LAPEL — For 24 minutes Greenfield-Central battled with a state runner-up.

But to come out on top against good teams, it takes a full 32 minutes.

On Thursday, the Cougars (6-3) entered the fourth quarter tied with the host Lapel Bulldogs (8-1) but fell to last year’s Class 2A state runner-up 50-44.

“That’s a really good Lapel team. They were runner-up in 2A and on paper, they might be even better this season,” Greenfield-Central head coach Bradley Key said. “This is a game we’ll look back on and say we had a chance at the end, but their big players came to play in the fourth quarter and we have to make sure we can match that. We had some series of good defense, and some series of good offense, we just have to put it all together for 32 minutes.”

After being limited for the majority of the night, Lapel’s standout players, Laniah Wills and Maddy Poynter, took over the final eight minutes in a 32-32 game.

Greenfield-Central’s Chaney Brown and Madison Sonsini did the best they could to try and match them.

A Brown steal and layup to open the fourth put G-C ahead 34-32, but Wills answered. Sonsini scored the next basket to put the Cougars back ahead, but again Wills answered. A basket and the foul off of a Wills offense rebound put the Bulldogs ahead 37-36 and they grew the lead from there.

Poynter knocked down her third 3-pointer of the game to push the lead to 40-36.

A Wills steal led to another Lapel trip to the free-throw line and another point.

“We just talked about as a team that we let all five players play. We want all five players to be a part of things and tonight in the big moments, all five players made a mistake and those add up in the fourth quarter,” Key said. “We’re getting closer, and seeing improvement though.”

The Bulldog duo scored nine of the next 10 Lapel points and totaled 17 of the team’s 18 fourth-quarter points.

“We just got stretched out a little bit,” Key said. “They’ve got some shooters and we probably got a hair tired.”

A Brooklyn McConnell layup trimmed the lead to 41-38, but a Wills layup and three Poynter free throws put things out of reach.

Brown and Sonsini both hit late 3s for the Cougars, but the Bulldogs lead was too big.

Lapel led as big as 15-4 and held an 18-11 lead after the first quarter behind four 3-pointers. Poynter knocked down two, and both Rosemary Likens and Sophie Goodwin had one.

A 6-0 G-C run to close out the first and open the second quarter cut the lead to 18-13, and later in the quarter two consecutive Brown layups tied things at 19.

The Cougars took their first lead of the game with just over a minute to go in the half after a Sonsini offensive rebound and put back.

A tough Greenfield-Central zone defense held the Bulldogs to zero second-quarter field goals and just one point to enter the half ahead 21-19.

At the top of the zone, McConnell had five steals.

“It’s hard to match up when you have to deal with Wills down low, so we had to make sure that we sucked in and took the inside away. That puts a lot of stress on the two people up top and Brooke has played in it for three years and is aware of where to be,” Key said. “She anticipated tonight and got touches which is awesome. Super proud of her tonight, I’ve been wanting her to step up and I think tonight she did.”

Three Taylor Mroz 3-pointers in the third offset a well-rounded quarter from the Cougars top three. McConnell and Sonsini had four points in the quarter and Brown knocked down a deep ball.

On the night, the trio combined for 43 of the Cougars 44 points. Sonsini had 18, Brown had 16 and McConnell had nine.

“We just tried to run our stuff. We want to play at our tempo and not let teams control us. At the start, we were a little out of whack but we got back to running our style of offense,” Key said. “If we can get Madi in the low post that’s great, and Chaney’s a dynamic player. They did a good job of playing off of each other.”

Wills led the Bulldogs with 16, and Poynter added 14.

“She’s [Wills] a great player, and they did a good job trying to feed her. I thought Madison did a great job on her most of the night. We just have to make sure we get down there and dig against a player like that,” Key said. “She’s got multiple Division-I offers, and she’s really good. To hold a player like that to 16 is honestly really tough.”

Greenfield-Central is back in action on Friday, December 8 at New Palestine.

Lapel 50, Greenfield-Central 44



Greenfield-Central (6-3): Chaney Brown 7 0-0 16, Madison Sonsini 7 2-3 18, Brooklyn McConnell 3 2-4 9, Jalyn Smith 0 0-0 0, Izzy Silcox 0 1-2 1, Addi Herrin 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 5-9 44.

Lapel (8-1): Laniah Wills 4 8-11 16, Madelyn Poynter 4 3-4 14, Sophie Goodwin 1 0-0 3, Jocelyn Love 0 0-0 0, Taylor Mroz 3 1-2 10, Rosemary Likens 1 0-0 3, AnnaLee Stow 2 0-0 4. Totals: 15 12-17 50.

3-point goals: Greenfield-Central 5 (Sonsini 2, Brown 2, McConnell); Lapel 8 (Poynter 3, Mroz 3, Likens, Goodwin).