GREENFIELD — Not often, but Greenfield-Central had been in this situation before.

With a 22-0 regular season record and No. 6 ranking in both the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association and Class 4A Associated Press polls, trailing late in games had not been a common occurrence.

Wednesday night was different.

It wasn’t just another game, it was a quarterfinal round game of Class 4A Sectional 9 against postseason nemesis Anderson, and in front of a packed house at Greenfield-Central’s Dellen Automotive Gymnasium.

Trailing 37-30 late in the third quarter against the school that had put an end to their season each of the last two years, the Cougars found a way and remained the only unbeaten team in the state with a 50-44 victory over the Indians.

Greenfield-Central (23-o) will play Muncie Central (8-16), a 54-51 upset winner over No. 12 Richmond (20-4) earlier in the day, in a 7:30 p.m. semifinal on Friday. Anderson finishes the year 18-6.

“Coach called a timeout and he looked us all dead in the eye and said, ‘Winners know why they win. We don’t give up,’” Greenfield-Central senior Braden Robertson said. “It’s the same thing that happened at New Pal [earlier in the regular season] when we were dead in the water. We just found a way to win. We’re a special team.”

The was a lot to mix into the Cougars’ winning formula, including a cold-shooter getting hot, a change to a 1-3-1 zone defense in the fourth quarter, second chances on layups, and 6-5 junior big-time recruit Braylon Mullins doing the things that has made him one of the top players in the state.

Notre Dame head coach Micah Shrewsberry and Iowa assistant coach Sherman Dillard were both in attendance to see Mullins play.

G-C junior guard Boston Willard got the rally started.

The team’s second leading scorer (11.3 points per game) and top 3-point shooter (55 percent), Willard missed his first three attempts from long range, the second of back-to-back makes cut Anderson’s lead to 37-33 with 1:37 left and were the final points of the third quarter.

The Willard triple started what became a 16-2 run, turning a seven-point late third-quarter deficit to a seven-point late fourth-quarter lead.

Mullins scored to open the fourth period and later got fouled and hit two free throws to tie the game, 37-37.

Anderson’s Javon Warfield scored and was fouled to give the lead back to the Indians, 39-37 with 6:40 to go, but he missed the free throw.

After the miss, Mullins came down and drained a 3-pointer near the volleyball line in front of the Cougars bench to give G-C the lead for good, 40-39 with 6:21 to go.

Anderson went over six minutes without a field goal. After Warfield gave the Indians the lead, Anderson didn’t score until 32 seconds left in the game, a bucket off a steal by 6-5 junior Damien King, who led his team with 24 points.

“It’s cliche’ and people make fun of me about it all time but, winners know why they win and we found a way,” Meredith said. “I didn’t come up with a great solution on the board. I put the board down. It’s ‘no quit, all grit.’ They had to find a way.

“We went 1-3-1 and that was [assistant coach Josh] Johnson’s adjustment as the defensive coordinator, but ultimately it was just our guys. We’ve been here before. We’ve been down seven in the third quarter at New Palestine. We’ve been down at Pendleton Heights in [double] overtime and down at Delta. For our guys, they could have easily folded.”

They didn’t, and this was a bigger test than New Pal, Pendleton and Delta. This was season-on-the-line stuff against Anderson, the school that has ended the Cougars season the last two years.

”If we weren’t 22-0 and didn’t have the caliber of kids we have in our program, that could’ve been ballgame, especially to a team that boat-raced us here two years ago, and last year — with the best team we’d had in 20-some years — we never had the lead one time in the game,” Meredith said. “For our guys, down seven in the third quarter, ‘Figure it out, fellas. Figure it out, that’s what we do. We win.”

Anderson was just 3 of 16 (18.8 percent) from the field in the fourth quarter.

For Greenfield-Central, Mullins had 13 of his game-high 26 in the final eight minutes. He was 5 of 6 from the field, 1 of 1 from 3-point range and hit 4 of 5 free throws.

After Mullins’ deep 3 gave the Cougars the lead, neither team scored until a reverse layup by G-C junior Dallas Freeman extended the lead to 42-39. Freeman had missed a pair of layups earlier. He hit another one after his shot got blocked to up the lead to five, 44-39 with 1:30 to go.

“Dallas misses a wide open layup and Braylon is right there telling him to go get the next one,” Meredith said of his team. “That’s who we are and who we’ve been and our culture. I’m just so proud of these kids.”

Following an Anderson foul and timeouts by both teams, Mullins took an inbound pass and went coast-to-coast for a layup and 46-39 advantage.

Following King’s bucket, Mullins answered just three seconds later, drew a foul, hit the free throw to give the Cougars a 49-41 lead with just 29 seconds to go.

“[Anderson] was sticking shots in that third quarter, hitting layups and we were having a lot of miscommunication,”Mullins said of the game prior to the Cougars’ 16-2 run. “It was hard to hear.

“On that transition, I saw Boston and he’s a 50-percent 3-point shooter. You have to trust your teammates and that’s what I did. He may have had under 10 points tonight, but he had some big shots.”

Greenfield-Central trailed by eight, 14-6, early in the second quarter before an 11-2 run gave the Cougars the lead for the first time since the middle of the first quarter. Mullins and Robertson each hit triples during the stretch. When Willard found Jake Hinton open for a layup, G-C led 17-16. A Mullins three-point play gave the Cougars a two-point lead, 20-18 with 2:41 remaining until halftime.

Anderson ended the half on a 6-2 run to take a 26-24 lead. King accounted for the six points on a pair of 3s. The last came right before the buzzer. He had 17 first-half points, including five 3-pointers. The Indians hit 6 of 11 first-half shots from beyond the arc. All 12 of Anderson’s first-quarter points came on 3-pointers.

G-C wasn’t having the same success. Typically a strong 3-point shooting team, the Cougars hit just 2 of 10 in the first two quarters. That changed in the second half, hitting 4 of 9 from deep.

It was the Cougars first sectional tournament win since a 2021 victory over New Palestine at Richmond’s Tiernan Center. The Cougars are looking for their first sectional title since 1998, when they won a Class 3A sectional at Shelbyville.

“I felt like the last two years [against Anderson] we fell apart in the second half,” Mullins said, of beating Anderson. “…It’s a good feeling [beating them]. They had a great team the last two years. When we saw the sectional draw this year it was different. We’re a better team and I feel like we showed that tonight, even though we were down in the third quarter. We were mentally tough at the end of the game.”

Willard finished the game with eight points and Robertson scored seven. For Anderson, Warfield was the game’s only other double-figure scorer with 15.

Greenfield-Central 50, Anderson 44



Greenfield-Central (23-0): Braden Robertson 3 0-0 7, Dallas Freeman 2 1-2 5, Jake Hinton 2 0-0 4, Braylon Mullins 8 7-11 26, Boston Willard 3 0-0 8, Cooper Robertson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 8-13 50.

Anderson (18-6): Javon Warfield 6 2-3 15, Damien King 8 2-2 24, Spencer Proctor 1 0-1 3, Louis Jackson 0 0-0 0, Collin Lewis 0 0-0 0, Christian Townsend 1 0-0 2, Aaron Morgan 0 0-0 0, Brandon Rogers 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 4-6 44.

3-point goals: Greenfield-Central 6 (Mullins 3, Willard 2, B. Robertson). Anderson 8 (King 6, Warfield, Proctor).