Tiger Cub girls move to 3-0 in WIC

Saturday, December 17, 2016
Greencastle’s Nailah Ray drives into the heart of the Sullivan defense and hits wide open teammate
Banner Graphic/Joey Bennett

Boys’ squad still seeking first victory

Greencastle and Sullivan split a pair of Western Indiana Conference basketball games on Friday night, with the Tiger Cubs forcing more than 30 turnovers in the girls’ game in recording a 58-42 win and the Arrows draining eight 3-pointers in the boys’ game on their way to a 49-37 victory.

Sullivan’s girls entered the game just 3-8 overall, but Greencastle coach Bradley Key knew it wasn’t going to be a particularly easy contest.

“We knew Sullivan’s record is not great, but they’ve played some really good teams,” he said. “They lost on a last-second shot to an Edgewood team that beat us, and they played Northview to a four-point game. Their record doesn’t reflect who they are.”

The Tiger Cubs trailed 6-5 midway through the first quarter when senior Gracie Smith decided to turn things around.

Smith sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around a basket to put Greencastle up 13-6, and the Tiger Cubs would creep that lead up to 16-8 at the first stop.

Sullivan bounced back in the second quarter, getting a pair of 3-pointers from freshman point guard Reagan Holeman and trailed just 26-21 at the intermission.

Sophomore point guard Jalyn Duff had three of Greencastle’s five baskets in the period, and continued her steady improvement by helping to beat the Arrows’ full-court pressure and find open teammates.

Jalyn Duff moves the ball upcourt for Greencastle on Friday night.
Banner Graphic/Joey Bennett

“The key to the game was Jalyn Duff,” Key said. “She had a few silly turnovers early, but once she got past those she led to so many good shots for her teammates. She played outstanding.”

Sullivan was outscored 8-6 in the third period despite committing nine costly turnovers. Nailah Ray had four points in the period for Greencastle, which led 34-27 at the final stop.

The fourth quarter was all Greencastle, though. Ten more forced turnovers (31 in all for Sullivan) allowed the Tiger Cubs to rack up 24 points.

The Arrows got a boost from sophomore guard Abbey Wardell, who came off the bench in the closing minutes to hit three straight 3-pointers to finish as her team’s second-highest scorer. Ashely Durall led the Arrows, who hit 17 of 50 field goals, with 10 points.

Duff and sophomore center Claire Gillen led four Tiger Cubs in double figures with 13 points each, while Ray has 12 and Smith added 11.

The Tiger Cubs improved to 7-6 overall and 3-0 in the Western Indiana Conference’s West Division. Sullivan fell to 3-9 overall and 1-2 in the WIC.

“We are starting to understand basketball a little bit better, and we can do more things offensively,” Key said. “We are starting to get it, and that makes it a little more fun for us now. I really like this group of girls that we have right now; we have a good time.”

The Tiger Cubs will close out the pre-Christmas portion of their schedule on Tuesday as they host Cloverdale, the only Putnam County team they have not yet played.

“We know Cloverdale has put up some high scores and has a good young group of players,” he said. “We’re going to have to figure out how to stop them.”

Things were not as rosy for the home team in the nightcap, as Greencastle continued its scoring woes and finished under 40 points for the fourth time in five outings.

Sullivan, meanwhile, won its second straight game over a Putnam County opponent (having defeated North Putnam a week earlier).

The Arrows got 3-pointers from Trevor Magill and Shane Garner in the first quarter on their way to a 14-6 lead at the first stop. Greencastle hit just 3 of 9 field goals in the opening period, saddled by four turnovers.

Greencastle’s Jack Hutcheson fights with Trey Powell of Sullivan for a loose ball on Friday night.
Banner Graphic/Joey Bennett

Sullivan expanded its lead to 21-9 midway through the second quarter before the Tiger Cubs got things going offensively.

Colin York had two straight baskets to begin an 8-0 run by the Tiger Cubs, with J.T. Matthews adding a third hoop and York capping it with another basket to make the score 21-17 with 32 seconds left in the first half.

Sullivan’s Ty Drake scored at the buzzer to give his team a six-point halftime lead.

Gavin Bollman and York opened the second half with baskets for Greencastle to cut the gap to 23-22, but the Tiger Cubs could never get all the way over the hump.

Garner hit a trey, Trey Powell added a basket and Drake hit another trey for an 8-0 Sullivan lead that gave the visitors some breathing room.

A basket by Greencastle’s Devin Clar and a Rylan Lucas free throw cut the gap back down to six, but the Arrows closed out the period with treys from Garner and Drake for a 37-25 lead at the final stop.

“They knocked down some shots,” Greencastle coach Bryce Rector said. “They hit a couple of threes that we didn’t do a great job of contesting. Our sense of urgency on the defense end is lacking right now. It’s a work in progress. We had some open looks, too, and we didn’t knock them down.”

The fourth quarter was played to a 12-12 draw, allowing the Arrows to close out with the 12-point win.

The Tiger Cubs made another run at the start of the quarter on a Matthews basket and a York trey, but the game’s streaky nature continued as Garner hit yet another trey to start an 8-0 run.

Greencastle responded with a 7-0 run, started by a trey from Nick Costin and including another Matthews basket and a free throw each from Bollman and Costin.

“We played pretty well in the fourth quarter, and we outscored them in the second quarter,” Rector said. “We were a little bit better offensively, but we didn’t do a good job against their press and we had a lot of turnovers.”

York led Greencastle with 15 points and was the only Tiger Cub in double figures. Garner paced Sullivan with 12, getting double-figure support from Drake with 10.

Rector knows where the focus of practice has to be.

“We are going to continue to work in practice on fundamental things to keep getting better,” he said. “We’re going to continue to work on it, and that’s all we can do.”

Greencastle is 0-5 overall and 0-3 in the conference, while Sullivan is 2-3 overall and 2-1 in league play.

Girls’ game

SULLIVAN (42) — Holeman 2-9 0-0 6, Hatch 1-6 2-2 4, Durall 5-14 0-0 10, Akers 1-6 0-0 2, Ravellette 1-3 0-0 2, Poulin 1-2 0-0 2, Brown 0-1 0-0 0, Craig 1-3 1-1 3, Ming 1-2 0-0 2, Phillips 1-2 0-0 2, Wardell 3-3 0-0 9. Totals 17-50 FG, 3-3 FT, 42 TP

GREENCASTLE (58) — Gillen 6-9 1-2 13, Smith 4-9 1-2 11, Duff 5-7 2-3 13, White 0-1 0-0 0, Shuee 1-8 0-0 2, Ray 5-7 2-2 12, Stoffregen 1-3 1-2 3, Nally 1-3 0-0 3, Robinson 0-2 0-0 0, Stevens 0-0 1-2 1, Weliever 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-49 FG, 8-13 FT, 58 TP

Sullivan 8 13 6 15 — 42

Greencastle 16 10 8 24 — 58

3-point shooting — Sullivan 5-15 (Holeman 2-6, Hatch 0-2, Akers 0-1, Poulin 0-1, Ming 0-1, Wardell 3-3), Greencastle 4-10 (Smith 2-3, Duff 1-2, Shuee 0-1, Nally 1-3). Rebounds — Sullivan 29 (Durall 7), Greencastle 29 (Gillen 9). Turnovers — Sullivan 31, Greencastle 20.

Next game — Greencastle (7-6) hosts Cloverdale on Tuesday.

Boys’ game

SULLIVAN (49) — Drake 4-8 0-0 10, Garner 4-9 0-0 12, Conner 3-7 0-0 7, Magill 3-5 2-2 9, Powell 3-7 0-0 6, Chastain 1-1 0-0 2, Dean 1-2 1-3 3. Totals 19-40 FG, 3-5 FT, 49 TP

GREENCASTLE (37) — York 6-14 1-2 15, Matthews 4-5 0-1 8, Clar 1-3 0-0 2, N.Costin 1-6 1-2 4, Bollman 2-6 1-2 5, Hutcheson 1-1 0-0 2, A.Costin 0-0 0-0 0, Lucas 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 15-36 FG, 4-8 FT, 37 TP

Sullivan 14 9 14 12 — 49

Greencastle 6 11 8 12 — 37

3-point shooting — Sullivan 8-22 (Drake 2-5, Garner 4-8, Conner 1-5, Magill 1-3, Powell 0-2), Greencastle 3-9 (York 2-5, N.Costin 1-4). Rebounds — Greencastle 22 (Bollman 8), Sullivan 21 (Magill 4). Turnovers — Greencastle 15, Sullivan 12.

Next game — Greencastle (0-5) hosts Cloverdale tonight.

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