GREENFIELD — In a back-and-forth contest that needed overtime to determine a winner, Greenfield-Central defeated Indian Creek 56-55 on Friday night.
“We needed to win a game like that,” Greenfield-Central coach Lukas Haworth said afterwards. “To come out against another good basketball team that was executing at a high level and keep up with them was a good thing to see.”
Indian Creek, with usual starter Trevor Ankney out with an injury, took the first half from the Cougars and built a 22-17 by halftime. That lead was built mainly beyond the arc. The Braves had five of their seven 3-point shots in the first half, including a buzzer-beater from the volleyball line by Zach Pugh to end the first quarter.
“We had to take away the three from them in the second half,” Haworth said. “We switched from more of a zone look to man-to-man, and I was really proud of our guys for being able to keep up with their switches to take that away.”
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The Cougars (3-4) outscored the Braves 15-9 in the third quarter to erase the lead and ensure a close battle for the last 12 minutes.
Braves senior guard Jared DeHart awoke in the second half to lead the Braves with 20 points and six rebounds.
“I told him at halftime that he just needed to see one go in and then another and another would fall,” Braves coach Drew Glentzer said. “He’s a great kid who loves to play team basketball, so it was good to see him play so well tonight.”
The Cougars went to the free-throw line with 4.6 seconds remaining with a chance to ice the game. But after converting only one of their free throws, DeHart was able to dribble down the court and let a running 3-pointer go from the top of the arc to send the game to overtime.
In overtime, the Cougars were able to secure big rebounds and, this time, make enough free throws to secure the 56-55 victory.
“Matt Turner and Brady Mundell had some huge boards for us,” Haworth said. “Without those, I don’t think we win the game.”
For the Braves (4-3), a close loss can only serve as a tool for the future.
“I was proud of how our guys played,” Glentzer said. “We did some great team things and played a tough game even though we were short handed. That can only help us going forward.”
The Cougars will play next on Dec. 28 against Gary 21st Century in the Lebanon Holiday Tournament.