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Monday, May 2, 2016

Tiger Cubs edge Eagles 59-55

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Greencastle sophomore Callan Taylor gets past the entire South Putnam team on her way to the basket on Friday.
(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]
Greencastle hosted senior night for its girls' basketball team on Friday, but sophomore Jessica Lenihan was the team's go-to player, scoring 13 of her 19 points in the second half of the 59-55 win over South Putnam.

The Tiger Cubs held off a late rally from SPHS, securing the win with the defensive abilities of seniors Rayleigh Amis and Jessi Covert.

"This is the best game (Covert) has played in four years and I couldn't be more proud of her," GHS coach Bradley Key said. "South, no matter when you play them, it's going to be a close game. We proved that the last three times we've played them. It's a game of runs, and we got up on them, they were able to come back. Give credit to their players. They always play hard."

The two teams were locked in a 53-all tie with 1:50 remaining but Greencastle executed better down the stretch, making four-of-six free throws, and another hoop by Lenihan, late in the game.

The Cubs were put on the ropes early when SPHS senior Mallory Cash started the game by scoring 19 first-half points on seven-of-10 shooting.

When Eagles' senior Leanna Masters was sent to the bench after picking up her second foul, the game opened up for the Cubs.

"Our game plan was, No. 1, to take (Masters) away," Key said. "We did that, but then Cash showed up, just like she did in the County (Tournament)."

Four players scored at least six points for GHS in the first half, led by Covert's seven, and the Tiger Cubs went to the break with a 30-27 advantage.

With Masters returning to the court for the start the third quarter, the Eagles got back into the fight.

Until she picked up her third two minutes later.

GHS got back on the run it started in the second quarter and carried an 11-point lead into the fourth.

Then Masters, and junior Aubrey Nichols (also with three fouls) got back in game.

"It was a combination of (Masters returning) on the inside and Aubrey Nichols, our best perimeter defender," SPHS coach Lindsey Blackman said. "When they're not on the floor, it hurts."

With Masters and Nichols back on the court, the Eagles made their move.

Masters picked up a pair of assists, one to Nichols for a corner three, and the comeback was on.

South Putnam ripped off 11 straight points to tie the game with five minutes left.

South Putnam senior Mattie Varvel scores a layup against Greencastle after putting a delay move on the Tiger Cubs' Lauren Bridgewater.
(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]
With Masters working the high post and senior Mattie Varvel scoring (16 points) and organizing the offense (seven assists), the Eagles looked to have all the momentum.

Fouls again emerged as a problem. Masters picked up her fourth and played with more restrain for the rest of the game.

In all, GHS was fouled 22 times, eventually attempting a ridiculous 32 free throws.

They sank 17, but it was enough to secure the win.

Masters finished with two points and 10 rebounds in her limited minutes.

Amis (12 points, 11 rebounds) and GHS sophomore Callan Taylor (10 points, game-high 13 rebounds) each finished with a double-double.

"The last couple weeks in practice we're looking better as a team," Key said. "Our overall goal is to play our best basketball in February."

The Tiger Cubs won't have long to enjoy the victory as they play again today at Brown County at 1:30 p.m.

For the Eagles, a chance to forget the painful loss comes quickly as well. They'll host the South Putnam Classic today, beginning at 9:30 a.m. with a game against Turkey Run.

The consolation game is at 12:30 p.m., and the finals is at 2 p.m.

"It was tough tonight," Blackman said. "When those two (Masters and Nichols) are on the bench, it's hard for us to be successful."

At Greencastle
South Putnam 13 14 11 17 -- 55
Greencastle 11 19 17 12 -- 59

Individual scoring
South Putnam: Cash 7-13 4-4 21, Varvel 8-24 0-1 16, Nichols 2-8 3-4 8, Masters 1-5 0-0 2, Birt 1-5 0-0 2, Barnes 1-7 0-2 2, York 1-2 0-0 2, Hewitt 0-6 2-2 2, Cundiff 0-0 0-0 0.
Greencastle: Lenihan 6-14 7-10 19, Amis 5-9 1-3 12, Taylor 3-7 4-4 10, Covert 3-5 1-9 7, Basile 1-8 2-4 4, Earl 1-3 2-2 4, Bridgewater 1-1 0-0 3.

Team scoring (three-pointers)
SP 21-69 (4-10) 9-13 55, G 19-47 (2-6) 17-32 59.

Rebounds (offensive)
SP 45 (21), G 43 (12).

SP 11, G 17.

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