Prior to Tuesday night, Greenwood and Indian Creek boys basketball had combined to fall short in 18 of their last 22 games.
Woodmen coach Joe Bradburn saw glimpses that his squad might again be trending the right direction after its hard-fought 47-44 road victory, withstanding the 24 points of Braves senior guard Javan Crouch.
Sophomore guard Jake Mosemann, who finished with 22 points on the strength of 6-of-11 shooting from behind the 3-point stripe, led Greenwood (9-12).
The Braves (4-16) still had a look at a W late, trailing 44-42 with 1:16 remaining in the fourth period after sophomore guard Trent Volz swished a trey from the top of the key. But missed opportunities — and free throws — by both squads down the stretch kept things interesting until the final buzzer.
“Our guys are gritty,” said Bradburn, whose squad averted overtime when Indian Creek senior guard Bryce Armstrong was strong off the back of the rim on his potential game-tying shot at the horn from just left of the top of the key. “Give Indian Creek credit. They put us in some situations where we really had to think and concentrate because they changed things up on us defensively.
“But we had spurts when we needed them. We ran some of our things pretty well, and got some confidence shooting the ball. There were a lot of positives on our end, and we found a way to win.”
Mosemann drained five triples before halftime and scored 17 points to lift Greenwood to a 28-22 halftime advantage.
The Woodmen hit six of their first seven field goal attempts to jump to a 15-6 lead, but the Braves responded with a 10-0 scoring run — five points from Crouch and five more from Volz — to take the lead at 6:35 of the second period.
Mosemann’s third trey of the half put the Woodmen back on top, but the edge was short-lived after Braxton Christie delivered one of his own from the left wing 34 seconds later.
Greenwood returned to the lead for good on Mosemann’s layup followed by another of the soph’s 3-pointers.
The final two quarters were much of the same — the Woodmen pushing the advantage to anywhere from five to seven points and Indian Creek responding at the other end and not letting Greenwood out of its sight.
The Woodmen benefitted with better scoring balance.
Senior guard Noah Apgar finished with 13 points, and senior post Adam Ellinghausen seven points (including four free throws inside the final 2:23) and seven rebounds.
Conversely, Crouch’s game-high total comprised more than half his team’s points.
“We anticipated the game kind of being the first team to 30 kind of thing,” Braves coach Drew Glentzer said. “It was a good game for us to play with Greenwood obviously being physical and playing a different style. We missed some free throws late and gave up some rebounds late.
“Obviously, we’ve lost a few games in a row here, but every game we’ve been competitive, and we feel we’re an inch closer than we were yesterday.”
Both teams close the regular season Friday night, with the Braves (4-16) traveling to South Putnam and Greenwood (9-12) playing at home against New Palestine.
Next week starts postseason play with Indian Creek taking part in the Class 3A sectional at Speedway. The Woodmen, meanwhile, will host a 4A sectional.