GREENFIELD — The Greenfield-Central Cougars opened up their annual Greenfield-Central Holiday Classic with a 47-29 victory against the Hauser Jets on Wednesday night.
Despite an opening 17-2 run by the Cougars, the Jets kept charging back and made sure the game would be a competitive one.
“We’ve done a great job playing hard this year,” Cougars coach Josh Means said afterwards. “The next step is to play smart and hard at the same time, and we’re getting closer to being able to do that.”
The Cougars continued life without two of its senior captains, Brittany Wheeler and Jessica Farrell, but younger members of the team are beginning to step up while still getting leadership from the upperclassmen that are suited up.
Sophomore guard Hannah Farrell scored eight of her 12 points in the first quarter to help push the Cougars out to a 17-2 lead to begin the game.
“She’s an all-state player and an all-state kid who really has the desire to be great,” Means said.
The Jets would not go away without a fight, however, as they scored the next 12 points to bring their deficit down to just three points. At the start of the second quarter it was Nichole Paetzel who provided her own personal 6-0 run to cut the lead down to three.
“Our bench really stepped up when we got in that hole, but I think we got tired after coming back and just couldn’t get back into it,” said Jets assistant coach Ruben Martinez, who spoke for varsity coach Bradford Hamilton due to a strained voice.
Unfortunately for the Jets, that was as close as they would get the rest of the way.
Greenfield-Central was able to push its lead back up to 10 at halftime and to 20 by the end of the third quarter behind freshman Addison Hill. Hill would finish with a team-leading 14 points.
“She’s been one of our hardest working players,” Means said. “So to see her contribute more with some of our injuries is nice.”
Junior Kate Real, who impressed Means despite an off-shooting night, also contributed nine points on three 3-pointers.
“Kate has really stepped up as a leader with Jess (Farrell) and Brittany (Wheeler) out; even when her shots aren’t falling her body language keeps the team motivated.”
Both varsity teams will play two games tomorrow to complete the round-robin tournament. The Cougars will play Herron at noon and Winchester at 7:30 p.m. The Jets will play Winchester at 1:30 p.m. and Herron at 6 p.m.
Greenfield-Central 47, Hauser 29
GREENFIELD-CENTRAL (5-10): Hill 5 4-4 14, H. Farrell 4 4-9 12, Real 3 0-0 9, McIntire 3 0-1 6, Peterson 1 2-2 4, Weidner 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17 10-16 47.
HAUSER (2-11): Asher 3 0-0 9, Paetzel 4 0-0 8, Sims 1 3-4 5, Tedder 2 0-2 4, Hadley 0 2-2 2, Henderson 0 1-3 1, Starnes 0 0-1 0. Totals: 10 6-12 29.
3-pointers: GC 3 (Real 3), Hauser 3 (Asher 3). Rebounds: GC 20 (Farrell, McIntire, Peterson 4, Hill 3, Rosemeyer 2, Bradley, Real, Weidner 1), HHS 21 (Tedder 7, Hadley, Henderson, Paetzel 3, Ault, Sims 2, Fugate 1).