After Greenwood shot 1 of 11 from the 3-point line in the first half, coach Debbie Guckenberger had a simple message for her players:
Attack the basket.
The Woodmen listened.
Senior Deauna Evans scored a game-high 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds to help lead Class 4A No. 12 Greenwood to a 51-30 victory against host Franklin in a first-round sectional game Tuesday night.
The Woodmen (17-4) won their third straight game and play Whiteland in a semifinal game at 6 p.m. Friday at Franklin.
In the second half, Greenwood attempted only six 3-pointers, making three, and made 5 of 7 from the free-throw line.
But that first half didn’t please Guckenberger. Besides the poor 3-point shooting, Greenwood only had three free-throw attempts and led, 19-9.
“We were just settling for 3s, and we weren’t hitting,” she said.
Neither team got much offense going in the first half. Franklin got within five points early in the second quarter, but no closer.
The Grizzly Cubs also struggled in the first half, hitting just 3 of 24 (12.5 percent) field goals.
“You’re just not going to beat anybody doing that,” Franklin coach Walt Raines said. “And it wasn’t that we got bad looks. We had good looks. We just could not get it to go in.”
At halftime, Raines also had a simple message.
“We told them the ball had to start going in the hoop,” he said. “We couldn’t get it to go in, and unfortunately, it didn’t go in the second half, either.”
Franklin (7-14) made 10 of 45 (22.2 percent) field goals in the game.
Greenwood kept a 23-13 lead with 3:51 left in the third quarter, but used a 21-3 run to take a 44-16 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Evans played a big role in Greenwood’s 16-4 third quarter, scoring eight points, grabbing three rebounds and recording a steal.
“(Evans) has been tough to defend all year,” Guckenberger said. “She’s a tough match-up for a lot of teams. She can play inside-outside. We really rely on her quite a bit.”
With the Cubs injury-laden season, Raines had the chance to play lots of underclassmen. On Tuesday night, he started three freshmen.
“If you’re going to go through a year like we’ve gone through, at least it’s good to go through it with good kids,” Raines said. “We do have really, really hard-working kids that gave everything they had. Our young kids got a year of experience here. We’ll be better next year because of what we went through this year.”