Greencastle uses strong second half to blow past Southmont, 63-35

Saturday, February 3, 2018
Greencastle’s Rose White (15) battles Avery Hess of Southmont (left) and an another obstructed Mountie player during Friday night’s sectional game.
Banner Graphic/JOEY BENNETT

CRAWFORDSVILLE — Greencastle did not get off to the start it hoped against Southmont on Friday night in the first semifinal game of the Class 3A Crawfordsville sectional.

The favored Tiger Cubs fell behind 6-0 to a Mountie team which they had beaten soundly earlier in the season.

“Once we settled down, we realized the game wasn’t going to be decided in the first five possessions,” Greencastle coach Bradley Key said. “We were OK after that.”

The Cubs then ran off nine straight points to take the lead for good, and went on to record a 63-35 win.

They will meet pre-tourney favorite Benton Central (20-6) in tonight’s 7:30 p.m. championship game.

Jalyn Duff scored just one basket in the first period, but single-handedly broke the game open with 12 straight points.

Three straight treys, followed by three straight free throws when shooting another long-ranger, put the Cubs up 21-12 midway through the second period.

Southmont had a brief 5-0 run of its own late in the half, and Greencastle still led only 25-17 at the intermission.

The third period was total domination.

Greencastle picked up its defensive pressure, led by pesky guard Seelye Stoffregen at the top of their various zone defenses, and recorded 24 points in the period.

Bailey Shuee started the barrage with a trey, and Stoffregen followed with a trey of her own and a steal turned into a layup.The Cubs would wind up hitting 9 of 15 field goals in the period, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range, and took a 49-28 lead at the final stop when Allison Stevens scored a layup on a pass from Duff.

Initially, the Mounties focused their attention on Tiger Cub post player Rose White. White eventually got loose and finished with 16 points and five rebounds

“They were sucking in on Rose bigtime, which is a good game plan, and they did a pretty good job of blocking her out,” Key said. “Jalyn hit some shots and Bailey hit some in the first half. We started to put some pressure on them defensively in the third quarter.”

Key was not happy with how his team had followed the game plan during the first half, but was understandably pleased with how the second half went.

“I am really happy with how we came out at halftime,” he said. “We responded really well in the second half.”

Duff led all scorers with 21 points, while Shuee added 13 and Stoffregen had 10.

Southmont’s Avery Hess closed out her career with a team-high 16 points.

Greencastle’s reward for reaching the sectional finals is a matchup with storied program Benton Central, whose total of 19 sectional titles ranks the Bison among the top five programs in state history.

Benton Central has won 20 games, and Key knows that tonight will not be easy.

“Benton Central is good, and they do a really good job of putting you in bad positions with their defense,” he said. “They pressure you really well, and we have to handle their pressure.

“They have a tremendous player [Emma Fisher] who we are going to have to find.”

Key notes the Bison are not a one-player team.

“She is a really good player, but the rest of their team plays really hard as well,” he noted. “We typically do a good job of outhustling other teams, but they are going to match us in that area.”

Still, Key is encouraged as he seeks to win his second sectional title in nine years of leading the Tiger Cubs

”It’s not going to be easy,” he said. “I like our team, and I would like our chances against anybody.”

SOUTHMONT (35) — Hess 8-16 0-6 16, France 0-3 0-0 0, Link 1-2 0-0 3, Remley 2-2 1-2 5, L.Ward 0-2 1-2 1, E.Ward 1-6 0-0 3, Manion 0-1 0-2 0, Knowling 1-2 2-2 5, Veatch 0-0 0-0 0, Charles 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 14-37 FG, 4-14 FT, 35 TP

GREENCASTLE (63) — White 6-14 4-5 16, Duff 6-9 6-6 21, Shuee 4-8 2-2 13, Stoffregen 4-9 0-0 10, Nally 0-2 1-2 1, Robinson 0-0 0-0 0, Doan 0-0 0-1 0, Trigg 0-1 0-2 0, Slack 0-0 0-0 0, Richardson 0-0 0-0 0, Hutcheson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-45 FG, 13-19 FT, 63 TP

Southmont 8 9 11 7 — 35

Greencastle 9 16 24 14 — 63

3-point shooting — Southmont 3-12 (Hess 0-2, Link 1-1, E.Ward 1-5, Knowling 1-2), Greencastle 8-21 (Duff 3-6, Shuee 3-7, Stoffregen 2-5, Nally 0-2 Trigg 0-1). Turnovers — Southmont 18, Greencastle 9.

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