The Edinburgh-Greenwood Christian Academy boys basketball series doesn’t have much a past, but a promising future seems unavoidable.
Johnson County’s two Class A programs, playing for only the fourth time, got together Friday night with the visiting Cougars prevailing, 81-69.
Junior swingman Payton Modlin led four players in double-figures for Greenwood Christian with 20 points. Senior guard Kegan Owen tacked on 17 and sophomores Andrew Anderson and Champ McCorkle 12 and 10, respectively.
It was a battle of contrasting styles with Greenwood Christian’s desire to make it a full-court game winning out.
“We definitely wanted to speed up the pace of the game,” Cougars coach Jonny Marlin said. “We feel like we’re a team that likes to get out and run. Most games we don’t trap the entire game, but this game we decided to full-court press the entire game.
“I thought we got the pace in our favor. At first I don’t think we reacted to how physical Edinburgh was going to be. This was huge. We thought that Edinburgh has played some really tough teams and that they’re a strong team that just causes problems for teams.”
Initially, the game was being controlled by Edinburgh as it bolted to an 8-2 lead.
A 12-2 scoring run to close the opening quarter, keyed by triples from McCorkle and Owen, pushed Greenwood Christian out in front, 14-8, through one period. The Cougars then sank four 3-pointers in the second to lead 32-19 at the 3:02 mark.
The Cougars led, 39-32, at the half, but it was the Lancers’ Bryce Burton with the shot of the game as he football-passed a 70-footer off the glass and in with time expiring.
Until that point, the Cougars had begun to take control.
Backup forward Andrew Anderson converted a 3-point sequence with a free throw with 1.6 seconds showing. It’s here Edinburgh inbounded to Burton, who spun and threw.
Any momentum the Lancers looked to have was squelched by Greenwood Christian Academy scoring the first three hoops of the third period. The Cougars eventually built its lead as high as 18 points (64-46) at 5:51 of the fourth, but Edinburgh got it as close as seven at 73-66.
Greenwood Christian scored the next eight points, six at the free throw line. For the game, the Cougars forced the Lancers into 20 turnovers while committing 15 themselves.
Senior center Christian Cox led Edinburgh with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Coltan Henderson added 17. Forward Justin Fosskuhl and Burton added 12 apiece in the loss.