Greencastle retains the paddle in County Championship win
GREENCASTLE -- Alyssa Nichols proved Saturday night that she can do more than handle basketball -- she can score. Nichols came through for the Lady Tiger Cubs in their 63-47 win Saturday in the girls Putnam County Tournament championship game.
After South Putnam took Mallory Miller out of the game in the second half, Nichols rose to the challenge and recorded 11 of her 15 point to help lift GHS to victory.
"South Putnam did a great job of taking Mallory Miller out of the game," GHS coach Brad Key said. "Wherever she went, it seemed like they two, three or four people on her at all times."
In the first half, Miller had scored 10 points and was threatening to have another big night. Then at the start of the second half, South Putnam began to double-team Miller, and cut the Tiger Cubs' lead to two at 30-28; forcing Greencastle to find other outlets to score.
And that's what they did.
"Hannah Wainman hit a huge three for us in the third. They were leaving one man open in our offense on the drift and someone had to step up and take a shot and Hanna did," Key said.
Following Wainman's bucket, it was Tenille Burgeson who stepped up and drained a big basket, adding to Greencastle's surge in the third quarter. Greencastle outscored South Putnam 20-11 in the third after the Lady Eagles went on a 5-0 run at the start of the half.
"After Wainman, Tenille hit another big three then Alyssa Nichols did what Alyssa Nichols does, get the ball out there and put the pressure on the defense," Key said.
The other Lady Tiger Cub that caused problems for South Putnam was Chelsea Samuels. It wasn't her scoring that hurt the Lady Eagles, it was her defense.
Samuels tallied six deflections in the game and held Brooke Boejter, South Putnam's big post presence, to four points for the night.
"Chelsea is hard to get going, but she had some good moves tonight," Key said. "She did a great job of shutting Brooke down and not fouling her a lot and sending her to the foul line for freebies."
Offensively, Samuels had 13 points, but it was her defense that paid off for Greencastle.
Debbie Steffy said after the game that it was the speed of the game that caused the Lady Eagles troubles.
"We put ourselves in a position in the beginning of the game where we came out and wanted to control the dribble and we did a good job of doing that. But then the game started to go a little faster and we didn't rotate back fast enough, Steffy said. "Then we put ourselves in the position were we couldn't press and when we had too. They exploited it.
"We just didn't do a very good job on defense," Steffy added. "We did in spurts, but when we needed a stop or a steal, we couldn't get it and we went from being down seven to being down 15."
Steffy continued to say that Greencastle is a good team.
"They know where they need to be and what to do with the basketball and when we see them again, we hope to be that team," Steffy said.
Greencastle is now 4-0 on the season, while South Putnam is now 1-3.
In the consolation game, North Putnam defeated Cloverdale 56-28. Look for a full story in Monday's edition of the Banner Graphic.
At South Putnam
South Putnam 8 15 11 13 -- 47
Greencastle 13 17 20 13 -- 63
South Putnam -- Minor 0 0-0 0, Dabkowski 6 7-1119, Thompson 2 0-2 4, Thompson 0 0-1 0, Varvel 3 0-0 6, Searles 3 3-4 9, Jones 1 0-0 2, Boejter 2 0-0 4, Masters 1 0-0 2
Greencastle -- Nobles 1 0-0 2, Burgeson 4 0-0 10, Nichols 7 0-0 15, Samuels 6 1-2 13, Babington 0 0-0 0, Wainman 1 0-0 3, Miller 6 3-3 17, Pruitt 1 1-2 3