Royals fall just short

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Poor rebounding and untimely turnovers cost Eastern Hancock in a home loss Tuesday night to visiting Frankton.

Like the girls game before, a second-half comeback fell short as the Royals trailed by as many as 20 points in the third quarter on the way to a 74-60 home loss.

Eagles (5-3) 6-foot-4 junior forward Maurice Knight led all scorers with 25 points while sophomore Duncan Cherry finished with 20 to lead Eastern Hancock. Sophomore Addison True chipped in 18 points for the Royals.

“Our plan was to stop (Maurice) Knight,” True said after the game. “They do a good job of attacking the high post, and we couldn’t get the job done. They crash the boards really hard.”

Trailing 56-36 late in the third quarter, the team’s largest deficit of the game, Eastern Hancock (2-5) rallied for a 9-0 scoring run — ignited by two True 3-point field goals and an A.J. Muegge steal and layup — to head into the final quarter down 56-45.

Another Muegge basket started the fourth-quarter scoring and Cherry, who had 11 points in the first half, followed with a basket of his own to make it 56-49 with just under seven minutes left in the game.

After two points from Muegge at the charity stripe, Cherry pulled the Royals within two after a bomb from deep, his second of the game. However, despite another basket from Cherry and a couple free throws from True, Eastern Hancock’s offense stalled the rest of the way.

True, who leads the team in scoring this season, said Cherry has found his touch around the basket as of late.

“He’s shooting the ball very well right now,” he said. “It helps us a lot.”

Muegge finished with nine points while sophomore forward Jacob Eischen added six off the bench.

The Royals and Eagles were tied at 19-all after one quarter of play, but Frankton took a 35-27 advantage into the break.

Eastern Hancock will take the week off before traveling to Muncie Burris on Jan. 8 for a 7:30 p.m. contest. The Royals will play against Mid-Hoosier Conference rival North Decatur at 4 p.m. Jan. 9 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

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Kris Mills is a sports reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at 317-477-3230 or kmills@greenfieldreporter.com.