CONNERSVILLE — After 16 quality minutes through the first half, the Greenfield-Central Cougars had eight minutes Tuesday night they’d like to forget.

Up by one point at halftime, 14-13, against defending sectional champion Connersville, the margin switched behind a 16-0 run in the third quarter as the host Spartans cruised to a 40-25 victory.

The loss snapped the Cougars’ (2-4) winning ways, coming off a 67-47 win on Friday, and extended the Spartans’ (7-1) streak to three straight. Greenfield-Central is now 0-2 against potential Class 4A Sectional 9 foes.

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“I actually thought we got pretty good looks. The boys executed the offensive game plan, and with a team like Connersville you have to be patient because they do such a good job on defense,” Greenfield-Central head coach Lukas Haworth said. “But sometimes you have to work so hard to get it, once you step up to knock it down, it’s harder to go in then most nights.”

At the Spartan Bowl, the rim was unkind with the Cougars shooting 34 percent from the field and 1 of 14 from 3-point range.

Connorsville poured in 19 points in the third quarter to break a 16-all tie following a Brian Long bucket for Greenfield-Central with 6:42 left in the frame.

The Spartans converted 5 of 13 field goal attempts in the third and were 7 of 9 from the free-throw line. Greenfield-Central was whistled for seven fouls in the quarter and fell behind 32-16 before the fourth.

“We just need that ball to go in the bucket,” Haworth said. “I wasn’t displeased with the execution at all.

“They kind of changed the tempo a little bit, which isn’t something they normally do,” Haworth added. “Once they cleaned that glass they were able to get the ball down court in a hurry on us to get layups or foul shots.”

Will O’Connor led the Cougars with seven points while Long and Logan Graddy added six points each. Long had a team-high 10 rebounds.

The Spartans had one double-digit scorer in Noah Belt with 10 points. Garrett Silcott finished with nine points. Belt was 6-for-6 from the foul line. Silcott was 5 of 7.

“I don’t overall feel like we did a lot of things poorly. For three quarters of the four, we were right there with them and was very proud of the effort,” Haworth said. “Hopefully, it is a lesson we can learn and take forward.”

The Cougars return to the court and host Indian Creek on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

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Rich Torres is sports editor at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at rtorres@greenfieldreporter.com or 317-477-3227.