Greenwood boys basketball coach Bruce Hensley hadn’t spent much time entertaining the idea that Tuesday night was going to be perhaps the final game of his 28-year career.
Following a 60-46 loss to host Franklin Central in the opening round of Class 4A sectional play, the fact that it was over still hadn’t fully registered.
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“You don’t have time to think about that,” Hensley said. “You’re just trying to get ready for this game like you always would. It may hit me tomorrow or whatever, but I was just trying to get prepared for the game. If anything, I feel bad for the kids, especially the seniors, because the effort they gave, I thought, was really good.”
That effort wasn’t enough on this particular night for the Woodmen, who finish the year with an 11-13 record.
Franklin Central put together an 11-2 surge late in the first quarter to give itself an early 16-10 edge, and the Flashes stretched that lead out to nine toward the end of the half before a basket down low by Braydon Kincaid helped Greenwood cut it to 29-22 heading into the break.
The game started to get away from the Woodmen in the third. Franklin Central scored the first six points of the quarter to go up by double digits, and a 3-pointer by Adam Green at the 3:18 mark put Greenwood in a 40-24 hole. A Jeffrey Reynolds dunk off a lob from Kincaid provided a brief lift, but after another 3 by Green just before the buzzer, the Flashes were sitting on a comfortable 47-29 advantage.
The Woodmen made a last-ditch comeback bid in the final period, forcing some turnovers and reeling off eight straight points to trim the deficit to 55-44, but Green’s fourth 3-pointer of the night slowed the momentum and Greenwood never got any closer.
Greenwood has four starters coming back for another season, but even for the returning Woodmen there was an urgency Friday that the team was unable to channel into a win.
“We were definitely pulling for him,” Kincaid said. “This whole game was for him, this whole last end of the season since he announced it was for him. It sucks that we couldn’t pull through, but I think he’s happy with how we played.”
Kincaid led all scorers with 19 points in defeat, and Reynolds added 10 points for the Woodmen. Grant Pedigo scored 14 points to pace four Franklin Central players in double digits.
“It’s not the way you want to end, but I thought our kids competed really well,” Hensley said. “We played together. We just came up a little short.”