By Nick Gonnella Daily News
Greensburg Daily News
---- — The Greensburg boys basketball team opened the 2013 City Securities Hall of Fame Classic Saturday with a 48-37 win over Mt. Vernon (Fortville) Saturday at New Castle’s Chrysler Fieldhouse.
The game matched the Pirates up against the Marauders (now in Class 4A), nine months after Greensburg beat Mt. Vernon by 25 in the Semi-State.
The Marauders (2-5) were unable to slow the Pirates with their methodical, half-court tempo in March, but they limited the state champions to 24 halftime points Saturday. Senior Sean Sellers, though, stepped up in the second half and led Greensburg to a win and the Classic Championship against Class 4A Columbus North. The seventh-ranked Bulldogs beat Evansville Harrison 82-64 in the second semifinal game.
“Teams take away our strengths,” said Sellers of the first-half lull. “I was trying not to force anything, just trying to stay patient and get into a rhythm.”
Sellers’ perseverance paid off as he scored the first five points of the second half, and nine in the third quarter. His 3-pointer, then a slam dunk, gave Greensburg a 10-point lead at 29-19 with 6:17 left in the third. He added a rebound basket before the Marauders ever got into the second-half scoring ledger.
Two quick fouls by senior CJ Coleman, who missed the first five games with a suspension, sent Sellers to the foul line. Following Sellers’ pair of free throws, Welage hit a layup to make it 35-20 with 1:51 left in the third.
The Marauders climbed to within four points on seven straight by Coleman, a run that spanned the third-quarter stop. Senior Collin Rigney, though, hit a big pair of triples and Welage added a 3-point play to make it a double-digit margin again.
Greensburg had trailed 11-10 after the first quarter. Senior Macy Holdsworth put the Pirates up for good with a triple, making it 13-11 with 5:50 left in the half. Rigney then scored off a steal, and Sellers answered a Mt. Vernon trey with an alley-oop slam.
A 3-point play by Welage and two more Sellers foul shots gave the Pirates a 24-19 lead at the break.
Senior Bryant McIntosh tallied just three points and two assists, but was appreciative of the efforts from his teammates.
“It’s not just a one- or two-person show,” said McIntosh. “We fought hard. Mt. Vernon is a good team and has good shooters.”
Sellers finished with a game-high 17 points, shooting 5-for-7 overall and 6-for-6 from the foul line. He grabbed seven rebounds and blocked a shot. Welage followed with 12 points and five rebounds.
Rigney scored eight points and tallied six rebounds, while Holdsworth added five points and a team-high four assists. Senior Tom Lawrence chipped in a 3-pointer.
“It was another total team game for us,” said Greensburg head coach Stacy Meyer. “Rigney had two big three’s. Ryan did a nice job inside. Tom Lawrence gave us some good minutes. We got contributions from everyone.”
Coleman led his team with 15 points. Erick Shepherd followed with 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Greensburg out-rebounded Mt. Vernon 24-23, and each team committed eight turnovers.
The Pirates shot 11-for-13 (84.6 percent) from the foul line and 16-for-35 from the floor (45.7 percent).
Mt. Vernon shot 9-for-14 (64 percent) from the line and just 13-for-38 from the floor (34.2).
Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.