Cubs bounce back with 60-55 win at Southmont
NEW MARKET – Greencastle survived a sub-par free throw shooting night and an outstanding individual effort by Southmont’s Justin Howard but still managed to beat the Mounties 60-55 Saturday night in boys’ high school basketball action.
Hitting just 16 of 33 from the foul line, including just 10 of 22 in the second half, opened the door for the Mounties – who nearly rode a 41-point effort from Howard to make a big second-half comeback.
In the end, the Tiger Cubs had just enough to capture the win on the heels of a difficult loss the night before.
“We hit under 50 percent from the foul line, and part of that might be attributed to being the second game of a double weekend,” Greencastle coach Bryce Rector said. “And we withstood a phenomenal effort by the Howard kid but we found a way to win. That’s what is most important. Sometimes you just have to find a way to win.”
The Tiger Cubs (3-1) raced out to a 26-11 halftime lead and appeared on their way to an easy win, but Howard and the Mounties had second thoughts. After scoring all 11 of his team’s first-half points, Howard erupted for 30 in the second half to pull the home team to within four at 37-33 with 7:14 to play in the game.
The Tiger Cubs had a chance to build the lead throughout the fourth quarter, but missed nine of 16 free throws to allow the Mounties (1-7) to stay close.
That’s when sophomore Nick Sutherlin hit two consecutive 3-pointers, the only two the Tiger Cubs would hit all night, to boost the lead back up to 10 at 46-36 with just over four minutes to play.
“Nick really stepped up for us at that point,” Rector said. “He stepped up and shot them with confidence and knocked them both down. Those were huge and came at a critical time of the game.”
The closest the Mounties would come the rest of the way would be five points.
Despite struggling from the foul line and long range, where the team hit only 2 of 12 attempts, Rector saw a lot of good things from this team.
“We hit the offensive board pretty well tonight,” he said. “We had a number of putback baskets and that is always a big plus.’
For the game, the Tigers Cubs had eight rebound baskets )which accounted for 16 points) with senior Gavin Bollman leading the way with three of the seven. He led the team with a game-high 16 rebounds as the Tiger Cubs outrebounded the Mounties 40-23.
The ability to bounce back after a tough emotional loss also pleased Rector.
“The season is a rollercoaster and coming off a big emotional loss like we had Friday is tough,” Rector said. “We weren’t sure what to expect out here tonight. We came out and battled, and even though some things didn’t quite go the way we wanted -- like hitting less than 50 percent from the foul line and having a kid putting up 41 points against us – we came out on top. That says a lot about this group of kids.”
The Tiger Cubs used a balanced scoring attack to overcome Howard’s effort. Brody Whitaker led the team with 18, while Sutherlin added 12 and Bollman and Cade Plew each chipped in 10. Benton Parmley just missed double digits with eight.
Next up will be a tough game against conference foe Sullivan.
“If we want any change as winning our division we have to go through Sullivan,” Rector said. “They are very good and currently undefeated, so we will have our work cut out for us.”
GREENCASTLE (60) – Whitaker 6-15 6-9 18, Parmley 2-8 4-4 8, Sutherlin 3-7 4-5 12, Bollman 5-11 0-7 10, Plew 4-7 2-8 10, Wood 1-2 0-0 2, York 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 21-50 FG 16-33 FT 60 TP.
SOUTHMONT (55) – Roach 1-7 2-2 5, Stanley 1-5 0-0 2, Bowman 0-2 2-2 2, Howard 15-25 6-7 41, Gregg 0-0 0-0 0, Oppy 1-4 0-0 3, Glancy 0-0 0-0 0, Saunders 0-0 2-2 2. TOTALS 18-43 FG 12-13 FT 55 TP.
3-Point Shots – Greencastle 2-12 (Whitaker 0-2, Parmley 0-4, Sutherlin 2-5, Bollman 0-1); Southmont 7-19 (Roach 1-5, Howard 5-11, Oppy 1-3). Rebounds – Greencastle 40 (Bollman 16); Southmont 23 (Stanley 8). Fouls – Greencastle 13; Southmont 20 (Roach). Turnovers – Greencastle 6; Southmont 12. JV Score – Southmont 46, Greencastle 41.