GREENFIELD — Since registering a season-high 27 points in Greenfield-Central’s last loss to New Castle on Jan. 15, senior forward Tate Hall has been a different type of monster for the Cougars basketball team.
Averaging 22.7 points per game over the team’s current seven-game winning streak, Hall continued his inspired play Thursday night against Knightstown, netting 25 points in a 70-48 victory against the Panthers.
Senior guard Chandler Bean got the offense ignited Thursday, however, scoring eights points and dishing out four assists in the first quarter in an explosive opening half for the Cougars.
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He finished with 12 points and 10 assists while senior Blake Robertson added 19 points for an 8-for-9 shooting effort.
“I’m just trying to play loose and win games,” Hall said, who is averaging almost 19 ppg for the season. “I am not really worried about my personal achievements. We really shared the ball (tonight). We are all best friends.
“He (Bean) is just a spark plug; we feed off his energy.”
And now with just three games left on their schedule, Greenfield-Central (16-4) is playing its best basketball in the final home stretch of the regular season before sectional play kicks off at the beginning of March.
“I think we can make a good run here at the end,” Hall said. “We have some things defensively we need to work on and rebounding, but other than that we have been pretty solid.”
Knightstown senior guard Jackson Edwards (21 ppg), who entered the game in a mild shooting slump (just three 3s in his last six games), finished with 18 points in the game but had only four in the first half when the game was relatively close. He added eight in the final quarter.
Hall scored 19 points by halftime as Bean and Robertson each added 10. That trio helped the Cougars build a 20-9 lead after one quarter of play and a 44-21 advantage at the break. Bean did not miss a shot in the first half and finished with six assists.
Greenfield-Central shot 17 of 24 (71 percent) from the field in a near lights out first half and dished out 13 assists while only committing five turnovers.
Knightstown (9-7) was 9-for-22 (41 percent) but could not match the Cougars’ attack in the full court — thanks in large to the crafty Bean — and fell in a deep hole after a 24-12 second quarter.
Bean found Robertson for five straight points at the end of the third quarter that gave the Cougars their biggest lead of the game to that point, 57-28, as the team put the engine on cruise control the rest of the way.
The Cougars finished 29 of 49 (59 percent) from the field while the Panthers shot 19-for-36 (53 percent).
Senior Coleman Wyatt also scored 18 points for Knightstown.
Greenfield-Central looks to keep its win streak alive next Friday (Feb. 19) with a trip to Rushville (6-11).