Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

March 24, 2014

SEMI-STATE CHAMPIONS!!!

Pirates rally for back-to-back state berths

Nick Gonnella
Greensburg Daily News

Richmond — The word ‘panic’ is not in the Greensburg boys basketball team’s dictionary.

The way the top-ranked Pirates stared adversity in the face and erased a double-digit deficit against Guerin Catholic in the Richmond Semi-State Saturday has defined their season. Greensburg knew a victory meant a second consecutive berth in the state championship and a return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse next weekend.

In Greensburg’s 74-67 win over the second-ranked Golden Eagles at Tiernan Center, head coach Stacy Meyer yet again saw his team overcome a multiple-possession margin when a championship was at stake.

“There was never a big-time panic,” said Greensburg’s eighth-year head coach.

Greensburg, now 27-1 and winner of 14 straight, outmatched a tall and physical starting lineup that gave the Pirates problems early.

“They played very well,” said Meyer. “We haven’t faced three bigs like that. They were the best we’ve faced all year.”

With the help of four 3-pointers by Guerin sophomore Christian Munson, the Golden Eagles jumped out to leads of 20-10 and 29-16. Greensburg scored the first points of the game on a 3-pointer by senior Sean Sellers.

However, senior Macy Holdsworth stepped up with a pair of triples late in the first half to make it a single-digit game, 29-24, which was the halftime score.

Greensburg succeeded in staying tough on defense in the second half and applied full-court pressure to limit Guerin to 10 fourth-quarter points. After being outscored 28-26 in the third quarter, the Pirates took the fourth-quarter edge 24-10 with a clinic at the foul line. Aided by big triples by senior Collin Rigney and Bryant McIntosh (whose triple tied the game at 61-all), Sellers, Holdsworth, McIntosh, Welage and senior Tom Lawrence combined to shoot 18-for-22 (82 percent) in the second half.

Sellers led Greensburg with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Welage followed with 17, while Holdsworth made four triples for 16 points. McIntosh scored 15, Rigney scored five and Lawrence chipped in one off the bench.

Greensburg shot 20-for-26 from the foul line and 8-for-19 from the 3-point arc. The Pirates shot 57 percent (23-for-40) from the field.

Junior Matt Holba led all scorers with 23 points. Munson followed with 18, while senior Aaron Brennan added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Whit Rapp chipped in six points and added four assists, after being held out of practice all week as a game-time decision with a hip injury.

Guerin (22-4) shot 54.9 percent from the field and 5-for-6 from the foul line. The Golden Eagles shot 6-for-12 from 3-point range, all from Munson.

Greensburg will face Bowman Academy Saturday for the Class 3A State Championship at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pirates will tip off against the third-ranked Eagles at 6 p.m.

More coverage and photos will be published online throughout the weekend, and in Tuesday’s print edition.

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