With 4:45 left in the third quarter, the Greenwood Christian boys basketball team led Cambridge by one point. The Hawks had dominated the game, but Cambridge's ability to hit 3s from anywhere on the floor had kept it in the game to this point.
From that point on, Greenwood Christian worked its press beautifully, tipping away passes, forcing traps and just harassing the Cambridge ball handlers into turnovers. The press resulted in quick points, and before the end of the quarter, the lead had ballooned to double digits, finishing in a 68-53 win for the Hawks.
"We had a reality check," GCS coach Scott Readett said. "We knew that we were better than that and we played down the whole night. Not taking anything away from (Cambridge), but we are much better than them. It was just a hard reality check to see where we were in the game and that they were there with us.
"We put a lot of time in our press," Readett said. "We just applied heavy pressure wherever it goes. We want to give them the Nolan Richardson way — just '40 minutes of Hell.' We're just going to give it to you because that's who we are."
Greenwood Christian started off quickly, scoring the first seven points of the game. But then the Cougars shots started to fall – more specifically 3s from the corner. Cambridge ended the first quarter by nailing four 3-pointers to tie the game at 16.
After the first, GCS started to hold the Cougars in check from behind the arc, combining defensive pressure, and the fact Cambridge had missed time because of COVID-19 and was running low on stamina, to halt the offensive shooting spree.
"Our adjustments came at halftime," Readett said. "We dropped into a defense that we were comfortable with. We applied pressure. We have won many close ball games this year, so we feel like we know how to win."
Charles Price finished with a team-high 16 points for Cambridge, while Ryan Shirley led all scorers, finishing with 22 points for the Hawks. Lee Dahlberg added 21 points for the Hawks.