The Greensburg boys basketball team knew what awaited them when the Pirates stepped onto the court at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Saturday.
It would take one of the most poised and fundamentally sound games of their careers for the Pirates to rise above what Bowman Academy was set to throw. The Eagles have always been known for thriving off of a trap defense that sends multiple defenders after the ball handler, and the Class 3A State Championship was no exception.
The week leading up to the game, Bowman head coach Marvin Rea said the Eagles wanted give Greensburg “32 minutes of hell.”
As it turned out, Bowman ended up chasing Greensburg around the court for most of the contest and found itself trailing 11-2 less than three minutes in. Senior guards Macy Holdsworth and Collin Rigney each hit a 3-pointer to get the Pirates going early.
Greensburg shot 3-for-8 (37.5 percent) on 3-pointers in the first half, but a scorching 9-for-13 (69 percent) in the second half. Junior Ryan Welage had seven points at halftime and senior Sean Sellers had six.
“We were going to attack their pressure, and I know that they want to attack us,” said Greensburg head coach Stacy Meyer. “With our guards and Sean getting to the middle of the floor, I felt we would get high percentage shots, but facing that an entire game has a wearing effect. We got caught a little bit looking up at the scoreboard protecting a lead. It puts you on your heels, and it doesn’t take anything. When they’re coming downhill at you, if you take one retreat dribble and pick it up, you’re dead. You can’t slow it down against them. They’re going to come out and get you. I thought there were segments, though, in the second half - especially there in the third quarter - where they were a little bit tired, and weren’t coming at us with those traps. We just wanted to execute with our passing to get open shots. We weren’t going to pass open shot up. How you beat pressure is you take pressure right back at them and we did.”