GREENFIELD — The Greenfield-Central Cougars are turning into the walking wounded, but the schedule doesn’t know that.
During warmups before Saturday afternoon’s game against the Class 4A No. 8 Hamilton Southeastern Royals (9-2), the Cougars had only seven line up before the junior varsity players joined their layup drill.
Despite this the Cougars (4-4) battled until the very end, but the Royals prevailed 58-45.
“I thought we played hard today,” Cougars head coach Doug Laker said afterwards. “We didn’t give up a lot of easy points off turnovers or anything like that and we were breaking their press. I just didn’t do a good enough job of pointing out where their shooters were in our zone.”
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The Royals came into the game with potential Indiana All-Star and Wright State University recruit Bre Lloyd and freshman Sydney Parrish, who is ranked in the Top 20 nationally for the 2020 class. These two made it a tough half for the Cougars as the Royals’ lead ballooned to as much as 24 early in the third quarter.
Parrish finished the game with 18 points, eight rebounds and four 3-pointers. Lloyd finished with 10 points and four rebounds.
The Cougars didn’t roll over, however. They outscored the Royals by five points in the second half and two plays highlighted the effort.
Down 18 points with the Royals looking to dribble out the clock in the second quarter, freshman guard Hannah Farrell pressed Lloyd and hounded her into stepping out of bounds.
Late in the fourth quarter with the game decided, senior Madison Wise was fouled on a rebound and landed awkwardly on her left arm. Given time to gain her composure but still in visible pain, Wise stepped to the line and calmly sank two free throws.
Despite Lloyd and Parrish’s best efforts, Wise made her case as the best player on the floor, finishing with 31 points, five rebounds and three 3-pointers.
Things are looking up for the Cougars however, as senior Katie Helgason, a Ball State commit, has begun practicing with the team following an ACL tear this fall. Her official return date is still unknown.
“(The injuries) are part of life,” Laker said. “We’re going to get through it … If this were the 24th game of the year, I’d be more concerned, but it’s still early.”
The Cougars’ next opponent is county and conference rival New Palestine, who they face next Friday at home in a girls/boys doubleheader starting at 6 p.m.
Hamilton Southeastern 58, Greenfield-Central 45
GREENFIELD-CENTRAL (4-4) – Wise 10 7-11 31, Real 1 2-2 5, Bond 1 0-0 3, Denny 1 0-0 2, H. Farrell 0 2-2 2, Wheeler 1 0-0 2. Totals: 14 11-15 45.
HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN (9-2) – Hamilton 9 0-0 18, Parrish 7 0-2 18, Lloyd 4 2-2 10, Jackson 2 0-1 5, Braun 1 0-0 3, Irvin 1 0-0 2, Walton 1 0-1 2, Barksdale 0 0-2 0. Totals: 25 2-8 58.
3-pointers: Greenfield-Central 5 (Wise 3, Bond, Real 1), Hamilton Southeastern 6 (Parrish 4, Braun, Jackson 1). Rebounds: Greenfield-Central 13 (Wise 5, Bond, H. Farrell 2, Denny, Flora, Real, Wheeler 1), Hamilton Southeastern 26 (Parrish 8, Hamilton 7, Lloyd 4, Kegley 3, Irving, Jackson 2).