GREENWOOD, Ind. -- It was only their fourth game of the season, but several members of the Greenwood High School girls basketball team burst into tears of happiness following the Woodmen's 55-48 win Saturday over visiting Center Grove for the Johnson County championship.
The county title is Greenwood's first since 2007.
"This is the one part of the trifecta this senior group has not been able to accomplish," said Greenwood coach Debbie Guckenberger. "They've got a conference championship and a sectional championship, but this is their first county championship."
The Class 4A No. 6 Woodmen closed out the game on a 7-0 run -- all coming on free throws -- over the final minute, nine seconds to break a 48-all tie.
Greenwood senior guard Kelsie Ratliff poked away the ball from a Center Grove player and senior Jordan Unversaw came away with it. Unversaw headed toward the other end of the court on a fast break but was fouled from behind. The officials ruled it a flagrant foul, giving Unversaw two free throws and Greenwood possession. Unversaw drained both shots to give the Woodmen a 50-48 lead and the ball.
"When I was on the line, I was just thinking it was a tie ballgame and I've got to put these in," said Unversaw, who scored all five of her points from the foul line on 5-of-6 shooting. "I tried to relax. After I made the first one, I felt confident."
The Woodmen went on to hit five of their final six foul shots to put the game away. Freshman Holly Hoopingarner (nine points, seven rebounds and three assists in her first start) was 5-of-6 from the line in the fourth, Unversaw was 4-of-4 and seniors Deauna Evans (18 points), Chloe Orrvar (eight points) and Ratliff (nine points) all were 2-of-2. Greenwood (4-0) finished 26-of-29 from the foul line (89.7 percent) for the game.
"We have five starters who are shooting over 80 percent from the free throw line," Guckenberger said. "I feel like, if it comes down to free throws, we've got five seniors who are confident and a freshman who's a pretty good free throw shooter, too."
Senior guard Lauren Weidman led No. 18 Center Grove (4-1) with 20 points, hitting on 5-of-6 3-pointers. Junior forward Madison Kolthoff added seven points. The game was tight throughout, with 22 lead changes and 11 ties.
"In some of the really tight situations of the game, you could really sense they were always kind of calm," said Center Grove coach Shawn Sanders. "They're a veteran team and it's hard to rattle them."
The win was Greenwood's third straight over Center Grove since losing last year's county championship game. The Woodmen went on to win a regular-season and sectional semifinal meeting. The teams will meet again late in the season, a Jan. 22 game at Greenwood, and could meet again in the sectional.