GREENFIELD — Down only one point at 24-23 through two quarters against Shelbyville Saturday night, Greenfield-Central knew it should’ve been down 10 or 15 points.
The Cougars shot 8-of-25 from the field, were outrebounded and were generally outhustled.
“We didn’t play well,” G-C coach Josh Johnson said of his team’s first-half performance. “We didn’t shoot well, we didn’t rebound real well, and we were down one.
“So we were pretty happy about that.”
But when the Cougars didn’t match Golden Bears’ hair-on-fire energy in the third and fourth quarters, the final margin reflected the visitors’ superior spirit and play.
In a rugged game that featured 47 fouls — 31 in the second half — and 59 free-throw attempts, Shelbyville prevailed 71-54, outscoring the hosts 47-31 in the last two stanzas.
“I hate to say it, and it’s cliché, (but) I really felt like in the second half, they … they came up with the loose balls, they handled the contact,” offered Johnson, who dropped to 19-56 in his four seasons at G-C. “And we didn’t.”