The Batesville Herald-Tribune
BATESVILLE — 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.
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.
With the help of six quick points by 6-foot-7 senior Aaron Brennan, along with four 3-pointers by 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 triple by senior Sean Sellers.
According to Meyer, 11 of Greensburg’s first 13 shot attempts were 3-pointers.
“They played very well,” said Meyer of the Golden Eagles. “We haven’t faced three bigs like that. They were the best we’ve faced all year. My disappointment was, we were not the assertive team at the beginning of the game. At the beginning, they were getting what they wanted at both ends. They did dictate, but these kids have been through the battles. They weathered the storm and made big plays.”
Pirate 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.
After overcoming their biggest deficit of the game, the Pirates maintained their composure by refusing to panic.
“I don’t think we really panicked. We just stuck with what we needed to do,” said Sellers. “Macy started knocking down shots, and Rig hit a couple. In the second half, we were able to get pretty good dribble penetration. It got a lot easier for us, and we kind of just relaxed and started playing our game more.”
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.
McIntosh noted that the experience of the team helped Greensburg fight off the Golden Eagles and prevail.
“I think our experience helped us the most,” he said. “Having nine seniors is certainly uncommon. We’ve been through a lot of battles. We’ve been through almost everything we possibly could be through a high school basketball season over the past couple years. That’s what it came down to, our experience, and just knowing that we could come back if we just kept chipping away at the lead.”
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.
Scoring by Quarters:
GC: 20 14 28 10 – 67
GB: 10 9 26 24 – 74
Greensburg scoring –
Total (74): Sellers 20, Holdsworth 16, Welage 17, McIntosh 15, Rigney 5, Lawrence 1.
3-pointers (8): Holdsworth 4, Sellers 2, McIntosh 1, Rigney 1.
Free throws (20-26): Sellers 8-9, Holdsworth 4-4, Welage 5-7, McIntosh 2-4, Lawrence 2-2.
Guerin Catholic scoring –
Total (67): Matt Holba 23, Christian Munson 18, Aaron Brennan 12, Chris Burrough 6, Whit Rapp 6, Nick Schneider 2.
3-pointers (6): Munson 6.
Free throws (5-6): Holba 3-4, Rapp 2-2.