Rife gave James Buchanan a lot of its offense, scoring a game-high 25 points - including 15 of 16 shots from the foul line - while blocking and altering some of Greencastle's attempts in the paint to allow the Rockets to keep control of the pace of the game. His defense helped control the paint, allowing JB's backcourt the option to contain the Blue Devils' 3-point shooters.
"I work on playing inside a lot," Rife said. "We wanted to make sure that we took away the inside from them so we could get out on them on defense."
Rife scored eight points in the first quarter as James Buchanan established its style of play early.
The Rockets scored the final six points of the first quarter in the early stages of a 15-4 run to take a 23-11 lead late into the second quarter.
The Blue Devils rallied to trail 26-18 at the half and then changed the tempo of the game in the third quarter to shake up James Buchanan's youthful lineup, which features three starting sophomores.
"Basketball is a game of spurts. Being eight points down isn't insurmountable," said Greencastle coach Garon Gembe. "We came out in the second half in a sense of focus."
Greencastle's defense moved James Buchanan into more of an uptempo game, allowing the Blue Devils to get open looks from 3-point range while not allowing the Rockets to get set in the middle.
Darrin Jones started the half with a 3 and Jaren Gembe capped an 18-9 run with a 3 of his own with 1:15 remaining in the third quarter to give Greencastle its only lead of the game, 36-35.
JB's Brandon Bryan and Zachary Shipp answered with baskets before Jones closed the quarter with a 3 to tie the game at 39-39 with eight minutes remaining.
The Rockets took the ball out to start the final period and proceeded to return to their strong inside game. Rife hit a pair of free throws after getting fouled on a move to the hoop and Bryan added a drive to regain the lead.
"Our sophomores grew up today," Strawoet said. "Bryan and (Dion) Lehman did a good job running the point in the fourth quarter and got the ball inside. They knew what would happen if they got it in there."
JB pushed out to an eight-point lead (56-48) when Rife blocked a shot and then ran the floor as a trailer on the fastbreak to get a pass from Lehman for a layup with 1:52 remaining. The two teams traded scores the rest of the way with Bryan icing the game with four foul shots in the end.
Bryan finished with 12 points for the Rockets. Adam Wiestling led Greencastle with 11 points, while Jaren Gembe added 10.
"Everyone was a little nervous going into the game, but we worked it back down," Rife said. "I think we started to calm down once we got the lead in the beginning. This is big, but beating Shippensburg would be bigger because it will tie us for the conference lead ... but still it's great anytime we can beat Greencastle."