Bowling Green knows how to take care of business when postseason play – especially the District 14 Tournament – rolls around.
The Purples, seeded second in this year’s district tournament, opened play with a dominant 77-63 semifinal win over third-seeded Greenwood on Wednesday night at South Warren High School to extend its District 14 Tournament win streak to 13 straight games.
“First off, Greenwood – I can’t say enough about those guys,” Bowling Green coach Derrick Clubb said. “Will (McCoy), he’s a really good young coach and he’s just gonna keep getting better. That program will be back stronger than ever next year. I thought he did a great job this year.
“We’ve had great practices. We’ve had kids really locked in, 1-15. They know what’s at stake. They enjoy these moments. We’ve been really fortunate to come out ahead on a lot of ‘em here lately.”
Bowling Green (23-7 overall) led 16-11 after the opening quarter, 32-23 at halftime and 50-31 at the end of the third before cruising through the final frame to advance to Friday’s 6 p.m. district championship game vs. top-seeded Warren Central.
Isaiah Mason poured in a game-high 31 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the Purples, while Conner Cooper finished with 21.
“We believe that if we make teams play to what we want to play, then we can go as long as we want to go,” Mason said. “Our last two practices have been so intense. We just knew that we’d have a good game. It’s just something about the Purples – it just happens.”
Cade Stinnett finished with 28 points to lead the Gators, who finished their season 17-14 overall.
Bowling Green used a 10-0 run to build a 12-5 lead at the 3:05 mark of the first quarter, but Greenwood answered with a 6-0 spurt to get quickly get within 12-11.
The Purples led 21-13 early into the second before Cooper scored five straight points – highlighted by a 3-pointer – to go up 27-16 at the 4:11 mark. Noah Stansbury’s triple cut Greenwood’s deficit to 29-21, but Bowling Green led 32-23 at the break.
The Purples used a strong third quarter – outscoring the Gators 18-8 – to build a 50-31 advantage entering the fourth and never looked back.
“If we had played with the tenacity and the toughness on the glass that we did the last four minutes for the entire game, I think it would’ve been a dogfight,” McCoy said. “We didn’t – and I hate it for the five seniors that we’re losing. For the younger guys, I hope we can look back and learn and grow from this.”
GHS – 11 12 8 32 — 63
BGHS – 16 16 18 27 — 77