YORKTOWN — Mt. Vernon grabbed a share of the Hoosier Heritage Conference title Friday night in a convincing road win against Yorktown in the regular-season finale for both teams.
A great demonstration of teamwork in the first half, with nine assists on 12 made baskets, helped the Marauders win 62-26 to finish the conference season 6-1.
New Castle, which beat Mt. Vernon 55-54 on Jan. 2, also finished 6-1. The championship is the first for the program since 2010.
Marauders (18-4) head coach Travis Daugherty said he was impressed with how his team responded against Yorktown after a tough loss to Westfield earlier this week.
“We didn’t prepare well to play on Tuesday,” Daugherty said. “I was proud of how we moved on. We had a lot on the line tonight, and we played like we had a lot of the line.
“When we play that way (sharing the basketball), we are very good. That’s our formula.”
Senior Miles Wayer led the team with 19 points, including a lights out first quarter of shooting, while junior Erick Shepherd finished with 15.
Wayer, who started the game 4 of 4 from the field, hit three first-quarter 3-pointers to spark a 9-0 run midway through the period. His final bomb from deep cemented the 15-4 score at the end of one.
The Tigers (2-19, 0-7 HHC) doubled their point total in the second quarter but the inside presence of junior James McCloud and Shepherd was too much to handle. Shepherd scored seven unanswered points in the period as McCloud added the final five to give Mt. Vernon a 31-13 advantage at halftime. Wayer had 11 points by the break while Shepherd contributed nine.
The Marauders limited the Tigers to just five points in the third quarter, while shooting 6-for-11 from the field, and took a 48-18 lead into the final period.
For the game, Mt. Vernon, which ended its season winning 10 of 12 games, finished 23 of 46 from the field while Yorktown was 9-for-38. The Marauders finished with 15 assists.
Senior Ben Conte led the Tigers with 6 points while McCloud added seven for Mt. Vernon. Senior Tyler Franklin and junior Michael Ertel each added six points.
The Marauders received a bye in the first round of the New Castle Sectional and will play the winner between Pendleton Heights and the host Trojans in the second semifinal contest Friday.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve played either of them,” Daugherty said. “I would say we are considerably different. They are very well coached. There are just things at both ends of the floor that we have to do better. I think we have a group that is hungry to do that.”