CARY — Shooting the ball well from outside and creating turnovers have been Green Hope’s recipe for success all season long. It took a while to get cooking on Tuesday, but the Falcons found their groove in enough time to prevail 70-42 against conference rival Cary.
Just three points separated the teams at halftime, as Green Hope (11-3, 5-2) held a 29-26 edge. Green Hope coach John Green said he felt his team was being outworked to that point.
“They were playing a little harder than we were during the first half,” Green said. “They were beating us to some loose balls, and got a number of offensive rebounds which got them second chances.”
So at halftime, he and his coaching staff made some adjustments that he felt would give his team the edge.
“We wanted to speed the game up,” Green said. “We wanted to try to pressure them as much as we could, to get them to play a little faster than they normally do. What allowed that was we started knocking down some outside shots.”
Green’s team responded in a big way, hitting three 3-pointers in the third quarter to widen its lead to 53-37 by the end of the third quarter. Green said hitting those shots, along with quickening the pace of the game was the difference.
“We were a little cold in the first half," he said. “We try not to live and die by the three, but when you’ve got a bunch of guys who can shoot the ball, then we’re going to do that.”
Cary (1-14, 1-6) coach Allan Gustafson tipped his hat to Green Hope for the way it took control in the second half.
“That’s what a good basketball does, and Green Hope is an outstanding basketball team,” he said. “They have veteran players and their players stepped up.”
Finishing games has been a challenge for Cary as of late. Gustafson acknowledged that his team has to learn to get over that hurdle.
“We’re not there yet, as far as being able to finish off games,” he said. “I think that’s part of the maturation process.”
John Mosser scored a game-high 20 points for Green Hope. David Robertson added 19 and Grant Rasmussen chipped in 13 points.
Cory Gensler led Cary with 17 points and C.J. Lyon added 11.
Though his team shot well from outside in the second half, Green said he was leery of becoming too dependent on the 3-point shot.
“In the first half of the season, I thought we were beatable because we lived and died by the three,” he said. “We need to adjust a little bit on offense to take better shots as a team.”