PLAINFIELD — In possession of its first 10-win regular season in more than a decade, the Greenfield-Central boys basketball team will set its sights on rectifying a postseason drought.
Lane Ferrell scored a season-high 21 points, and the Cougars dominated Plainfield in the second half Thursday on the way to a 59-44 win.
At 10-14, Greenfield-Central earned its first double-digit victory total since the 2003-04 squad went 15-6.
“We just talked about that (in the locker room),” Greenfield-Central first-year coach Michael Lewis said following the triumph. “The thing I’m most proud of is the resilience of these kids because we’ve had a lot of ups and downs. We’ve had a lot of close games that we’ve lost, some that we’ve given away.
“But for these kids to persevere and come here tonight really focused and wanting to get win number 10, it says a lot about them trying to leave a legacy that people can be proud of.”
Greenfield-Central (10-14) had a pair of four-game losing streaks this season, as well as two winning streaks of three games. The team had dropped two straight heading into Plainfield and will look for its second straight solid effort Wednesday against Anderson (5-17) in the Class 4A Sectional 9 quarterfinal at New Castle.
The first half against the Quakers (6-16) was mostly a stalemate, marked by five ties and six lead changes. Back-to-back scores by Plainfield’s Nathan Mills to end the second quarter gave the hosts a 26-22 edge at intermission.
Mills, a 6-foot-5 sophomore forward, presented a challenge for the Cougars’ defense, which they met. Mills followed up a 9-point first half with only two points in the third quarter and three for the entire second half.
“We talked about getting ‘kills,’ which is three stops in a row, and we had a lot of kills in the third quarter,” Lewis said. “A big part of their offense is they do a great job of crashing the glass. And, I thought we did a nice job in the second half of limiting them to one shot.”
A pair of Blake Robertson 3-pointers fueled an 11-0 run for the Cougars to end the quarter, and they took a 40-32 lead into the fourth. Overall, Greenfield-Central outscored the Quakers 37-18 after the break.
Robertson finished with 14 points off the bench. Tate Hall had 13 points, six rebounds and three assists. Kirill Schoellman and Dallas Pribble chipped in four points apiece. And Chandler Bean had three points and four assists.
Ferrell, who missed the first half of the season, scored 13 of his season-high 21 in the second half to pace the Cougars.
“We have to understand that Lane played JV last year,” Lewis noted. “And then he missed the first half of the season, so this is only game 10 or so of his varsity career. So, there are going to be some growing pains along the way. But, I thought tonight he did a much better job of playing through contact, instead of playing around contact.”
Mills’ 12 points was tops for Plainfield. He also had a game-high nine rebounds. Bryson Ellis had 10 points and Reece Crawford totaled nine points on three first-half 3-pointers.
Plainfield will face Mooresville (17-3) in 4A Sectional 12 on Wednesday at Martinsville.
For the Cougars, a win against Anderson in the Sectional 9 opening round would mark the program’s firs tournament win since the 2002-03 season.
“We’ve got a quality opponent,” Lewis said of the Indians, 1-7 over the last month. “They’re a lot better than their record. A team that’s very athletic, some kids that can put the ball in the hole. So, we’ll have to play well.”
Notes: Greenfield Central finished the regular season 6-7 in road/neutral site contests and 5-8 against Class 4A competition. … The Quakers have suffered six straight losing seasons, including the past three under current head coach Andy Weaver. In 15 previous seasons at Western, Weaver’s teams claimed six sectional championships. … Plainfield won the junior varsity game 56-54. … The Quakers honored their three basketball seniors, Anthony Bolen, Kyler Nichols and Mark Daum, prior to the varsity contest.