After losing a couple sizeable leads earlier in the game, the Greenwood boys basketball had Plainfield locked in a tie game midway through the fourth quarter.
But the Woodmen couldn’t finish.
Plainfield hit 23 of 24 free throws and used an 18-5 run in the final 4:06 to take a 63-50 victory against the visiting Woodmen in Friday night’s Mid-State Conference clash.
“That’s where you have to rely on your defense,” Greenwood coach Bruce Hensley said. “And we just don’t understand that.”
After Greenwood junior Jaren Hornbeak hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 45-all, the Quakers (4-11) hit 13 of 14 free throws to help key their game-closing run and snap Greenwood’s two-game winning streak.
In the aftermath, Hensley had a challenge for the Woodmen.
“One of the things I told them is, ‘How are you going to react from this?’ Athletics is about handling adversity, and we didn’t handle it very well tonight,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll handle it better (tonight).
“Hopefully, it’ll motivate us.”
The veteran coach gets another chance to see how Greenwood responds when it travels to Greenfield-Central for a 7:30 p.m. tip today.
Greenwood (3-11) lost sizable leads in the second (12 points) and third (eight points) quarters, at times when it had chances to cushion its margin.
“We still struggle with handling adversity,” Hensley said. “As soon as the game kind of started going the other way a little bit, instead of pulling together, we started pulling apart. That’s kind of how we’ve been affected a lot this year.”
Greenwood led 21-9 midway through the second quarter.
But Plainfield freshman Max Kurkowski, who finished with 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting, drilled a couple of 3-pointers to help lead a 12-4 run, leaving Greenwood with just a 25-21 halftime lead.
The Woodmen responded in the third quarter, taking a late 40-32 lead before the Quakers rattled off six free throws.
“We had a couple of times there where we had a chance to kind of get control of the game, and we just kind of relaxed, especially on the defensive end,” Hensley said.
Hornbeak scored a game-high 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Senior Raddell Waddy hit a trio of 3-pointers in the third quarter and finished with 15 points.
Bobby Jensen added 16 points for Plainfield, which outrebounded the Woodmen 33-19 and had more bench points (18-8).
The Woodmen made just 4 of 11 field goals in a defensive first quarter, holding a 9-7 lead.
Their offense regrouped to start the second quarter, hitting 6 of 10 field goals and taking a 21-9 lead with 4:40 left in the first half.