For the Daily Journal
Greenwood boys basketball coach Bruce Hensley knew full well there was one way the Woodmen were going to compete with Franklin Central on Friday night.
“We knew going in we had to shoot the ball well, and we didn’t,” Hensley said. “On the other end, they did.
“It was culmination of that, and that just got us in such a hole early.”
Junior Grant Pedigo scored 18 points to lead a balanced attack as the Flashes blew by Greenwood 82-49 in the semifinals of the Class 4A Martinsville Sectional.
Franklin Central (17-6) will meet Franklin Community (17-6) in tonight’s 7:30 p.m. championship.
Leading 19-10 after the first quarter, the Flashes opened the second period with a 13-0 run to grab a 32-10 advantage. Justin Conley finally hit a 3-pointer to end the drought for the Woodmen (12-12).
Jake Cerbone sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Flashes a 42-20 halftime lead.
“We only had four turnovers at halftime,” Hensley said. “We got shots; we just didn’t make enough of them. They’re an awfully good team. Their length really bothered us. They kept us in front of them. We could get the ball in the lane but we couldn’t score up over them.
“That’s a tribute to them. They’re athletic. I think they’ll be a hard out.”
The Flashes expanded the lead to 62-34 by the end of three quarters and were able to rest their starters much of the final quarter.
Greenwood 6-foot-6 sophomore Jeffrey Reynolds was scoreless.
“The kid they put on Jeffrey is who you have to guard him,” Hensley said. “He was an athletic, big strong kid that could guard Jeffrey on the perimeter and still bother him around the rim.”
Conley led the Woodmen with 17 points, hitting four 3-pointers. Sophomore Max Raker added 13 points.
Conley was the only senior starter with four sophomores. It was also the final game for seniors Michael Bailey and Garrett Henderson.
“Those three seniors have given our program so much,” Hensley said. “We had great leadership from those three, and they gave us everything we needed. We had a young team that took to their leadership.
“Whatever success we have down the road in the next couple of years, and I hope it some and hopefully a lot, those seniors have contributed a lot to that. They were great leaders all year for us.”
Flashes coach John Rockey had the same pregame assessment as Hensley.
“I thought they had to shoot lights out to stay with us, and they didn’t do that. Maybe our defense had something to do with that,” Rockey said.
Rockey said the 6-foot-6 Pedigo played great after missing the final regular-season game.
“He was really crafty around the rim and finished,” Rockey said. “(Marcus) hit some shots and (Jimmy) Weinke runs the show. It was good they rested most of the fourth quarter.”
Burk scored 15 points and Weinke added 14 points. Eleven different players scored for Franklin Central. The Flashes were 12 of 16 from the free-throw line while the Woodmen were 7 of 13.
Rockey said he expects a tough game from the Grizzly Cubs.
“They’re a very good ball club,” Rockey said. “We have identical records, and we’re blue and white, it’s going to be a good showdown.
“I think it will be a pretty high score and it will come down to defense and rebounding, and hopefully we’ll do better than they did.”