SHELBYVILLE — It wasn’t exactly picture perfect, but Mt. Vernon head coach Matt Mayhew will never turn down a win in the Hoosier Heritage Conference.
Dressed in black with white trim, Class 2A No. 20 Mt. Vernon earned its fourth straight win Tuesday, 2-0 against Shelbyville, and appears to be locked in midseason form despite a slow start against the Golden Bears.
Junior Timmy Clone added his seventh goal of the season with just under 15 minutes remaining in the game to break the longest scoring drought of the season for the Marauders. Clone was in the right place at the right time as senior Jeffrey Boxberger perfectly placed a free kick right in front of Shelbyville’s keeper, which was kicked around several times before eventually finding Clone.
“Our conference is pretty even, and it’s going to be a good game no matter who you are playing,” Mayhew said. “The defense kind of bended at times and gave them some looks but never broke. That’s been our motto with that.”
Freshman Drew Heitman added the dagger with 1:50 left on the clock to seal the win — his second goal this season.
The victory gives Mt. Vernon (8-1) a considerable lead atop the HHC standings at 5-0 with just two games left to play. New Palestine is 2-0, while Shelbyville falls to 1-1. The Marauders have yet to play the Dragons and Pendleton Heights this year.
Junior Tyce Taylor entered the game with 10 goals for the Golden Bears but was held scoreless despite a few promising attempts at net.
“(Taylor’s) a good player,” Mayhew said. “Some of our guys play club with him and know his tendencies.”
Mt. Vernon was aggressive early and forced Shelbyville keeper Will England to make five saves 10 minutes into the first half. Just six minutes in, Clone received a nice overhead pass and sprinted inside the right portion of the box. After being fouled, England made an impressive stop on the ensuing penalty kick — diving right — to keep Clone and the Marauders off the scoreboard.
“(Timmy) is mentally strong and will be taking our next penalty kick,” Mayhew said.
Mt. Vernon senior keeper Josh Powell made his presence felt in the first half, as well, laying out his body to protect the left side of goal after a Golden Bear got loose with four minutes left on the clock.
The Marauders were the more aggressive team early, though, and finished with five corner kicks in the first half. Powell used his big leg to repeatedly put the Marauders offense, which finished with eight shots on goal in the opening half, in solid position to score. However, neither team would find net in a 0-0 tie at the break.
Powell finished with eight saves in the shutout.
This is the first week the Marauders have entered the polls this season. The team gained attention by beating Lawrence Central 5-1 on Saturday. Lawrence Central tied No. 2 North Central earlier this season and lost to No. 5 Carmel (2-1).
“They guys have just stepped up and played hard,” Mayhew said.
Mt. Vernon returns to the field on Thursday at home against No. 6 Hamilton Southeastern.
Mt. Vernon 2, Shelbyville 0
MVHS;(8-1, 5-0 HHC);0;2;-;2
SHHS;(4-2-2, 1-1 HHC);0;0;-;0
MV – Timmy Clone goal, Drew Heitman goal, Josh Powell eight saves.