South Decatur head coach Tom Black knew his team faced a tall challenge Saturday against the visiting Greensburg boys basketball team. The Cougars, having a fine season at 8-3, were hosting the Associated Press third-ranked Pirates in Class 3A.
Still, Black and his crew competed as well as any Pirate opponent has for most of Greensburg’s 66-34 win.
South, now 9-4, led Greensburg 10-9 after a low-scoring first quarter. Pirate sophomore Ryan Welage scored the first five points of the game. Junior Bryant McIntosh’s free throws put the Pirates up 7-0 before South senior Josh Miller answered with a basket. A pair of South seniors scored 10 straight points to climb ahead 10-9. Senior Jordan Hatton scored, and Cameron Agnew’s 3-pointer made it 9-7. Hatton then hit a fadeaway triple at the buzzer to put South on top for the first time.
Agnew extended it to 12-9 to start the second quarter before Greensburg put up an 8-0 run, leading 17-12. Agnew ended the run with a basket, but a Sellers trey, a McIntosh score and two Sellers free throws, gave Greensburg the first double-digit lead by either team. South senior Josh Miller, though, tipped in a basket at the buzzer to make it 24-16 at halftime.
Black believed that despite trailing by eight at the break, South was still weathering Pirate shooting and holding its own.
“Even at that point, they didn’t hit their three’s,” he said. “We hit a couple big shots early. We executed and ended possessions with shots. We still had good possessions.”
Greensburg (12-1) started to pull away in the third quarter, which turned into a game of spurts. Junior Collin Rigney began it with a 3-pointer, starting a 7-0 run. Balser and junior Taylor Kopplin, though, made it a single-digit game with back-to-back triples. South’s 11-0 run, fueled by two Agnew free throws and another Kopplin trey, pulled it to within four at 31-27 with 3:09 left in the third. Sellers, though, stopped the bleeding with a basket. McIntosh scored from short range to end the period leading 35-27.
Greensburg’s 13-1 run to start the final eight minutes ended the suspense. Rigney deposited two more 3-balls, making it 43-28 with 6:23 left. A full timeout by South did not ease the pain. Four straight Sellers free throws, and one by senior Shane Ploeger, opened up a 20-point lead at 48-28 with 5:43 left.
Kopplin answered again with another triple, but three more McIntosh scores and a triple by junior Macy Holdsworth highlighted the Pirates’ 31-7 fourth quarter edge.
Greensburg head coach Stacy Meyer was pleased with his team’s second-half intensity.
“It’s good to see what we worked on in practice this week come into play, and that’s defending and rebounding,” said Meyer.
Sellers finished with a game-high 20 points and added eight rebounds. He shot 13-for-14 from the foul line to lead his team’s 21-for-28 effort. Sellers shot 7-for-8 in the fourth quarter alone. McIntosh followed with 16 points, while Welage scored 13.
Other GB scoring: Rigney 9, Holdsworth 3, Riley Billieu 2, Tom Lawrence 2, Tyler Burcham 1, Ploeger 1.
“Shane Ploeger and Burcham did a great job when we needed them off the bench,” said Meyer.
Agnew led South with 12 points. Kopplin’s trio of triples accounted for his 12, while Hatton scored six. Miller added four and Balser scored three. South hit 4-for-10 from the foul line.
Greensburg, now ranked second in this week’s AP Class 3A poll, next travels to South Dearborn Friday and hosts Lawrenceburg Saturday for conference games.
“We have two big games against conference opponents next weekend, and that will be a good test for us,” said Meyer.
South next hosts Hauser Friday for a conference game.
Pirate JV boys win first game
The Greensburg boys junior varsity team won the earlier game 51-23. The Pirates outscored the Cougars in each quarter but the fourth, leading 15-7 after the first and 31-11 at halftime. Greensburg extended the lead to 43-14 after three.
Drew Foster had a big game for the Pirates, scoring a game-high 21 points. Foster shot 5-for-5 from the foul line and added a pair of 3-pointers.
Tom Lawrence and Brad Wilson each followed with six points. Tye Fleetwood scored five points, while Kevin Beaver and Riley Burkert each added four. Josiah Buell tallied three and Bryce Bennett chipped in two.
Nick Schwering led South with seven points, including a 3-pointer. Brayden Helms scored five and David Mize scored three, each hitting a triple. Adding two apiece were Randall Canady, Myles Lewellyn, Nick Grissom and Quintin Norman.
Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.