Efficient Greenfield Central team holds off Wildcats
By Tyler Whittamore, Sports Editor
GREENFIELD – The Franklin County varsity boys' basketball team did not play poorly in a trip to Greenfield Central High School on Friday night, February 9, but the Wildcats were still no match for the Cougars. The home team did everything well in the contest, and despite a third-quarter run by FC, Greenfield Central was a 63-49 winner.
The Cougars shot an impressive 20-39 (51 percent) from the field. Somehow, the team was even better from the free-throw line. Greenfield Central did not miss an attempt from the charity stripe until the final two minutes of the game. The Cougars finished the night shooting 20-of-23 (87 percent) on free throws.
Greenfield also took care of the ball all night long. The team had just two turnovers in the first half. The game ended with the Cougars giving up possession just six times.
“I knew GC had three starters back from last year, and they play in a very tough league,” FC head coach Eric Ebrens said. “Their schedule is pretty difficult, and they played with confidence tonight.”
There were two lead changes in the opening moments of the contest. A basket from GC's Will O'Connor gave the home team a 4-3 advantage, and the Cougars never trailed again. The first quarter ended with the home team leading by a 14-10 score.
In the second quarter, Greenfield managed to outscore the Wildcats, 16-9. Franklin County was held scoreless in the final 2:46 of the period. The Cougars scored the final eight points of the quarter, taking a 30-19 lead into halftime.
Franklin County made a couple runs at GC in the game, but the team's best chance came in the third quarter. The Wildcats outscored the home team, 11-4, in the first 5:45 of the third. A bucket from Dylan Little cut the lead to one, 34-33.
Unfortunately, the Wildcats went the next five-and-a-half minutes without scoring. The drought turned out to be too much for FC, as the Cougars extended the lead back to double digits at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
“We made a great run at it, but against good team like that you can't have a lapse like we did,” Coach Ebrens said. “They just made every free throw and kept us at arm's length the rest of the game.”
Greenfield's ability to hit free throws kept the home team firmly in control. The Cougars scored the final seven points of the game, earning the 14-point win.
GC's Matt Turner led all players with 18 points. Logan Graddy (15) and O'Connor (13) also scored in double digits for the home team. Brian Long led all players with 10 rebounds.
Two players scored in double figures for FC. Little recorded 13 points, while Clayton Spurlock scored 12 points on four made three-point shots.
The Wildcats were back in action the next night, hosting Switzerland County for Youth Night at FCHS.