GREENFIELD — Despite a poor-shooting first quarter of play, Greenfield-Central ran away with its fifth-straight win Wednesday night against visiting Greenwood.
After falling behind 16-11 to end the opening quarter, the Cougars, thanks to two momentum-grabbing 3-pointers from junior guard Katie Helgason, closed the first half on a 12-0 run and never looked back en route to a 66-50 win.
“I thought we could press them a little bit, but they got separated on us,” Greenfield-Central head coach Doug Laker said. “We just went back to our man-to-man defense (in the second quarter). They had a hard time shooting over our length and getting into the paint.”
After combining for 45 points in a win against Connersville on Tuesday, Cougars (10-3) junior forward Madison Wise and Helgason continued their hot play, with Wise tallying 33 points in the win. Helgason finished with 11.
The Woodmen (9-6), who entered the game with the 15th highest-scoring offense in the state (66 points per game), were held to just five points in the second quarter.
Greenwood senior guard Holly Hoopingarner entered Wednesday’s contest averaging just short of 24 points per game and finished with 26 points, including nine in the first quarter. However, the senior did not make a shot in the pivotal second quarter.
“She’s an amazing young lady,” Laker said of Hoopingarner, an IUPUI commit. “She’s a great player and an even better person. If she’s not an Indiana All-Star, I don’t know who is.”
Trailing 21-19 with just over four minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Cougars used baskets from Wise, senior Savannah Girolami and Helgason to go on the aforementioned 12-0 run. Wise connected on an and-1, while Girolami made two layups to accompany Helgason’s key 3-pointers.
Girolami added eight points and plenty of energy in the win. Sophomore forward Jessica Farrell finished with six points and seven rebounds.
Freshman Alex Kincaid contributed seven points for Greenwood.
Wise, who finished with eight boards, is now the program’s all-time leader in rebounds. She broke the old record in a win earlier this week.
The Cougars have now won three-straight against the Woodmen. Last season, the team won 51-39, but Greenwood still owns the overall series (past 15 years) 4-3.
Greenfield-Central, which is 4-0 in the Hoosier Heritage Conference, will take the Holiday week off before hosting its own tournament Dec. 29. Greenwood returns home after break and will play Brownsburg on the same day.
In the junior varsity contest, the Cougars improved to 10-3, as well, with a 56-49 win.