The Greenwood boys basketball team gave veteran coach Bruce Hensley some tense moments Tuesday night, in part by losing a big lead.
But the Woodmen held on in the fourth quarter to defeat visiting Indian Creek, 54-50, behind junior Jaren Hornbeak’s game-high 24 points.
After starting the season 0-9, Greenwood has won seven of its last 10 games. But Hensley wants the team to clean up its play before sectional play begins next week.
“We played very well at stretches, and we just played really poorly at stretches,” Hensley said. “Mentally, we just made a lot of mistakes tonight.”
Greenwood (7-12) led 24-7 early in the second quarter, but the Braves went on a 23-7 run to pull within a point late in the third quarter.
“We get to a big lead, and we just don’t handle it right,” Hensley said.
Indian Creek (10-9) regrouped with the help of a couple of freshmen, finishing the second quarter with a 19-4 spurt and trailing 28-26 at halftime.
Freshman Cameron Smith scored 10 of his team-high 19 points in the second quarter. Classmate Gynson Robley came off the bench and added six points in the second.
“What I was proud of was the comeback on the road,” Indian Creek coach Derek Perry said. “Greenwood is a good team. Defensively, they are one of the better teams we’ve played. They try to take you out of what you do offensively. And they did a good job.”
Clutching a 31-30 lead late in the third quarter, Greenwood needed a spark.
And Hornbeak delivered.
He scored six straight points to help the Woodmen to a 37-30 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Trailing by as many as 11 points in the fourth, Indian Creek cut the lead to four with a minute left, but it could get no closer.
The Woodmen hit 11 of 18 free throw in the fourth quarter and 16 of 26 for the game.
“To our credit, we didn’t fold,” Hensley said. “We worked and got back to a double-digit lead again. And we just made some bad mental mistakes for them to get a chance to get back into the game.
“We just have to learn from this and make sure we don’t do this in a sectional game.”
Greenwood accelerated from the start, leading 24-7 early in the second quarter by shooting 10 of 16 from the field. In that stretch, it forced eight turnovers, scoring 13 points off them.
Hornbeak led the initial charge, scoring 11 points and recording four steals in just over eight minutes.
Greenwood plays at sectional opponent New Palestine at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The Braves have lost two straight games and host Mid-Hoosier Conference opponent and Class A No. 2 Waldron at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.