ROACHDALE -- If there were any Butler basketball fans at Friday night's game between the North Putnam Cougars and the Greencastle Tiger Cubs they would have noticed how this game was similar to the way the Bulldogs play basketball.
It was a tough, hard fought game until the end with both teams extending large leads throughout the game. In the end though, North Putnam's free throw shooting sealed the game for the win over Greencastle 64-55.
The gym was packed before the game even started as it was senior night for the girls' and winter homecoming.
Both teams started the night shooting the ball well. The Tiger Cubs passing around and sharing the ball and the Cougars looking inside to senior Jake Haste.
The point guards, sophomore Anthony Mitchell for Greencastle and junior Shane Beaman for the Cougars, both seemed to command the court with ease in the first quarter with both teams only turning the ball over twice.
The Tiger Cubs built a large lead of nine in the first half and the Cougars seemed not to have any momentum to go with. Then senior Zach Green took a charge in the lane with 4:43 left in the second quarter.
From there on the momentum shifted to the Cougars, staying there for the rest of the game.
Both teams displayed hustle, determination and great defense in the second quarter with a total of 10 turnovers and only four total fouls.
The home crowd was quiet most of the night as Greencastle extended its lead to nine in the second quarter, but at the very end of the second quarter senior Jameson Brewer got behind the defense, received a long pass and threw it down with authority. The Tiger Cubs still led by three, 34-31, but that dunk got the crowd to its feet and the Cougars were storming back.
The third quarter was the difference maker in the game. Greencastle only scored six in the frame while the Cougars scored 17.
"We just kind of relaxed. Instead of extending the lead we allowed them to get back In the game," GHS coach Troy Greenlee said.
"We were able to do some things on the defensive end to get the lead and we won the game on the defensive end," NPHS coach Nathan Martindale said.
The fourth quarter was one for the books for both the Tiger Cubs and the Cougars. Both teams showed a lot of grit and hustle.
The Tiger Cubs' ball handling skills were not at their peak during the frame but they managed to stay within eight the entire quarter.
A big loss for the Tiger Cubs came with 3:19 left in the fourth quarter. After appearing to be pushed, senior Nick Gilliam was called for hooking Haste while going for an offensive rebound. It was his fifth foul, forcing him to sit the rest of the game.
The Tiger Cubs tried their best to regain composure and fight. They did, and almost took the lead with less than a minute left in the game.
Freshman Ryan Coble had an open three in the corner with 59.2 seconds left to get within two. Senior Nate Christy also had an open three that would have cut the deficit to three, but he missed as well.
It was cold outside the gym and there were two cold-blooded free throw shooters for the Cougars. Beaman knocked down 4-of-4 free throws and junior Jordan Nauret knock 2-of-2 down to extend the lead to nine (64-55) with 22 seconds left.
"Guys stepped up in the second half and played great. The post played well ,it was a good all-around win," Martindale said.
"I thought our team did a very good job in the fourth quarter getting us back into the game late," Greenlee said.
The win brought The Bucket back to North Putnam, which took it from Greencastle. Both teams demonstrated that if they continue to play as they did tonight they could do quite well in sectionals.
Notes: Earlier in the day the North Putnam had a pep session where coach Martindale (a huge IU fan) promised junior NPHS Ben Wiatt (a huge Purdue fan) if Wiatt could get the gym completely full Martindale would wear Purdue clothes to school on Monday. Ben did just that and Martindale will have to be faced with the black and gold. "Our students and the community did a great job supporting us tonight. That was as packed a house as I've seen since I've been here," Martindale said.
(Banner Graphic/TRENT SCOTT) [Order this photo]
At North Putnam
Greencastle 19 15 6 15 -- 55
North Putnam 17 14 17 16 -- 64
Greencastle: Bollman 13, Coble 11, Winslow 9, Gilliam 7, Christy 6, Mitchell 4, Foxx 3, Gerard 2.
North Putnam: Brewer 20, Haste 20, Beaman 8, Nauret 8, Green 5, Hazelgrove 3.
Team scoring (three-pointers)
GC 14-36 (6-12) 9-14 55, NP 23-39 (0-10) 18-24 64.
GC 25, NP 25.
GC 15, NP 13.