NEW MARKET — Brody Whitaker’s hot start to his senior season continued on Saturday night with a 32-point effort in a 64-45 Greencastle win over Southmont.
With a 20-17 lead, Whitaker took the Tiger Cubs (3-2) on a 9-2 run to close the last two minutes and change of the first half and put Greencastle up 29-19 at the break. Southmont had no answer in the third quarter, watching the Tiger Cubs’ lead grow to 20.
“I’ve got to admit that I was disappointed,” Southmont coach Jake Turner said. “I told the guys that I thought we were to the point with this group that we didn’t have to worry about competing. I thought we were to the point where we could compete with anybody on our schedule, so that was really disheartening that when we faced adversity, we didn’t come together.”
After Whitaker’s 21-point first half effort, Greencastle’s scoring balanced out in the second half. Evan Alexander and Cade Plew each reached double-figures with 11 in the Tiger Cubs’ second win in as many nights.
“Brody got hot there in the second quarter, and that’s the fun thing about coaching this team is some other guys can step up and make plays when teams key in on him defensively,” Greencastle coach Bryce Rector said. “It was great to see our supporting cast step up and knock down some shots and play well tonight.”
Greencastle found separation with its defense, holding Southmont to just one field goal over the last 4:49 of the first half. For the game the Mounties (1-2) connected on just 14-of-40 shots from the field, including 5-of-18 on 3-pointers.
“I thought what really turned things around was our defensive intensity in the second quarter,” Rector said. “We really preached that you had to continue to bring that intensity and sense of energy and bring it in the second half.
“You can shoot well some nights and shoot it poorly some nights, but defense you can always bring and I thought that really keyed our offense.”
Austin Bowman was the only Southmont starter in double-figures with 11, while Cam King provided 11 bench points, including a trio of made triples. Greencastle held Southmont leading scorer Carson Chadd to just one field goal.
And once Southmont let its guard down and Whitaker sparked the late second quarter run, the Mounties were never able to recover defensively and became stagnant offensively.
Greencastle connected on over 50% of its shots (23-of-45), and at one time outscored Southmont 40-16 from late in the second quarter to midway through the final period.
Greencastle welcomes WIC opponent Sullivan on Friday, while Southmont travels to North Putnam on Tuesday.