Cougars seek consistency after loss to Hamilton Heights

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GREENFIELD — Hot-shooting, taking care of the basketball and holding the opponent to one shot on offense got Greenfield-Central off to a good start in Tuesday’s non-conference girls basketball matchup against visiting Hamilton Heights.

The Cougars were unable to keep that form the rest of the way, losing 63-29 to Hamilton Heights at Dellen Automotive Gymnasium, Tuesday.

The Cougars jumped out to an 8-0 lead.

Freshman Josie White and senior Annan Tiede hit 3-pointers and Chaney Brown, another frosh, scored in close for a quick Cougar advantage, but the turnovers followed, as did more accurate shooting from the visitors from Arcadia.

The Huskies, which finished 18-2 last season and won their Class 3A sectional, followed Greenfield-Central’s initial 8-0 run with a 15-0 burst to end the opening period.

After missing their first three shots, the Huskies hit 5 of 7 the remainder of the quarter.

After hitting their first three shots, the Cougars missed their final five and committed eight first-period turnovers. All eight miscues happened after the 8-0 lead.

“(Assistant) Coach (Meghan) Dawson said several times tonight, when things start going bad it is really hard for us to weather a storm,” Greenfield-Central head coach Bradley Key said. “We had a long talk before the game and after the game, there are wins to be had on our schedule, but we’re going to have to be able to figure out how to weather a storm, good and bad.

“When things are going good sometimes we forget what got us there. When things get rough we really struggle on what needs to happen next.”

A 14-point third quarter was the Cougars strongest scoring period, but they were unable to cut into a halftime deficit that had grown to 18 points, 33-15. After three, G-C trailed 50-29.

Again, the Cougars were unable to keep that offensive consistency, going scoreless over the final eight minutes.

“We’re learning and we know there are probably some wins down the road if we continue to get better, but if we don’t it’s going to be a really long season,” Key added. “I’ve seen improvement from a lot of kids. We just have to be more consistent.”

Hamilton Heights had a nice mixture of perimeter shooting and inside play. The Huskies hit 8 of 19 3-point attempts (42.1 percent), including three each from Camryn Runner and senior sub Mia Shields. They also had a strong night from 6-foot-3 senior center MyKayla Moran.

Six inches taller than any player on the Cougars side, Moran finished with 15 points. Runner led all scorers with 17. Shields also hit double figures with 13.

Brown led Greenfield-Central with 15 points. She had nine in the third quarter. It was her third double-digit scoring game of the season.

“I am seeing improvement,” Key said. “Audrey Pechin and Chaney did a good job working down low in getting each other shots. Especially in the third quarter, Audrey had several good passes.”

Brown came in as the team’s leading scorer, averaging 9.6 points per game. She had 18 points in a game last week against Richmond.

“Chaney has potential to be a really good player. I think the game plays a little fast for her and my other freshman at times. When Chaney slows down and relaxes, you can see some flashes of how good she can be,” Key said.

With three points each from White and Brooklyn McConnell, the Cougars got 21 of their 29 points from freshmen.

Greenfield-Central dropped to 0-6. Hamilton Heights is 4-2.

The Cougars return to their home floor Tuesday, Nov. 30 to take on Bishop Chatard.

The Cougars are still playing without 5-10 junior Schuyler Sparks, in her third year with the team. Sparks has started games since her freshman season.

“We’re just not there yet,” Key said of his team’s performance. “It’s going to take us until mid-December and not having Schuyler Sparks has been a factor. She’s played three years for us, and that’s invaluable and no one has that kind of experience for us. She’s on the bench saying all the right things to our girls. It’ll be a big boost when we get her, but until then we have to keep grinding and getting better.”

Hamilton Heights 63, Greenfield-Central 29

Hamilton Heights;15;18;17;13;—;63 

Greenfield-Central;8;7;14;0;—;29 

Hamilton Heights (4-2): Camryn Runner 6 2-2 17, Hadleigh Cherry 1 2-2 4, MyKayla Moran 6 3-5 15, Ella Hickok 1 2-2 5, Kaylee Rhoton 3 0-0 7, Mia Shields 5 0-0 13, Katie Brown 1 0-0 2, Morgan Ottinger 0 0-0 0, Kassidy Schakel 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 9-11 63.

Greenfield-Central (0-6): Josie White 1 0-0 3, Chaney Brown 7 1-2 15, Annan Tiede 2 1-2 6, Brooklyn McConnell 1 0-0 3, Taylor Smith 0 0-0 0, Aryanna Hibbard 0 0-0 0, Audrey Pechin 1 0-0 2, Kammi Anderson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 12 2-4 29.

3-point goals: Hamilton Heights 8 (Runner 3, Shields 3, Hickok, Rhoton); Greenfield-Central 3 (White, Tiede, McConnell)

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