Christian Reed had 16 points, 13 rebounds, four blocked shots and four assists as Silver Creek secured a 52-42 victory over Greensburg in the first game of the Class 3-A Regional at Washington Saturday.
The Dragons improved to 22-4 and faced the winner of Evansville Bosse and Pike Central in the regional final at 8 p.m.
“This is my third time being here, and I knew coming in that you have to play your best to win when you get this far,” said the 6-foot-6 senior Reed. “Greensburg was ready, but I think our guys just cut down on our mistakes and they just wanted it. It was nothing more than that.”
GALLERY: Silver Creek-Greensburg
The first half was tightly contested throughout. After one period, the Dragons led 13-12. But an 8-2 run by the Pirates (16-8) put Silver Creek down 22-17. The Dragons were able to stabilize and tie the game at 24 by halftime.
“I think we got a little careless on that run that Greensburg had,” said Reed. “We had a timeout and I just said ‘Hey, we have to step it up and get momentum back.’ It was just willpower. It wasn’t scheme or anything.”
Reed scored the last two baskets in the first half for the Dragons. With 10 points at the half, he knew going into the locker room he would need to do more to get his team over the hump.
“We weren’t rebounding well in the first half,” he said. “I think we had six total rebounds and I had five of those. I realized that was one of the things I was going to have to do in order for us to win and I just accepted it.”
He made one free throw and scored inside as part of a 7-0 run to start the second half. His presence on the boards prevented Greensburg from getting the second-chance opportunities they had in the first half. His outlet passes and backdoor assists led to baskets by teammates. Greensburg center Chandler Deaton, at 6-foot-6, found it much tougher to do anything inside, as Reed kept blocking his shot.
Drew Foster finally scored the first Greensburg basket in the third period with 3:10 left on a putback. Reed answered on the other end inside and Zane Gross’s basket, also inside, made it 35-28 heading into the fourth.
After Sammy Barnett scored to make it 37-28, Tommy Carey scored four of his team-high 13 points for Greensburg to cut it to 37-32. A minute later Spencer Burkert drove baseline and scored to cut it to 38-34.
Enter Ryan Baker. The senior guard made consecutive three-point plays the old fashioned way, the second of which gave the Dragons a 44-34 lead with 3:51 remaining.
The Pirates tried repeatedly down the stretch to cheat on passing lanes, desperate to create a run that would prolong the season. They scored on a drive by Peyton Buening before a steal and score off the inbounds by Keegan McCullough to cut it to 44-38 with 2:03 remaining, but that would be as close as they would get.
Silver Creek made four free throws and scored four points inside in the final two minutes to pull away.
Greensburg (16-8) – Tommy Carey 13, Chandler Deaton 8, Spencer Burkert 6, Drew Foster 6, Peyton Buening 5, Kyle Sellers 2, Keegan McCullough 2.
Silver Creek (22-4) – Christian Reed 16, Cameron Stephens 12, Zane Gross 9, Ryan Baker 8, Sammy Barnett 4, Zach Densford 3.
3-point goals – Stephens 2, Buening 1.