CHARLOTTESVILLE — After losing its last two contests by a combined four points, Eastern Hancock’s basketball team was itching for a win Tuesday night against Mid-Hoosier Conference foe Edinburgh.
Behind a smooth-shooting third quarter, after falling behind early in the first half, the Royals reached their goal and snapped a three-game losing streak with a 63-54 win against the Lancers.
Eastern Hancock sophomore A.J. Muegge, who scored a season-high 21 points in a loss to Indian Creek on Saturday, continued to shoot it well, scoring seven unanswered points at the beginning of the second quarter to finish with 11 in the game. He also grabbed eight rebounds.
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Sophomore guard Addison True led the team in scoring, however, netting 16 points in the second half to finish with 23. Senior guard Bobby Simpson led Edinburgh with 21 points.
“I thought in the second half we rebounded the ball a little better,” Royals head coach Aaron Spaulding said. “We played with more energy and moved the ball better on offense. I was not pleased with our first half.
“The good thing about us is we have several guys who can score the ball. It’s just a matter of us moving the ball and finding the hot hand.”
Simpson would open the third quarter with a basket, but the Lancers (3-17, 1-6 MHC) would go scoreless for nearly three minutes, allowing the Royals to go on a game-changing 13-0 run.
Nine points from True in the third quarter and five points from senior guard Ryan Speas, who added 15 points in the win, helped Eastern Hancock (6-14, 1-7 MHC) take a lead it would never surrender.
With 5:50 remaining in the opening quarter, True connected on a 3-pointer to make the score seven-all. From there, Edinburgh would take a 19-12 advantage.
Then Muegge caught fire.
The 5-foot-10 guard opened the second quarter with a drive to the hoop and followed it with a 3-pointer to pull the Royals within two, 19-17. Another Muegge drive would tie the score at 19-all as both teams would trade baskets the rest of the way until Eastern Hancock took a 29-28 lead into the break after a True drive and score.
“I thought Edinburgh played hard, even though things aren’t going real well for them this year,” Spaulding said. “They came out and got after it.”
Senior Tom Barton added six points and five rebounds for Eastern Hancock while sophomore Jacob Atha finished with 13 points for Edinburgh.
Eastern Hancock returns to the court at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Morristown.