Greensburg Daily News
Greensburg — The Greensburg boys basketball team brought their ‘A-game’ to the Class 3A State Championship, leading from start to finish in an 89-76 win Saturday over Bowman Academy.
Greensburg clinched back-to-back state championships by putting on an offensive clinic against Bowman’s in-your-face trap defense. The Eagles pressed from the opening possession after Greensburg won the opening tip. However, Pirate seniors Macy Holdsworth and Collin Rigney put their team on top with 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to start the game.
Greensburg (28-1) displayed its best passing game of the season, and as a result, set a state finals record in Class 3A with 89 points. The Pirates scored their first five baskets off assists, building a 13-4 lead less than halfway into the first quarter. Greensburg seniors Sean Sellers answered a late 4-0 Eagle run with a slam dunk, and the Pirates led 22-15 after the first eight minutes. Welage led all scorers with seven and Sellers added six. College prospect Davon Dillard, a Bowman junior, led the Eagles with six.
“Our kids executed real well early on the offensive end,” said Greensburg head coach Stacy Meyer. “It just comes down to, will we knock down shots, and we did.” The Pirates also tallied seven assists in the first period, on their way from a state finals record 25 assists.
Greensburg continued its assault from the 3-point line as Rigney’s second trey made it 25-15, assisted by Sellers. Bowman (22-5) went on a 7-2 run to make it a 5-point game, 27-22. Sellers, though, went to work on the boards to open the scoring again. Welage scored twice off assists by McIntosh to fuel a 7-0 Pirate run. Greensburg’s lead fluctuated between six and 10 points the rest of the half. The Pirates withstood six points from senior Austin Daniels, and then closed the first half on a 5-2 run.
The third quarter proved to be the battle that spectators expected. Bowman opened with a 4-0 run, but another Holdsworth triple gave his team an 8-point cushion. The teams exchanged scores three times in the next three minutes until a trey by senior Tom Lawrence, the Pirates’ sixth man, put Greensburg back up by eight at 56-48.
The Pirates’ attack from the perimeter proved to maintain their distance from the Eagles. Seeing his team’s lead trimmed to four, Rigney drained another trey with 2:19 left on an assist by Lawrence.
Greensburg closed the third quarter on an 8-0 run. Welage, Sellers and McIntosh each scored two, with McIntosh hitting a jumper to end the third at 66-54.
Rigney was far from finished, but so were the Eagles. Although Bowman scored just three points in the first 2:21 of the final quarter, the Eagles managed to get within single digits. Rigney hit three more triples within a two-minute span to spark an 18-3 Pirate run. It signaled Greensburg’s largest lead of the game, 76-57, with 5:39 left. Holdsworth assisted on the first trey, while McIntosh dished to Rigney on the next two.
Haggard answered right back with a trey to fuel a 5-0 Bowman run. Sellers, though, scored four straight to lift the Pirates back up by 18 at 80-62. Lawrence matched his team’s biggest lead with a free throw, making it 81-62 with 4:09 left. That’s when Bowman began its rally. The Eagles scored 10 straight points to cut the lead down to single digits with 2:09 left. King shot 4-for-4 from the line, while Cole and King added scores to make it 81-72.
The Pirates edged Bowman 8-4 the rest of the way to eliminate the Eagles, with Sellers shooting 3-for-4 from the line to close it out.
Sellers led all scorers with 27 points and 16 rebounds. Rigney followed with 23 points, including a 7-for-10 night from the 3-point arc. Welage scored 21 points and shot 9-for-13 from the field. McIntosh scored eight points, but dished out a game-high 11 assists. Holdsworth tallied six points and four assists, while Lawrence chipped in four points off the bench.
Dillard led Bowman with 21 points, shooting 10-for-20. Daniels shot 7-for-13 for 14 points, Cole scored 12 and Haggard and King each added 11.
Bowman forced 22 turnovers, well above the Pirates’ average. The Eagles scored 17 points off turnovers. Meyer said Monday’s practice started with eight players on the court against Greensburg’s starters to simulate the Eagle press.
“I wanted them to be thrown into the fire,” said Meyer of Bowman’s defense. “Give our second group and the junior varsity players credit. You can’t slow it down against them. They’re going to get you. We were going to attack their pressure.”
After the game, Holdsworth was presented with the prestigious Arthur L. Trester Mental Attitude award. Holdsworth, a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council, ranks seventh in his senior class of 135 students with a 3.9 GPA. The four-year basketball starter is set to start a fourth year for Greensburg baseball this spring.
The Pirates achieved trifecta of goals: a Hall of Fame Classic championship, a conference championship, and a repeat as state champions.
Greensburg capped a 77-3 run (96 percent) in the past three seasons; the Pirates were 92-11 (89 percent) in the past four.
For the second straight season, Greensburg finishes with the best winning percentage in the state regardless of Class affiliation.
More coverage and photos will be published online, as well as in Tuesday’s print edition of the Daily News.
Scoring by Quarters:
GB: 22 22 22 23 – 89
BA: 15 20 19 22 – 76
Greensburg scoring –
Total (89): Sellers 27, Rigney 23, Welage 21, McIntosh 8, Holdsworth 6, Lawrence 4.
3-pointers (12): Rigney 7, Holdsworth 2, McIntosh 2, Lawrence 1.
Free throws (15-23): Sellers 11-13, Welage 3-7, Lawrence 1-2.
Bowman Academy scoring –
Total (76): Davon Dillard 21, Austin Daniels 14, Anthony Cole 12, Arthur Haggard III 11, Justin King 11, Darrion Riddle 4, Raynard Perry 3.
3-pointers (4): Haggard III 3, Dillard 1.
Free throws (8-13): King 5-6, Cole 2-3, Perry 1-2.
Contact Nick Gonnella (812) 663-3111, x7003.