Royals shoot the lights out

LEWISVILLE — For a team that preaches inside-out basketball, the Eastern Hancock Royals sure can shoot it from deep.

The Royals hit 10 3-pointers, eight in the first half, to win 73-57 against Tri High School on Thursday night.

“We are definitely at our best when we have a one-to-one ratio of twos to threes,” Eastern Hancock coach Aaron Spaulding said afterwards with a smile. “But we do have some great shooters when they’re taking good shots.”

In the first two minutes, it seemed as if the Royals left their shooting touch at home.

After missing their first six shots and turning the ball over twice, the Royals saw themselves down 8-0. But in the remaining six minutes of the first quarter, they would make five three pointers en route to a 21-14 lead that they would never truly be in danger of surrendering.

“I thought we did a nice job responding right away and finding our groove,” Spaulding said.

A.J. Muegge and Ryan Speas would lead the way in the first half, each making three 3-point shots. They would finish with 21 and 16 points, respectively.

The play most representative of the kind of night the Royals would enjoy came at the end of the first half. With Spaulding telling his team to “be patient” and hold the ball for the last shot, A.J. Muegge stepped back and drilled a corner three with 15 seconds left.

The second half saw some of the balance Spualding is looking for in his team, as Addison True lead the way inside to finish with 17 points and 7 rebounds.

After halftime, the Royals’ lead was never less than 10.

Eastern Hancock again faces a highly ranked opponent in their next game, when they host No. 1 ranked Lapel. This will be the fourth game in which the Royals have played the top-ranked team in Class 2A.

“We’re going to approach this one like all the other ones,” Spaulding said. “If we play our game, hopefully we’ll be in the game at the end and win it.”