle for a quick shot on offense.
"You either need to attack right away with that and take the sure thing or work the ball and make the defense guard you."
In the second quarter the Tiger Cubs started to utilize the press as well, ensuring it would be a physical game throughout the night.
Greencastle forced five turnovers in the second quarter, taking advantage of one with minimal time remaining.
The Tiger Cubs had the ball with six seconds left in the second quarter.
Freshman Ryan Coble set up under the basket and, after a missed shot, he grabbed the offensive board and got the put-back airbourne just in time.
The shot went in and the Tiger Cubs had a one point lead at halftime, 24-23.
Greencastle's press continued throughout the half, but it was inconsistent. Sometimes it was easily broken, but other times South Vermillion looked as if it had no clue.
"We gave them some problems in the press," Greenlee said. "I thought that there were times when we allowed them to get too deep and we couldn't get back."
Midway through the third things started getting chippy. There were 12 total turnovers in the third quarter and lots of fouls were being called.
With 2:06 left in the third, frustrated South Vermillion head coach Michael Byrum got called for a technical foul. GHS sank one of the two free throws and took a one point lead, 32-31.
The game remained close until late in the fourth quarter, setting up an exciting finish.
South Vermillion had the ball, up by two, with 15 seconds left. GHS sophomore Lane Winslow forced a turnover in the backcourt, but threw an errant pass and turned the ball back over to the Wildcats.
The Tigers Cubs quickly fouled, but South Vermillion missed both free throws.
GHS had the ball with 7.5 seconds left.
They threw the ball inbounds and started down the court.
Senior Nick Gilliam had the ball last and he shot the potential game-tying shot at the buzzer. It clanked off the back of the rim and the game was over, 56-53.
"We have good things to build on but we have to get better in a lot of areas," Greenlee said. "Our kids battled back and we had a chance to win. We just couldn't get it done."
At South Vermillion
Greencastle -- 9 15 10 19 -- 53
South Vermillion -- 6 17 20 13 -- 56
Greencastle: Gilliam 12, Christy 10, Coble 10, Winslow 7, Foxx 5, Gerard 5, King 4.
South Vermillion: Hines 14, Branz 11, Lawson 12, Spivey 7, Morgan 5, Strayer 0, Waldrop 4, Luft 2, Weyrauch 1.
Greencastle 14-36, 13-26, 53; South Vermillion 16-41, 18-31, 56.
Greencastle 4-17, South Vermillion 2-9.
Greencastle 23, South Vermillion 19.
Greencastle 29, South Vermillion 24.