Tiger Cubs get doubleheader split with Western Boone
Greencastle hosted future sectional foe Western Boone in a non-conference basketball doubleheader on Saturday, and if those games are any indication the girls’ and boys’ sectionals are shaping up to be exciting.
Western Boone won the opener 72-63 in overtime, while the Tiger Cub boys kept their improvement going with a 50-47 win in the nightcap — their fourth win in the past five games since starting the season at 0-7.
Greencastle and Western Boone are paired in the first round of the Lebanon girls’ sectional, which begins on Jan. 31.
Sophomore point guard Jalyn Duff was the offensive star for Greencastle, hitting two of her five treys in the first quarter on her way to a 20-point night.
Duff had eight straight points as the Tiger Cubs went ahead 9-8, then Rose White closed out the scoring with a pair of hoops as Greencastle led 13-10 at the first stop.
Greencastle maintained a slim lead at 29-28 going into intermission before the visitors got going. A 7-0 run, with baskets from star sophomore guard Madison Jones sandwiched around a trey from Olivia Hole, put the visitors up 41-33 midway through the third period. Two more Duff treys, plus one from Gracie Smith, helped Greencastle to cut that lead to 48-44 at the final stop.
Sophomore center Claire Gillen started the fourth quarter with two baskets and White added a free throw to give Greencastle the lead back.
Bailey Shuee hit a free throw and White added a pair at the line for a 57-55 Greencastle lead with 2:43 left.
Jones hit a pair at the line for Western Boone with 1:53 to play to tie the score before Greencastle took its final lead.
Smith missed a layup with 35 seconds left, but Nailah Ray got the rebound and scored on a putback.
Freshman Tori Wilkinson hit a layup with 27.7 left to tie the score, and Greencastle held for the last shot. The Tiger Cubs called timeout with 3.3 seconds left, and Ray missed a jumper from the free throw line to force the extra period.
The Stars scored the first six points of the overtime and were never challenged after then.
“I was worried about our effort after a bad outing on Friday,” said Greencastle coach Bradley Key, whose team was beaten handily for the Western Indiana Conference by Cascade. “This game reassured me that we are a team that is hard to beat, and we do a lot of good things. Jalyn knocking down threes really opened things up for us, Rose White had an outstanding game and I thought Claire Gillen had a really good game.”
Key isn’t thrilled that his team drew the talented Stars in the sectional opener, but he knows his players will be looking forward to the rematch.
“We get another shot at them,” he said. “That’s fun.”
Duff got double-figure support from White with 13 and Gillen with 11. Gillen added 10 rebounds and White had 12.
In the boys’ game, the Tiger Cubs used a dominating halfcourt man-to-man defense to stymie the Princeton-type attack used by Western Boone.
The Tiger Cubs scored the first nine points of the game, and Western Boone did not get on the board until a 3-pointer by Lucas Morton with 3:31 left in the first period. Morton hit another trey to close out the quarter, with Greencastle still leading 13-8.
Nick Costin scored six straight points for the Tiger Cubs, with two baskets and two free throws, as Greencastle doubled its lead to 23-13 at halftime.
The Stars got back in the game in the third period using the 3-pointer, as Morton hit another one and 6-3 center Garrett Miller hit two straight. Costin had a trey for the Tiger Cubs, who scored just seven points in the quarter but still led 30-24 at the final stop.
The fourth period saw the teams exchanging scores, but the Stars gaining ground with three of their baskets coming from behind the arc. Miller hit two more to tie the game at 35-35 with 5:33 left, but the Cubs regained control with a J.T. Matthews basket and two free throws each from Colin York and Gavin Bollman to go up 41-35.
The Stars kept chipping away, and a pair of free throws from Marshall Hodgen tie the game at 47-47 with 1:05 left.
Devin Clar was fouled with 40 seconds left and hit one free throw to put Greencastle up 48-47.
Costin rebounded a miss by Hodgen with 13.7 seconds left and was fouled a few seconds later, hitting both free throws for a 50-47 lead with 6.5 seconds left.
Greencastle coach Bryce Rector then opted to foul the Stars, who had hit nine 3-pointers on the night, and force them to pull off a miraculous sequence of events to tie or win the game.
Miller missed the first shot, then missed the second one on purpose with hopes of getting the rebound. He did, and missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to validate Rector’s strategy and give the Tiger Cubs the win.
Bollman had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Costin and York had 13 points.
“I can’t say enough about how our guys are clearly getting better,” Rector said. “We are progressing, and we are playing better basketball and feeling more comfortable on the floor. Gavin was excellent on the boards, finished around the basket and hit some big free throws for us.”
Rector was pleased that his team performed so well defensively.
“Our game plan was really effective in the first half,” he said. “It was effective in the second half, too, but they just hit some shots. We wanted to come out of the weekend with two wins and we did that.”
The Tiger Cubs host an even hotter team on Tuesday night, as the Cloverdale Clovers — winners of eight straight — come to McAnally Center.
“Cloverdale is going to be one of the best teams we play all year,” Rector said. “Clearly they are an offensive juggernaut.”
WESTERN BOONE (72) — Raby 5-6 0-0 10, Wright 4-6 0-2 8, Hole 5-12 3-5 15, Jones 9-15 5-5 24, Wilkinson 4-4 0-0 8, Gubera 1-4 0-0 2, Brewer 2-4 0-0 5. Totals 30-51 FG, 8-12 FT, 72 TP
GREENCASTLE (63) — Gillen 5-7 1-4 11, Smith 1-15 3-4 6, White 4-7 5-6 13, Shuee 3-7 1-2 7, Duff 7-13 1-3 20, Stoffregen 0-4 0-0 0, Ray 3-3 0-0 6. Totals 23-55 FG, 11-21 FT, 63 TP
Western Boone 10 18 20 11 13 — 72
Greencastle 13 16 15 15 4 — 63
3-point shooting — WB 4-13 (Hole 2-7, Jones 1-4, Brewer 1-2), Greencastle 6-27 (Smith 1-9, Shuee 0-4, Duff 5-11, Stoffregen 0-3).
Next game — Greencastle (12-9) hosts South Vermillion on Thursday in its regular-season finale. Western Boone is 12-9.
WESTERN BOONE (47) — Hodgen 2-9 2-3 6, Miller 4-8 2-4 14, Gilliam 0-1 0-0 0, Morton 5-9 0-0 13, Young 1-3 2-2 4, T.Hendrix 4-8 0-0 10, Reed 0-2 0-0 0, Freeman 0-1 0-0 0, J.Hendrix 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-41 FG, 6-9 FT, 47 TP
GREENCASTLE (50) — York 5-14 2-2 13, Matthews 2-2 0-1 4, N.Costin 4-9 4-4 13, Bollman 6-8 2-2 14, Clar 1-2 2-4 4, A.Costin 0-1 0-0 0, Hutcheson 1-1 0-4 2. Totals 19-37 FG, 10-17 FT, 50 TP
Western Boone 8 5 11 23 — 47
Greencastle 13 10 7 20 — 50
3-point shooting — WB 9-21 (Hodgen 0-2, Miller 4-7, Morton 3-6, T.Hendrix 2-5, Reed 0-1), Greencastle 2-8 (York 1-4, N.Costin 1-4).
Next game — Greencastle (4-8) hosts Cloverdale on Tuesday. Western Boone fell to 2-11.