Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

December 29, 2013

Hall of Fame Champions!!

Pirates capture first ever Hall Classic title

Nick Gonnella
Greensburg Daily News

New Castle — The Greensburg boys basketball team soaked in the atmosphere at New Castle’s Chrysler Fieldhouse Saturday and battled in its second major tournament in six months.

The defending Class 3A State champion Pirates overcame an eight-point deficit and knocked off Class 4A’s seventh-ranked Columbus North, 65-59, in front of a large crowd that made the trip from Decatur County. Mt. Vernon (Fortville) defeated Evansville Harrison 70-53 in the consolation of the City Securities Hall of Fame Classic.

Columbus North fell to 5-2 on the season.

Greensburg, now 9-0, became the 31st different team to win the Boys Classic. The Pirates outscored the Bull Dogs 23-10 in the second quarter to go into halftime leading 37-32.

On his way to an MVP performance, senior Bryant McIntosh scored a game-high 18 points in the first half. The Northwestern University bound McIntosh described how it felt to return to the gymnasium where his basketball passion grew.

“It’s a phenomenal feeling,” said McIntosh. “I don’t know how to put it into words. To come back to the town that I grew up in and represent the community, it’s a dream come true.”

Greensburg’s lead grew to 10 three minutes into the third quarter, but the Bull Dogs tied it at 49-all at the third stop.

However, McIntosh – and hustle plays by numerous teammates – lifted the Pirates back up for good. A team effort from junior Ryan Welage and seniors Collin Rigney, Sean Sellers, Macy Holdsworth and Tom Lawrence, helped the Pirates finish off the Bull Dogs and capture their first ever Hall of Fame championship.

“Definitely, down the stretch, we did what we needed to do to win,” said Sellers. “We played pretty well. It’s a great tournament. A ton of people, a great atmosphere. It’s a really neat tournament. Personally, for me, it’s an honor to be on the All-Classic team, but for the team, it’s even better because it prepares us for big games coming up.”

McIntosh led all scorers with a season high 27 points on 10-for-18 shooting and 6-for-7 from the foul line. He added three assists. Welage followed with 13 points and six rebounds. Holdsworth scored 10 points and tallied two assists, while Sellers added eight points and six rebounds. Rigney chipped in seven points.

Senior Tom Lawrence contributed three rebounds, two shot blocks and a recovery of a loose ball that saved a late Pirate possession. The hustle play led to a pair of Welage free throws to help seal the win.

Greensburg shot 10-for-15 from the foul line.

McIntosh, held to three points in the semifinal, described the importance of the victory.

“We played a phenomenal game,” said McIntosh. “This is a great test for us, to show the state what we’re about, what Greensburg basketball is, and what we can do.”

Head coach Stacy Meyer was wary of the offensive threats that Columbus North’s post players posed. Elliott Welmer, a 6-foot-9 senior, and Josh Speidel, a 6-foot-8 junior, combined for 18 first-quarter points.

“They were pounding it inside,” said Meyer. “Before the game, that was my biggest fear. We switched to a 2-3 zone in the second half. I thought it got them standing around, so it was effective for us.”

Welmer finished with 19 points to lead the Bull Dogs. Speidel scored 15. Senior Christian Glass scored 10 points.

Meyer afterward reflected on the valuable experience his team gained.

“We’re so thankful for being invited,” he said. “Our kids represented our school well. It was a total team win.”

A full story with more coverage and statistics will be published online and in Tuesday’s print edition of the Daily News.

Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.