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Cougars show fight in double OT defeat


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GREENFIELD — Having sustained four double-digit defeats in Hoosier Heritage Conference play this season, Greenfield-Central was headed for another Friday night, when Delta visited.

The Cougars, though, shook off the Eagles’ early hot shooting and 12-point lead, and another of nine points later on.

This ended up being one of the most thrilling basketball games at G-C in years. All it lacked for the Cougars was a storybook ending.

Delta’s Landon Sullivan buried a three-pointer from the right side as the horn to the second overtime period sounded, and the Eagles got away with a 57-54 victory.

This was the Cougars’ second successive defeat that went down to the last shot (last Saturday at Eastern Hancock) and fourth in a row overall. G-C dropped to 2-13 and 0-6 in the HHC, and has lost eight straight in the conference dating to last sesson.

“When you get to double overtime, either team can win it,” G-C coach Josh Johnson said. “We made them hit a tough shot and you’ve got to give them credit.”

The Cougars spotted Delta (6-8, 2-4 HHC) a 19-7 advantage early in the second quarter before putting together a 15-2 run the rest of the first half and the start of the second.

G-C went ahead 22-21 after Jordan Keener made three free throws after being fouled while attempting a three-pointer Keener had nine of his game-high 19 in the first two minutes of the second half.

Delta would score 11 unanswered points later in the third and build a 34-25 lead, but the Cougars responded with nine straight themselves and pulled even at 34 on Keener’s fourth triple of the night, with 6:40 left in the fourth.

The Cougars would claw out of a 45-42 hole early in the final minute of the fourth, with two free throws by Zach Batton tying it at 45 with 40.1 seconds to go.

Delta missed two three-point shots in the final seconds, and OT was assured.

G-C built a 50-47 lead in the first extra period, but a three by Kameron Slaven with 1:09 left tied it for the Eagles. The Cougars held for a final shot, but Derek Conley’s three attempt was off and there would be another OT.

The teams traded two baskets in the second OT, with sophomore backup Griffin Lowe responding to both of Delta’s.

Delta, this time, had 45 seconds to work with, and a double-teamed Corbin Gregory dumped it off to Sullivan, who fired it home ahead of the buzzer.

“We played with a lot of heart and hustle (Friday), and I’m proud of the kids for their effort,” Johnson said. “There were times that we were down, but we found a way to get it and get down there.”

The Cougars shot just under 44 percent from the field, and both Keener and Lowe missed only one attempt each. Lowe ended with 10 points and Batton with nine.

“I thought we took some pretty good shots. Zach Batton had an outstanding week of practice and it showed. Tyler Batton played pretty good defense and Griffin Lowe also had a very good week of practice. Those three don’t get a lot of attention, and they stepped it up (Friday).”

Notes: G-C’s last double-OT was two years ago; they beat Shelbyville. Also that season, the Cougars defeated Delta in OT ... The Cougars’ JV team won 44-35 over Delta, with sophomore Geordan Stump scoring 16 and Lowe eight for the Cougars ... G-C senior baseball player Brendon Neal won $300 by hitting a half-court shot at halftime ... The Cougars are at Greenwood (3-11) tonight.

BOYS VARSITY

Delta 57, Greenfield-Central 54 2OT

DE — Fullenkamp 2-4 4-4 8, Sullivan 6-12 0-1 15, Slaven 6-10 0-0 16, Gregory 5-13 0-0 13, Dishman 0-5 1-2 1, Robinson 0-0 2-2 2, Fuatavai 1-2 0-0 2, Fox 0-0 0-0 0, Kern 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 20-46 7-10 57.

GC — Oleksy 0-1 0-0 0, Keener 5-6 5-6 19, Conley 1-10 3-4 5, Z. Batton 3-6 3-4 9, Hall 2-6 0-0 5, Lowe 4-5 2-2 10, T. Batton 1-2 0-0 2, Wolfe 2-2 0-0 4, Pribble 0-0 0-0 0, Gellert 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 18-38 13-16 54.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

DE (6-8, 2-4 HHC)   15  6  13  11  5  7 — 57

GC (2-13, 0-6 HHC)   7  9  15  14  5  4 — 54

Three-pt. field goals: DE 10-21 (Slaven 4-6, Sullivan 3-6, Gregory 3-8, Dishman 0-1), GC 5-14 (Keener 4-5, Hall 1-5, Conley 0-3, Z. Batton 0-1).

Rebounds: DE 20 (Sullivan 7, Fullenkamp 5, Dishman 3, Gregory 2, Slaven 1, Team 2), GC 28 (Z. Batton 6, Oleksy 4, Conley 4, T, Batton 3, Hall 2, Lowe 2, Wolfe 2, Keener  1, Team 4). Assists: DE 7 (Slaven 2, Fuatavai 2, Sullivan 1, Dishman 1, Gregory 1), GC 11 (Z. Batton 4, Hall 4, Conley 2, T. Batton 1). Steals: DE 8 (Sullivan 2, Fullenkamp 1, Slaven 1, Gregory 1, Dishman 1, Fuatavai 1, Fox 1), GC (Conley 2, Oleksy 1, Wolfe 1, Z. Batton 1). Blocks: DE 1 (Sullivan 1). Total fouls: DE 15, GC 14. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: DE 9, GC 14.

JV

Greenfield-Central 44, Delta 35

GC — Stump 16, Lowe 7, Robertson 6, Diehr 5, Fields 5,  Pribble 3, Bean 2.

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