Little by little, the Greencastle boys are learning what it takes to win a basketball game.
Three Tiger Cubs scored in double figures on Saturday and they led the visiting West Vigo Vikings for two quarters. But West Vigo scored 43 points the second half for a 65-56 victory at McAnally Center.
Junior Holden King came off the Greencastle bench to score 17 points, hitting 5-of-8 three-point shot attempts and a pair of free throws.
"He's a tremendous shooter and he's a kid that we've been kind of waiting to break out like that. It's something we've been waiting on and hopefully he can continue that," Greencastle coach Troy Greenlee said of the first-year varsity guard.
The Tiger Cubs also got 12 points and a team-leading seven rebounds from sophomore Brody Bollman and 12 points from sophomore Lane Winslow.
Consistency is the next step for the roster of eight first-year varsity players.
"We get good games from this kid and this kid and then this other kid struggles. If we can get everybody to play at their top level we think we can be okay. We're just struggling to get a lot of consistency right now," Greenlee said.
West Vigo's Kyle Stewart led all scorers with 26 points, 22 coming in the second half when the Vikings rallied.
With two West Vigo starters on the bench for most of the first half with three fouls, Greencastle took the lead.
Bollman gave Greencastle a 7-6 lead midway through the first quarter and buckets by Winslow and King put the Tiger Cubs on top 15-10 at the end of the period.
King hit back-to-back threes to give Greencastle a 21-10 lead less than two minutes into the second quarter.
The Tiger Cubs maintained that margin most of the period with Bollman and sophomore Anthony Mitchell netting free throws for a 27-18 lead with 1:40 to play.
West Vigo scored the last four points of the half to trim Greencastle's lead to 27-22 at halftime.
The second half a different West Vigo team attacked Greencastle. The Tiger Cubs committed 12 turnovers in the last 16 minutes of the contest.
"(West Vigo) added some pressure the second half. They came out in a half-court trap. I didn't think we handled it real well," Greenlee said. "We gave them the ball with some turnovers, they got some easy baskets. I thought we struggled with the physical play that they picked up in the second half."
King hit a three and Winslow converted a Nick Gilliam steal and pass into a lay up and a 32-24 Greencastle lead two minutes into the third period.
But West Vigo outscored Greencastle 16-3 over the final six minutes of the third quarter and led 40-35 going into the fourth quarter.
King again opened the quarter with a three that got the Tiger Cubs within two,but with 6:36 to play Greencastle was called for its 10th personal foul putting West Vigo in the double-bonus the rest of the night.
The Vikings hit 9-of-13 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
"I just think the way (West Vigo) came out the second half and started being more aggressive defensively kind of got us out of our rhythm offensively and we gave up 43 points the second half, so we weren't very good on either end of the floor the second half," Greenlee said.
But the Tiger Cubs were within reach of the Vikings. With 5:37 to play a Winslow bucket left Greencastle trailing 44-42. King hit another three with 4:41 to play and the Tiger Cubs were still down just one possession.
But over the final four minutes of the game, West Vigo pulled away to as much as a 10-point lead by hitting free throws and layups.
West Vigo is 7-4 overall and 4-0 against the Class 3A Sectional 28 field that will play at McAnally Center in late February.
In junior varsity action, Greencastle held on for a 38-37 win. Luke Brotherton led the Tiger Cubs with 16 points.
Greencastle's varsity returns to action next Friday at home against county and West Central Conference rival South Putnam.
West Vigo 10 12 18 25 -- 65
Greencastle 15 12 8 21 -- 56
West Vigo (65) -- Stewart 7-12 9-11 26, A.Corenflos 3-6 7-8 13, Kirby 3-9 0-1 6, Wilson 3-3 0-0 6, West 2-2 0-2 4, Lindsey 0-2 4-6 4, Stonebarger 2-5 0-2 4, Daley 0-0 2-2 2, Hayes 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-39 FG, 22-32 FT, 65 TP.
Greencastle (56) -- King 5-9 2-2 17, Bollman 4-5 4-5 12, Winslow 6-10 0-0 12, Gilliam 2-7 4-6 8, Coble 1-2 0-0 3, Mitchell 1-4 1-2 3, Foxx 0-0 1-2 1, Gerard 0-2 0-0 0, Hughes 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 14-41 FG, 12-17 FT, 56 TP.
3Pt. Goals: WV 3-8 (Stewart 3-6, A.Corenflos 0-1, Lindsey 0-1), Gc 6-15 (King 5-8, Coble 1-2, Gerard 0-1, Gilliam 0-1, Mitchell 0-1). Total fouls: WV 16, Gc 23. Fouled out: Gilliam. Technical fouls: None. Turnovers: WV 15, Gc 22. Rebounds: WV 24 (Stonebarger 8), Gc 20 (Bollman 7). Steals: WV 9 (Stewart 5), Gc 6 (Foxx, Mitchell 2).
JV game: Greencastle won 38-37.
Next game: Greencastle (1-8, 1-0 in WCC) will host South Putnam on Friday. West Vigo (7-4, 3-1 in WIC) plays at Terre Haute North the same night.