After a rough first three quarters, Greenwood’s fourth quarter comeback Tuesday night fell one 3-pointer short.
Holly Hoopingarner had scored 15 of her 37 points in the fourth quarter for the Woodmen (8-4), who have lost three in a row. Hoopingarner sank a 3-pointer with about seven seconds left to slice the lead to 67-66.
Rushville’s Allie Smith made one of two free throws with 3.2 seconds left, and Hoopingarner raced to get off the final shot.
The Woodmen senior guard missed a final 3-pointer at the buzzer in a 68-66 loss to Rushville in girls high school basketball action.
“I thought Hoopingarner was incredible,” said Lions coach Melissa Marlow, whose team improved to 3-8.
“We’ve not done a good job in the fourth quarter. We’ve let some games go, and I thought our kids really stepped up and produced what needed to be done. I thought the kids had composure (Tuesday night) and determination.”
The Woodmen had to battle back the entire game, trailing after each quarter.
The biggest advantage was the third quarter when the Lions (3-8) held a 18-12 advantage to take 49-41 lead.
Greenwood coach Lee Taft was called for technical foul with 5.2 seconds left in the third quarter, protesting a fourth foul being called on senior forward Megan Overton.
Overton and Maddy Renfro both fouled out for the Woodmen, and several other players were in foul trouble.
“Some people got us in foul trouble pretty early — I’m not saying who,” Taft said. “We had to battle a lot more than Rushville.”
Taft was choosing his words carefully but clearly was frustrated.
“We hit some key shots,” Taft said. “We rushed some shots when we didn’t have to. We broke down a little bit offensively. Holly hit some big shots. We needed someone to break down their defenders, and we didn’t do it enough. Holly was able to do that. Jae (Taft) made a couple of moves to get in there, and Alex (Kincaid) made some hard drives. We didn’t get to the line, and they did.”
The Lions hit 23 of 36 free throws, while Greenwood was 12 of 17.
“Defensively, we’ve got a lot of adjustments to make,” Taft said. “We’re got to move our feet a lot better. We have to read plays earlier. We’ve got to make sure we see what is going to happen. If someone penetrates, we’ve got to know where to rotate. We have to keep our focus more. Early in the year, we could hang our hat on we closed people out very well defensively.”
Smith led the Lions’ balanced attack with 15 points.
The Woodmen host Franklin on Friday night.
“We’ve just got to go back to the drawing board and keep working,” Taft said. “What made us tough up to this point is we did defend hard and we’re losing our way a little bit.”