Ultimately, GHS rebounded with a strong fourth quarter and cruised to a 48-30 win to move onto its semifinal matchup with the struggling Wildcats.
Every coach hopes his team hits the tournament in stride and ready to battle for a championship. GHS head coach Brad Key commented that he thought nerves took a toll on his squad early, but commended its resilience to not give in.
Greencastle found itself behind early as West Vigo jumped out to a 5-0 start, but the Tiger Cubs took their first lead on a Rayleigh Amis free throw at 6-5 and ended the quarter up 9-7 as sophomore Callan Taylor was fouled at the buzzer on a three-point attempt. She knocked down one of the three freebies.
West Vigo continued to stay close as Greencastle committed turnovers and never found a flow to its game. Sophomore Jessica Lenihan came up big for GHS, scoring eight of the team's 13 second-quarter points and helped lift her squad to a slim 22-17 halftime lead.
Starters Taylor and junior Alex Basile spent extended periods of time on the GHS bench during the opening 16 minutes of play and that trend continued into the second half. Sophomore Lauren Bridgewater came off the bench in the first half to score five points and she had her presence felt once more in the second half.
GHS returned to the court following halftime, still struggling to find its game and watched as West Vigo matched it point-for-point in the quarter. As the buzzer sounded signaling the end of the third, Greencastle found itself up five and at a crossroad.
When the teams stepped back on the floor with one quarter remaining, the Tiger Cubs found the swagger that had eluded them for the previous 24 minutes.
GHS went on a 7-0 run early in the final period, started by a Bridgewater three-pointer, to take a 44-29 lead and finally breath a sigh of relief. Buckets from Amis and Jessi Covert sealed the Vikings' fate and allowed their team to move on following the 48-30 victory.
"Lauren Bridgewater, (who) hasn't gotten a lot minutes this year, came in and knocked down two big threes and took the ball to the hole. We had Rayleigh Amis for a ton of rebounds and I even sat her for awhile," Key said.
While he acknowledged it might not have been the best game to watch, the only thing that matters is his team's season continues after the win.
"We're happy with the win," he said. "It wasn't the prettiest thing ever, but we're still playing and we have Friday with South Vermillion and that's what we wanted.
"Overall I'm pleased with our effort, in the second half especially. With things that tight we could have given in and we didn't."
Key also applauded his team's defensive effort, especially in the fourth quarter. GHS come out in a 1-3-1 defense, which resulted in the Vikings scoring just three points in the final period.
Waiting for the Tiger Cubs on Friday is a 3-17 South Vermillion squad most teams would overlook. However, Key was quick to point out that they shared a common opponent this year, coming away with different results.
"I haven't looked at a ton of South Vermillion (video) so far," Key confessed. "We really focused on West Vigo -- kind of one-game-at-a-time -- but I know South Vermillion is young. They struggled a little bit this year. I haven't told the girls yet, but I believe they beat South Putnam earlier this year and South Putnam beat us, so you just never know."
Greencastle (13-9) will take on South Vermillion (3-17) in the first game Friday at Brown County beginning at 6 p.m.
2013 sectional 28 quarterfinals
At Brown County
Greencastle 9 13 10 16 -- 48
West Vigo 7 10 10 3 -- 30
Greencastle (13-9): Lenihan 18, Bridgewater 10, R. Amis 10, Basile 5, Earl 2, Covert 2, Taylor 1. Totals: 17-42 FG, 11-22 FT, 48 TP.
West Vigo (5-16): Voils 10, S. Elkins 7, Lane 6, Fox 5, L. Elkins 2. Totals: 12-62 FG, 3-6 FT, 30 TP.