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Dist. 3 girls: Greencastle easily advances, 59-34

GREENCASTLE - The Greencastle-Antrim girls basketball team has not lost on its home court since Feb. 11, 2013.

That's 1,111 days.

And the reigning District 3 Class AAA champions were not about to let that streak die in the first round of the district tournament.

Greencastle defeated Fleetwood 59-34 to set the tone for its tournament journey on Wednesday night.

The Blue Devils will move on to play No. 13 Elco on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Dallastown in the District 3 quarterfinals. Elco upset No. 4 Susquehannock 56-54 in the first round.

"It's good to be back," G-A's Jenay Faulkner said.

Fleetwood, the No. 12 seed, entered the Devils' Den expecting exactly what they got, a 3-point barrage.

"We were trying to limit their threes, but a miss for us turned into a long transition, layup or foul for them," Fleetwood coach Matt Kellett said. "They make shots, and when we can't get any buckets, that adds up."

Greencastle (21-2) averages more than eight 3-pointers per game, and drained 10 Wednesday.

The Tigers (15-8) hung with Greencastle in the first quarter, thanks in part to the Blue Devils' shooting struggles. Both teams shot 4-for-11 in the first quarter, but Greencastle found an edge in the second and went on a 17-2 run, all the while keeping Fleetwood off the board in the first seven minutes of play in the second quarter.

"It just took us a while to get into the flow," Greencastle's Hannah Crist said. "They put a lot of good ball pressure on us and we just hadn't played in a while, and it took us a while to get in the flow of things."

Greencastle's leading scorer, Faulkner, struggled in the opening frame, shooting 1-for-4, but found a rhythm beyond the arc. Besides free throws, Faulkner did not register a point inside the paint, finishing the game with 21 points thanks to six 3-pointers and a 3-for-4 performance from the line.

"I wasn't getting too many open drives, and I felt good from the three," Faulkner said. "Have to have the shooting mentality (when you're not making shots); you just have to keep shooting."

Faulkner also had five helpers and eight boards.

Crist, a senior, followed with 15 points, but had her hands full containing the Tigers' leading scorer Lauren Lister, who averages more than 15 points per game. Lister managed only eight points.

"When Hannah is gone, we are really going to find out how good she really is," Greencastle coach Mike Rhine said, "because she causes the other team's primary ballhandler a lot of trouble, and she did that tonight."

Meghan Hirneisen, also a senior, scored 13 points and had eight rebounds and four steals.

Fleetwood did not register any scorers in double figures. The Tigers were led by Gabrielle Downs with nine points.

Note: Fleetwood's Kehana Labaze sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer, followed by a celebratory dance and an explosion from the Tiger bench, despite the 25-point loss. Labaze is Fleetwood's lone senior, and was a JV starter with limited time in any varsity games. "It wasn't a big deal but she knew it was her last shot, last game," Kellett said. "She's going to remember that for the rest of her life."

Greencastle 59, Fleetwood 34 

Fleetwood (34)

Alexis Nowotarski 1 0-0 2, Lauren Lister 4 0-0 8, Lexi Schoener 1 0-0 2, Morgan Weidemoyer 0 0-0 0, Keeley Suzenski 3 1-2 8, Kayla Schlegel 1 0-0 2, Gabrielle Downs 3 1-4 9, Kehana Labaze 1 0-2 3, Jenna Schumacher 0 0-0 0. Totals — 16 2-9 34.

Greencastle (59)

Hannah Crist 4 6-10 15, Morgan Wagaman 2 3-4 7, Jenay Faulkner 6 3-4 21, Madison Sweitzer 0 0-0 0, Meghan Hirneisen 5 0-0 13, Ashley True 0 0-0 0, Lydia Crist 0 1-2 1, Hannah Haley 1 0-0 2, Heidi Schanzenbacher 0 0-0 0, Madi Sherrill 0 0-0 0, Jordan Yeager 0 0-0 0. Totals — 18 13-20 59.

Fleetwood _ 9 _ 2 _ 7 _ 16 _ — _ 34

Greencastle _ 13 _ 18 _ 14 _ 14 _ — _ 59

3-point goals — Fleet 4 (Downs 2, Labaze, Suzenski), GA 10 (Faulkner 6, Hirneisen 3, Crist).