Shooting a frigid 14-of-46 (.304) from the floor, including 3-of-19 (.158) from three-point land, the Beech Grove Hornets fell to the Greenwood Woodmen in a defensive struggle 49-37 Tuesday night on the Matt English Court at “The Hive.”
In a game televised before a regional audience in Central Indiana, the Hornets led 16-12 early in the second quarter. Then Greenwood, one of the best defensive teams in the state, went to work, limiting Beech Grove (5-3) to just two field goals in the next 14 minutes, with both of those coming in the third period when the hosts scored just five points in that timespan.
Coach Joe Bradburn’s Woodmen took advantage, outscoring the Orange and Black 28-8 to take a commanding 40-24 lead midway through the final quarter. However, two treys (three-pointers) by junior Jadyn Curry and a four-point play by senior Josh Copenhaver got the hosts to within 44-37 with 1:01 to go, which was as close as Beech Grove would come the rest of the night.
Senior Gavin Dowling, Greenwood’s 6’5″, 260 lb. big man, led the visitors with a game-high 13 points and seven rebounds. Classmate Nick Duffey poured in 11 points, nine coming on three three-pointers as the Woodmen (6-2) got balanced scoring with eight players picking up points.
Curry led Beech Grove with 10 points, the only double-figure scorer for the Hornets, while Copenhaver poured in eight. Senior Vin Pich, who had six points, led Beech Grove in rebounds (9), assists (4), steals (2) and blocked shots (2).
The Woodmen used their superior size to win the rebounding battle against the Hornets 30-21.
This matchup of 5-2 teams entering the latest installment of the Beech Grove-Greenwood rivalry was the 85th all-time meeting between the schools since 1924. Greenwood leads the series 47-38, winners of three straight against Beech Grove.
Coach Mike Renfro’s ball club, who has now lost two in a row, looks to get back on the winning track when it travels to Monrovia’s Branch McCracken Memorial Gymnasium this Saturday night for an Indiana Crossroads Conference contest against the host Bulldogs. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. in what will be the final tuneup before the Marion County Tournament begins next Tuesday evening.