GREENFIELD — For Greenfield-Central coach Joshua Means, his Cougars are becoming a second-half team.
And on senior night, that was in full focus as Greenfield-Central came from a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat Avon 41-37.
“I guess I give bad pregame speeches but great halftime speeches,” Means said. “I say that because we don’t really change anything when we get behind. We run our same offense and same defense, but the girls have just really come through as the game goes along.”
The game started in a special way, as the Cougars were able to honor senior Jessica Farrell, who is out for the remainder of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. She started the game on the floor and was able to lay in the opening points of the game.
Story continues below gallery
“Jess is really our team mom. The girls look up to her for everything,” Means said.
The Cougars’ other senior Brittany Wheeler was able to come back in the game late in the second quarter after an injury scare earlier in the quarter. She made only one field goal in the game, but it was perhaps the biggest of the game.
As Avon was attempting to hold the ball for the last shot of the third quarter Wheeler stole a cross-court pass, dribbled the length of the floor and converted a layup while being fouled. The basket gave the Cougars their first lead since Farrell’s opening layup.
“Those two girls (Farrell and Wheeler) are special for me, as this is my fourth year here at (Greenfield-Central),” Means said. “I’ve grown up with them and it will be hard to see them go.”
The Cougars were able to build their lead up to six points late in the fourth quarter, which enabled Means to slow down the game and make Avon chase.
“Stalling, if you want to call it that, is becoming part of what we do here,” Means stated. “I trust our four upperclassmen to handle the ball and make free throws, so if I can make the other team chase us for a minute, not only are we shortening the game, but I feel like it takes them out of their offense when they get the ball back.”
The strategy worked to perfection as the Cougars held the Orioles to six points in the fourth quarter before a last-second 3-pointer went in with the game already decided.
The win improves Greenfield-Central’s overall record to 10-12. Their next game will be in the semifinals of Class 4A Sectional 9 at Connersville on Friday, Feb. 2, at 7:30 p.m., where they will get a chance to avenge a loss from earlier in the season against either New Palestine or Connersville.