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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Christy's free throws beat South Putnam

Saturday, January 12, 2013

GHS senior Nate Christy and his teammates react to the game-winning free throw he sank against South Putnam on Friday.
(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]
When Greencastle's Nate Christy walked into McAnally on Friday, he was unsure if he'd even play.

The senior has been nursing a groin injury for the past few weeks and his pregame warm-up, he told his coaches he was 100 percent.

"I knew I wasn't going to start," Christy said. "But I knew coming off the bench I had to make an impact, and that's what I tried to do."

With blood oozing from a gash on his chin as he stared from the free throw line, down one with the game clock reading 0:00, Christy's injury was the last thing on his mind.

"I was pretty much just thinking, 'I've got to hit these,'" Christy said. "Just how my game was going, I was pretty confident when I stepped up to the line. I was a little bit nervous on that first one, because it was bouncing around the rim. When it fell down, I knew I'd make my second."

Christy made them both, lifting Greencastle past South Putnam 53-52.

The Tiger Cubs reclaimed the bucket and avenged a loss to South Putnam in the Putnam County Classic.

After the early-season tournament game, South Putnam head coach said Greencastle was a team you don't want to play in March. He was a couple months off.

"Give them all the credit," Burgess said. "They played their butts off. They won the game."

Christy hit four-of-five threes en route to 13 points in the first half, but GHS trailed South Put by one at the break, 26-25.

The teams traded baskets for most of the third quarter with GHS sophomore Brody Bollman scoring seven of his team's 12 points

SPHS senior Justin Bumgardner had nine in the quarter and finished game-highs in points (20) and rebounds (10).

Greencastle trailed by four entering the fourth but a three-pointer by sophomore Anthony Mitchell tied the game with five minutes left.

The teams traded baskets again and, following a South Putnam turnover, Christy brought the ball up the court looking for a lead.

He was trapped on the sideline and lost the ball. In his attempt to save possession he fell and split a large gash open on his chin.

Christy was removed from the game, covered in blood, and the Eagles regained control.

Junior forward Trey Moore (10 points, nine rebounds, four assists in the game) led South Put back on top as the Eagles carried a four-point lead into the final minute.

Christy, No. 12, returned, wearing a new jersey, No. 50, that was several sizes too big for him.

"My pants and everything were huge," Christy said.

Trailing by two points with 42 seconds remaining, Greencastle committed its sixth foul of the half and the Eagles prepared to take the ball out from under the Cubs' basket.

Moore was called for an offensive foul before the ball could be inbounded, but GHS failed to capitalize.

Christy threw an errand pass that was tipped by Bumgardner, who dove to save the ball from going out of bounds and lofted it to senior Ryan Chestnut.

Chestnut was sent to the line for a one-and-one.

He missed the first, but Bumgardner hauled in the rebound.

Bumgardner made one-of-two from the line to secure a three-point lead.

Before Greencastle could get a shot, Chestnut fouled Bollman, who sank both free throws.

SPHS senior Sawyer Arnold was fouled on the inbound play, up one with 5.8 seconds remaining.

"We talked about, know the situation of the game," GHS coach Troy Greenlee said. "If we need a two, take it to the basket, if we need a three, penetrate and try to kick it out."

Arnold missed his free throw and Bollman pulled in the board, spun and fired a pass to Christy.

The senior headed straight for the basket, but his layup attempt rattled out as the final horn sounded.

The sound of a whistle drowned out the horn. The Eagles fouled the shooter.

Christy walked up to the line, and an empty lane, ready to shoot for the win.

More blood. Christy stepped to the sideline to get cleaned up.

"Our kids did a great job of executing when they had to," Greenlee said. "My gosh, what an incredible two free throws by Nate. I thought, 'There is a lot of time between the fouls and him actually shooting it. That's hard to do. He just seemed so confident.

"I told him, 'I've been coaching a long time, but I don't know if I've ever had a kid have a performance like that."

The win moved GHS to 2-8 for the season, but more importantly, 2-0 in the West Central Conference.

"It was great team effort," Greenlee said. "I thought we had great contributions from just about everybody tonight."

GHS will look to carry the momentum into tonight's game when they travel to Edgewood for a 7:30 p.m. start.

South Putnam senior Logan Pell splits through the Greencastle defense to score a finger roll layup on Friday.
(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]

At Greencastle
South Putnam 6 20 15 11 -- 52
Greencastle 8 17 12 16 -- 53

Individual scoring
South Putnam: Bumgardner 7-13 5-7 20, Moore 4-4 2-2 10, Arnold 3-9 2-3 8, Pell 2-5 0-0 4, Chestnut 1-5 2-5 4, Franklin 1-2 1-2 3, Vittetow 1-3 0-0 3, Long 0-1 0-0 0.
Greencastle: Christy 5-9 3-4 18, Bollman 4-9 3-4 11, Mitchell 3-5 0-0 7, King 2-9 0-0 6, Winslow 2-7 0-4 4, Foxx 1-2 0-0 3, Gerard 1-3 0-0 2, Brotherton 0-0 2-2 2, Gilliam 0-7 0-0 0.

Team scoring (three-pointers)
SP 19-45 (2-7) 12-19 52, G 17-50 (9-21) 8-14 53.

Rebounds (offensive)
SP 41 (12) G 23 (8).

SP 21, G 10.

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