GREENFIELD — Greenfield-Central and Plainfield went into their Friday night meeting in the same situation.
Both teams, in the midst of another disappointing season, were looking for just their second win of the year.
That was essentially the only similarity. Plainfield was the bigger and more athletic side, and the Quakers turned that into a 63-50 romp and left the Cougars behind at 1-11.
G-C competed well with Plainfield (2-8) early on, but wasn’t able to overcome a number of deficiencies, both inherent and of their own making.
Besides the size and speed disadvantage, a number of unforced turnovers and missed free throws stymied the Cougars.
It also didn’t help that Tate Hall, who has G-C’s only double-figure average, was shut out.
“We couldn’t make a layup and we couldn’t made a free throw, and those are the easiest things in the game,” Cougars’ coach Josh Johnson said. “We kind of buckled at both ends. We couldn’t keep anybody in front of us. That’s been our nemesis this year.”
The Cougars led twice, and as much as 10-4, but the Quakers outscored G-C 11-2 over the final 3:33 of the first half and took a 28-21 edge into halftime.
It got much worse for the hosts in the third quarter, won 22-8 by Plainfield. The Quakers made nine of 12 shots in that period, with four 3-pointers. G-C, meanwhile, had five of its 14 total turnovers in the quarter.
Plainfield’s biggest lead was 53-29, with just over six minutes to go in the game.
With long-range threat Hall taken out of the offense by the Quakers’ triangle-and-two zone, the Cougars had to look for other options.
Only Chandler Bean stepped up with consistency, and he put up a game- and career-high 18 points. Bean was G-C’s best shooter both from the field (6-of-8) and at the line (5-of-6).
While the Cougars shot a not-great but not-horrible 42 percent from the floor, they missed 10 of their 24 foul tries.
“Especially in a game that’s called closely, you’ve got to knock down your free throws,” Johnson said. “(And) we got flustered at the other end and we need to slow down a little bit more and get a better shot, and do things better at that end of the floor.”
Notes: The Cougars’ JV beat Plainfield 45-43. Eli Diehr, Jared Jackson and Drey Jameson all scored eight for G-C. ... Zach Batton had nine rebounds to lead the Cougars, six in the first quarter. ... G-C is at Triton Central (7-3) tonight.