GREENFIELD — The five Greenfield-Central Cougar seniors made their night one to remember. They took the floor against Rushville on senior night and pulled the team from a losing first half to a 70-59 victory.
Greenfield-Central was a different team after halftime. They had quick passes, big 3-point shooting and forced some key turnovers. A nine-point deficit turned to a 20-point lead in the matter of eight minutes.
“I think our energy changed,” Greenfield-Central head coach Michael Lewis said. “Our kids were active. They were looking for deflections, and I think that sparked us offensively.”
Senior Drey Jameson hit the first trey of the quarter on the Cougars’ first possession. After the Lions missed a shot, John Davis hit a layup to bring them within four points 33-29.
From here, the Cougars rode the momentum. They forced five Rushville turnovers then Will O’Connor lit up the net. His first three came four minutes into the quarter and he went on to hit three more in the remaining few minutes.
“We got on him a little at halftime and told him he wasn’t aggressive enough,” Lewis said. “We need him to be super aggressive offensively. There are times when he needs to hunt shots, but I think our kids did a better job of finding him in the second half and he was ready to shoot.”
The fire kept burning as Greenfield-Central rallied their way to a 28-point streak. Brady Mundell added a three to the mix and Jameson finished the miraculous quarter with nothing other 3-pointer and-1.
“We came to life as a team,” Lewis said. “It was fun to watch – I’ve never seen a third quarter like that before.”
While Rushville put on their press at the start of the fourth quarter, the Lions couldn’t catch the Cougars despite outscoring them 23-14 in the last eight minutes.
Jameson led the Cougars with 26 points while O’Connor added 16, 14 of which were in the third quarter. Davis was the third Cougar in double digits with 10 points.
The Cougar rally came after a 9-0 Rushville start to the game. Jameson single-handedly brought the score to a 12-12 tie but the Lions went on another run – this time eight points – to finish the quarter. Rushville maintained the lead up until halftime, having a 14-point lead at one point, and they went to the locker room with a 33-24 advantage.
But Greenfield-Central had something to say about it. They honored their seniors with their third win in a row.
The Cougars move to a 11-10 record. The five seniors are Jameson, Jared Jackson, Josh Mundell, Casey Phillips and John Davis.
“I thought tonight they played for each other,” Lewis said. “I think they really enjoyed playing and they’ve meant so much to our program. Not only have they been good players but they have been great ambassadors.”
Their faces showed it all.
“You could see the joy on their faces,” Lewis said. “It will be something they always remember.”