A 9-0 run to start the third period turned out to be the spark to propel the Greenwood girls’ basketball team to a 46-39 win over Mid-State Conference rival Martinsville on Friday night.
The win helped Greenwood (3-5, 1-1) snap a two-game skid and earn its first conference victory of the year.
It also matched the total output of victories from last season and gives the Woodmen some momentum and confidence going into their meeting with Class 2A No. 1 Triton Central next week.
Once again, it was a pretty good defensive effort for the Woodmen, who kept an opponent from scoring 40 points for the third time.
“What we have been talking about since the start of the year is being great defensively,” Greenwood coach Justin Bennett said. “(Tonight) we showed how good we can be on defense.”
The Greenwood boys, meanwhile, couldn’t find much of a scoring touch, but what they did get turned out to be enough to get past the Artesians, 42-34.
The girls contest started with a slow, deliberate pace in a first quarter that saw the teams combine for 17 points, but the game opened up as the 3-point shots started to fall. Greenwood hit four in the first half, while Martinsville (3-5, 0-2) kept pace with a pair and with it took a three-point lead into the half, 23-20.
Greenwood’s defense kept Martinsville from taking a lot of shots, but for the moment there was no answer in stopping Artesian senior Delaney Wolfe, who had 15 points in the first half.
Enter the Greenwood duo of senior Quinn Kelly and sophomore Brooklyn Bell.
The two jump-started the Woodmen’s quicker pace in the second half, with Bell scoring five of the nine points during the opening spurt.
Kelly’s boards kept the Artesians from getting any quick putbacks.
Greenwood took an eight-point lead into the fourth, and except for a nearly two-minute drought, during which Martinsville cut the lead to four with a 1:56 left, the Woodmen maintained their pose to win out.
“The girls did show some resiliency and trusted each other,” Bennett said. “I think collectively we showed how good we can be when we play as a team.”
Kelly led the Woodmen with 20 points and an impressive 11 rebounds. Bell added 13 points and five rebounds.
The Greenwood boys (2-1, 1-0) reached the 40-point mark for the first time this season — though it wasn’t easy.
6-foot-5 junior center Carter Campbell scored 17 points and hauled in five rebounds to lead the Woodmen to their second straight win after an opening-night blowout loss to Center Grove.
This was the last game of the Woodmen’s three-game home stand. Their next four games will be on the road and Greenwood won’t be home again until after Christmas, when the Woodmen host their own holiday tournament.
“This is a learning and growing process for a little while,” Greenwood coach Joe Bradburn said. “But I’m pleased as we stayed pretty steady and made some offensive adjustments on the fly. We had some ball toughness, something we talk a lot about.”
That toughness came in handy after going down early, however besides the Woodmen’s physical game, Martinsville (1-1, 0-1) can trace this loss to an inability to shoot free throws. The Artesians were a poor 7 for 15 from the line.
Greenwood wasn’t much better, missing nine, plus getting called for lane violations twice after they made them, but these weren’t as critical to their outcome.
Greenwood used its size, especially Campbell’s to dominate the boards.
More importantly, the Woodmen only turned the ball over five times compared to Martinsville’s 12.
“We won the hustle battle,” Bradburn said. “We also had some poise and patience with the ball. Jakeb Hornbeak did a great job of just controlling the tempo for us. That set the tone a little bit.”
While the Woodmen didn’t run away with the game, it was that control and steady play that helped.
“Tonight felt good,” Bradburn said. “We had energy. Everybody had it and that’s a good sign.”
Greenwood had an eight-point lead late in the third quarter and didn’t let it fall below five for the rest of the night.
The Woodmen don’t play again until next Friday, when they travel to Franklin for their first road game of the season.