By Nick Gonnella Daily News
Greensburg Daily News
---- — In an unusual change of venue for the boys basketball season opener Tuesday night, North Decatur hosted Greensburg in Greensburg’s gymnasium.
A well-attended crowd watched Class 3A’s top-ranked Pirates defeat a young Charger squad 96-29.
North head coach Kyle Nobbe started five sophomores – Dayne Lecher, Andrew Hocker, Evan Wallpe, Donovan Meyer and Luke Badgley.
In contrast, Greensburg started four seniors – Macy Holdsworth, Bryant McIntosh, Collin Rigney and Sean Sellers – and junior Ryan Welage.
The defending state champions challenged the Chargers from the opening tip.
The Tree City rivals exchanged scores to start the season, with Greensburg senior Macy Holdsworth hitting an inside basket. North’s first and only lead of the night came off the hands of Lecher, who buried a 3-pointer to make it 3-2. After a Sellers free throw, the Pirates went ahead for the rest of the game when McIntosh scored on a steal. Greensburg ran off nine straight points before Lecher hit a pair of free throws, 14-5. Fueling the spurt were two 3-pointers by Rigney.
The Pirates led 25-5 after the first quarter as all five starters scored. Meanwhile, Lecher scored the Chargers’ first seven points. Greensburg used a 40-point second quarter and a 28-0 run to put the game out of reach, and most of the Pirate starters played less than three quarters.
A personal milestone for North sophomore Arek Holloway, halted the Pirate outburst. Holloway made it 63-11 near the end of the half with his first career varsity points.
Highlighting Greensburg’s second quarter were slam dunks from McIntosh and Sellers, a pair of treys each by Sellers and Rigney.
Wallpe stepped up for the Chargers in the fourth quarter, scoring all of his seven points in the final eight minutes.
Scoring his first career varsity points for Greensburg was senior Bryce Bennett, hitting a second-half triple. Senior Brad Wilson’s six points boosted his team’s bench.
Sellers led all scorers with 20 points, including four 3-pointers. Welage finished with 18 points. McIntosh followed with 17, including 11 in the second quarter. Wilson scored a career-high 14, including eight in the second half. Rigney hit a quartet of triples for 12 points. Sophomore Drew Foster added five points. Bennett scored three; Holdsworth, Burkert and Tom Lawrence each scored two, while senior Tye Fleetwood chipped in one.
The Pirates made 10 triples on the night and shot 8-for-15 from the foul line.
Lecher led North with 10 points, including both Charger 3-pointers. Wallpe scored nine, while Holloway and sophomore Landon Crites each scored four. It marked Crites’ first career points. Badgley, facing tough defensive assignments all night, followed with two points.
North shot 11-for-12 from the foul line. Wallpe shot 3-for-4, Lecher shot 4-4; Badgley and Holloway each shot 2-for-2.
The Greensburg junior varsity squad won the first game 41-26. Drew Foster led all scorers with 15 points. Peyton Buening and Chandler Deaton each scored seven, while Alex Pokrzywinski scored four. Adding three apiece were Kevin Beaver and Jaden Smith (one trey each), while Spencer Burkert chipped in two.
Leading North was Derek Hocker with seven points (one triple). Ben Kinker hit a pair of triples for six, while Cory Fasbinder and Ignacio Martinez each scored four (one triple each). Landon Crites scored three, while Kyle Kramer chipped in two.
Greensburg next travels to South Dearborn Saturday for the conference opener, while North Decatur hosts Milan.
Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.