For the Daily Journal
The word of the night was resilience. Greenwood girls basketball coach Bill Torgerson emphasized it, and both teams had it in an up-and-down game against host Greenfield-Central on Thursday night.
Despite building an early 13-point lead in the first half, Greenwood stood its ground in the closing minutes to fend off the Cougars for a 51-45 win.
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“That is the exact word I used in the locker room,” Torgerson said after his team improved to 2-0 on the season. “We had some really big shots.”
The most crucial of Greenwood’s 19 field goals spun off the fingers of junior forward Alex Kincaid with 2:29 left in the game to put the Woodmen back in control 46-40. Prior to Kincaid’s 3-pointer, Greenfield-Central had clawed within three points — the smallest margin since the first quarter.
Another 3-pointer from junior Bailee Taft with 1:12 remaining provided enough of a cushion to spoil Greenfield-Central’s season-opener under new head coach Joshua Means.
The Cougars (0-1) led 9-3 early, but a 19-0 run put Greenwood up for good.
The Woodmen had three players finish in double figures. Taft scored a team-high 13 points, while Leah Moore chipped in 11 points and Kincaid had 10.
The Cougars racked up eight turnovers in the first quarter and 15 in the first half while Greenwood pulled ahead 22-9 early in the second half.
“You take that four minutes out, and we win the basketball game,” Means said. “We just have to avoid those little four minute spurts where we turn the ball over and give up layups.”
An 8-2 run to close the first half by Greenfield-Central cut the deficit to 24-17. In the third quarter, the Woodmen’s lead shrank to three points after a Jessica Farrell putback with 6:29 in the frame.
Greenwood responded, though, with an 8-0 run to build another 11-point lead.
“I feel like we keep finding crazy ways to win, which doesn’t make you super confident,” Torgerson said. “I’m just the kind of person that always sees all that we have to work on all the time. But I’m also trying to appreciate the fact that we made plays to win, and maybe we’ll keep doing that.”