GREENFIELD — For the Greenfield-Central Cougars, Tuesday night’s win may be a sign of a team rounding into shape. With its three leaders still nursing injuries, playing time is restricted and more players are being thrust into the spotlight.
But on Tuesday night, the team leaders of Kate Real, Brittany Wheeler and Jessica Farrell seemed to click. The trio combined for 41 of the Cougars’ 51 points in a 51-22 win against Shelbyville to improve their record to 3-8 on the season and 2-1 in the Hoosier Heritage Conference.
“Kate [Real] and Jess [Farrell] have played since the start of the season, but they’ve been on minutes restrictions,” Cougars coach Josh Means said afterwards. “They’re probably each at about 80 to 85 percent right now, but they’re working hard and still contributing when they can get on the court.”
Real made the most of her first quarter minutes, scoring the first 10 Cougars points and 13 of her 17 points in the opening stanza. At halftime, the Cougars had built a 30-10 lead and would never seriously be challenged throughout the rest of the game.
An interesting moment in the first quarter occurred when freshman starter Addison Hill picked up her third foul, and Means kept her in the game.
“She’s just a baby right? So where we were in the game and where we are in the year I thought tonight was a great chance for her to learn how to play hard without fouling,” said Means.
Hill appeared to understand the assignment and did not pick up a foul the rest of the way.
While Real provided the spark in the first half, the two Cougars seniors provided it in the second. Farrell and Wheeler dominated the ball on both sides of the floor and finished with 10 and 14 points respectively. Farrell even buried two 3-point shots to show her range.
“I’m just really proud of this group with how we are improving and working as a team,” Means said.
The Cougars will get a chance to improve their conference record Saturday as they travel to face the Delta Eagles for a 1:30 p.m. tipoff.