MILLERSTOWN - Twenty-one seconds into his team's Jan. 26 game against Tri-Valley League opponent Juniata, Greenwood coach Kent Houser was not happy.
Houser sent a strong message by abruptly calling a timeout and substituting for his entire starting five while the game was still scoreless.
"I wanted to send a message. We needed to get focused in a hurry" Houser said. "We had been working on the play we wanted to use on our opening possession all week and we did not run it right."
After falling behind 8-4 with the second string in the game, Houser returned his starters to the contest and the Wildcats exploded to a 23-2 run to grab control over the Indians. The Wildcats contended on 14 of 23 first half field goal attempts, including 11 of 18 during a second quarter where they outscored the Indians 27-8, to build a 41-18 halftime lead before the eventual 61-28 final.
"I told our players that if we could keep them in half court sets we had a chance" Juniata coach Nathan Geibel said. "However, we could not stop their transition game. We are not deep enough or athletic enough to run with them. (Greenwood) is a very good team and they know what they want to do."
IF YOU GO
Greenwood travels to East Juniata Friday.
Juniata hosts Line Mountain Tuesday.
Twelve Wildcat steals assured plenty of opportunities for Houser's team to run the floor.
Greenwood (16-2, 12-0) had three starters finish in double digits despite the starting unit playing only two and half quarters. Houser pulled his starting unit for the entire fourth quarter as the game's outcome had already been decided.
Junior point guard Tyler Fegley paced the Wildcats with 16 points and four steals.
"Fegley has been going to the rim much harder" Houser said. "A team will play as fast as its point guard and he is fast."
Senior Ryan Kerstetter poured in 12 to go with his four rebounds and three steals and fellow senior Joshua Ferguson connected on four 3-pointers for 12 points. Junior Adam Harrison had a strong night as well, gathering nine rebounds and tallying eight points.
Senior Joshua Noll delivered three points and four boards off the Wildcat bench and junior Joseph Sheaffer came off the pine to pitch in a three-ball.
Juniata (2-13, 1-9) senior Zack Graybill, who leads the team with 164 points, paced his squad with seven points and 10 rebounds. Fellow senior Logan Aurand hit a pair of first quarter 3-pointers for six points and freshman Justin Mingle delivered six points, including a 3, and three boards off the Indians' bench. Sophomore Logan Knepp chipped in with six rebounds and four points.
The Wildcats travel to East Juniata on Friday.
The Indians have a three game week, as they host Line Mountain on Tuesday, travel to West Perry on Wednesday and host Halifax on Friday.