Top-ranked Greensburg erupted for 43 points in the second half to rally past pesky Silver Creek 70-60 on Saturday morning in the semifinals of the Class 3-A Washington Regional boys’ basketball tournament.
The defending state champion Pirates took a 25-1 record into Saturday night’s final against Evansville Memorial, which routed Jasper 72-43.
“We played our butts off,” Silver Creek coach Brandon Hoffman said. “We lost to a better team.”
Just as it did against Madison in the first round of the North Harrison Sectional, Silver Creek got off to a slow start, falling behind 8-0. By then center Christian Reed had picked up his second foul. He left the game and didn’t return until late in the second quarter.
The Dragons (15-9) eventually settled down and started to chip away, trailing 22-16 after one quarter. Then Zach Davidson ignited them in the second quarter with two quick buckets. Nick Tinsley’s 3-pointer with 4:22 left completed a 10-0 run that put Silver Creek ahead 26-22 and led to a Greensburg timeout. The Pirates led 28-27 at halftime.
“We played really well for awhile,” Hoffman said. “We took quite a blow and got up and got off the canvas. We played an awesome quarter. That was something to be proud of.”
The Pirates started to take control midway through the third quarter, using a 7-0 run to pull away from a 35-all tie. Then they put together a 13-2 run that spilled into the final period. The lead grew to 57-41 with 5:43 left on two free throws by Northwestern signee Bryant McIntosh, who finished with 15 points.
“In the third quarter they showed why they’re No. 1 in the state,” Hoffman said. “They have so many weapons. We gave them a heck of a fight, and they didn’t lose their composure at all. They’ve been here three years in a row.”
Greensburg improved to 74-3 over the past three seasons.
Sean Sellers, who will play for Ball State next season, led the Pirates with 20 points, and Ryan Welage added 18.
Gabe Bauer led the Dragons with 15, including three 3-pointers. Davidson added 13, Shae Durham 11 and Tinsley10.
“They’re definitely No. 1,” said Durham, one of only three seniors on the Silver Creek roster.
Sizing up his own school’s future, he said: “The junior class is loaded and the sophomores are even better. They’ll be back next year and go further than this.”
“We earned some respect tonight,” Reed said. “This whole summer will be work — all summer long.”
3-A Regional at Washington
– Holdsworth 7, Rigney 6, Welage 18, Sellers 20, McIntosh 15, Lawrence 4.Greensburg (25-1)
– Tinsley 10, Durham 11, Davidson 13, Steele 2, Bauer 15, Reed 9.Silver Creek (15-9)
Tinsley 1, Durham 2, Bauer 3, Holdsworth 1, Sellers 2.3-point goals –