GREENFIELD — In the preseason, the Cougars said they wanted to play fast offensively, mix up their defenses and use a balanced approach to scoring and rebounding.
Check. Check. Check.
Greenfield-Central jumped out to a 14-2 advantage and never looked back, defeating visiting Cambridge City Lincoln 49-23 in both teams’ season-opener Friday night.
The blue-and-gold have won its last 12 meetings against the Eagles, who committed 22 turnovers in part because the Cougars threw multiple defenses at them: full-court pressure, half-court traps and variations of halfcourt man-to-man.
The idea behind Greenfield-Central’s varied defensive scheme is to make use of its team speed and athleticism, rather than have it wasted in a standard defensive formation.
“In the past I’ve been a man-to-man guy. I’ve got to change my ways, I’ve got to change to my personnel,” said fifth-year G-C coach Doug Laker. “We’ve got athletes, so we got to get out in the passing lanes and get deflections.”
When they did acquire scoring opportunities from their defense, the Cougars weren’t shy about sharing the ball. They tallied 13 assists on 22 made baskets, and the helpers were spread among five different team members.
Five players recorded six or more points, and eight Cougars notched at least three points.