GREENFIELD — Back and forth, ties, no big leads, it was a typical Greenfield-Central versus Lapel girls basketball game.
There were seven lead changes, two ties and neither team led by more than five points. Lapel had two five-point leads. Greenfield-Central had two four-point advantage.
It came down to the final possession.
Greenfield-Central sophomore Chaney Brown’s final shot rolled off the rim and the Cougars ended up on the short end of a 38-36 decision at Greenfield-Central High School Tuesday.
Two years ago at Greenfield-Central, the Cougars beat the Bulldogs 53-52 in double overtime. Last season at Lapel, the Bulldogs won a back-and-forth matchup 60-52.
“Always,” Lapel coach Zach Newby said when asked about the close and competitive games between the Cougars and Bulldogs. “… Greenfield-Central’s record (3-6) is not (indicative) of the kind of team they have. They play a tough schedule. They go through the grind, so we always know it’s (going to be a battle).”
“That’s a really good basketball team that scores a lot of points. They’re averaging almost 60 per game,” Greenfield-Central coach Bradley Key said of the Bulldogs. “I thought we did a tremendous job defensively of being active and talking.
“I thought Chaney carried us offensively, and felt like we had the old Chaney back. She played a great basketball game and I thought Brooklyn McConnell did a great job of getting us in our sets.”
Brown, averaging 14.8 per game, led all scorers with 20. She had 11 of the Cougars 13 first-half points.
Greenfield-Central senior Aryana Hibbard hit a 3 with 1:25 remaining in the third quarter to give the Cougars the lead. Lapel answered at the 1:01 mark with a put-back layup from 6-foot freshman Laniah Wills. It was the final lead change of the night, giving the Bulldogs a 29-28 lead. There were five lead changes in the third period.
Following Wills’s go-ahead layup, Bulldog senior Deannaya Haseman swished a 3-pointer right before the period ended. She connected on a 3-pointer, getting a friendly bounce from the Dellen Automotive Gymnasium rim, right before the halftime buzzer to give Lapel a 14-13 advantage.
Brown scored with 1:35 remaining to get the Cougars within one point, 35-34. After two Lapel free throws from Madelyn Pointer, G-C junior Katie Holmes scored off an offensive rebound to cut it to one, again, 37-36 with just 48.4 seconds remaining.
After Wills hit one of two free throws with 6.8 ticks remaining, Brown drove the lane, but her final shot rolled off.
Greenfield-Central dropped to 3-6 overall. Lapel improved to 6-3. It was the Bulldogs second straight win over a team in the Hoosier Heritage Conference. They defeated Yorktown Tuesday 60-36. They’ve won four straight. It was Greenfield-Central’s fourth straight loss.
McConnell hit two third-quarter 3s and had six points. Wills led Lapel with 12 points. Poynter scored 10 and Haseman finished with nine.
Wills, who came into the game averaging 18.1 points and 14.8 rebounds, had 14 boards. Brown grabbed nine rebounds for the Cougars.
“Give credit to Lapel. They hit some shots with our hands in their face,” Key said. “I’m happy with the intensity for four quarters. We’ve struggled stringing together four quarters of good defense. Offense will come and go. We’re starting to get more comfortable with what we’re trying to do, which is good to see.”
The Cougars are in action next Friday, Dec. 9, at home, against Hancock County and HHC rival New Palestine. The Bulldogs play Madison-Grant Wednesday, Dec. 7.
Lapel 38, Greenfield-Central 36
Lapel (6-3): Madelyn Poynter 4 2-4 10, Jaylee Hubble 2 0-1 5, Laniah Wills 4 4-8 12, Deannaya Haseman 3 0-0 9, Kerith Renihan 1 0-2 2, AnnaLee Stow 0 0-0 0, Rosemary Likens 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 6-15 38.
Greenfield-Central (3-6): Chaney Brown 8 2-3 20, Ariyana Hibbard 1 0-0 3, Katie Holmes 1 0-0 2, Brooklyn McConnell 2 0-0 6, Jalyn Smith 1 1-2 3, Taylor Smith 0 0-0 0, Kammi Anderson 1 0-0 2, Emma Nelson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 3-5 36.
3-point goals: Lapel 4 (Haseman 3, Hubble); Greenfield-Central 5 (McConnell 3, Brown 2).