Greenwood girls basketball drop opener

Addison Hill and Brooke Herrell scored every point for Greenfield-Central’s girls basketball team in Thursday’s season opener at Greenwood.

Usually, two players scoring all of a team’s points is a recipe for defeat. Thursday, thanks in part to a staunch zone defense, it was more than enough.

Hill and Herrell’s combined 27 points and that matchup zone proved to be all the Cougars needed to subdue the host Woodmen, 27-19, in the season opener for both teams.

“I didn’t even realize that until coach (Bradley Key) said something about it when we got back in the locker room (after the game),” Hill said. “We did lose the whole summer (of preparation), but so did every other team in the state. We’re definitely growing and jelling.”

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Hill led all scorers with 17 points and also grabbed seven rebounds. She scored every point of an 8-0 second-quarter run, during which Greenfield-Central extended its lead from 8-6 to 16-6.

“Most teams in the state are going to be in the same situation,” Key said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty, but I was really proud of our defense. We were active, and that starts with Brooke Herrell at the top. She’s long, and she sets the tone. We’ve got to be great defensively to try to survive, and for three and a half quarters, I thought we did a pretty good job.”

Greenfield-Central held Greenwood to just eight field goals (8 of 42, 19 percent) and only allowed the Woodmen four trips to the foul line.

The Cougars’ zone held the Woodmen without a field goal for an 8:50 stretch that began after Greenwood’s Ella Stivers connected on a post basket with 6:30 left in the first half. It ended with Stivers’ baseline jumper with 5:40 remaining in the third quarter.

Greenwood played without Jenna Sawyer, who’s projected to be a starting guard for the Woodmen, further hampering their offensive cause.

“She’s usually our leader and our communicator and our person that gives us energy,” Greenwood coach Justin Bennett said. “We played a lot of young kids, and I’ve got to do a better job of getting us prepared.”

Quinn Kelly helped the Woodmen keep things interesting. She led them with nine points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots. Stivers added six points for Greenwood.

“Quinn Kelly is our do-it-all,” Bennett said. “She played the point, she played post, she played the wing, and I thought she was super aggressive.”

The Woodmen rallied from a 17-9 deficit early in the third quarter, scoring six straight points to whittle the lead to 17-15 with 2:45 left in the period. The Cougars, however, responded by scoring the game’s next eight points to build a 25-17 edge by the end of the quarter.

“Obviously, our offense isn’t quite there yet, so we just got to get touches, get stops, rebound the ball and play good defense to win games,” Hill said.

Greenfield-Central hosts Whiteland on Saturday. Greenwood plays Saturday at Bloomington North.