GREENFIELD — For the Greenfield-Central Cougars, Friday night was just what they needed.
With teams’ gearing up to stop senior guard Will O’Connor, his teammates have been looked upon to make opposing teams pay. And they did just that against the Tigers, with nine different Cougars scoring points in a 67-47 victory that improves the Cougars’ record to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in Hoosier Heritage Conference play.
“That was just what we needed,” Cougars coach Lukas Haworth said afterwards in an upbeat locker room. “We’ve been playing great defensively all year and we needed an offensive performance like tonight.”
Early in the game, the Tigers came out face-guarding Cougars leading scorer O’Connor while playing zone against the remainder. The Cougars only scored 23 first half points trying to navigate this defense, but held the Tigers to 12 first half points themselves and took an 11-point lead to halftime.
O’Connor still navigated the defensive pressure to finish with a team-leading 17 points.
“Will’s a great shooter, and he’s got to be prepared the rest of the season for defenses to key on him,” Haworth surmised. “But we worked a lot this week on the offensive side of the ball for the rest of our guys and it really seemed to pay off tonight.”
The third quarter is where the Cougars hit paydirt. Senior guard Matt Turner keyed a 14-point outburst at the start of the quarter by hitting three 3-point shots in four minutes to give the Cougars a commanding 20-point lead they would never be in danger of relinquishing. Turner would finish with 13 points and five rebounds.
Two other Cougars contributed to the cause as well. Brady Mundell and Logan Graddy would finish with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
“I’m grateful we came out and defended our home court tonight,” Haworth said. “Playing in front of the best band in the state with great parent and student support, I’m just really proud of our guys for playing so well in front of them.”
The Cougars will play again Tuesday night, as they travel to the Spartan Bowl to play defending sectional champion Connersville at 7:30 p.m.