WALDRON — With freezing rain in the forecast, it seemed as if only Eastern Hancock received the memo that the game had started an hour earlier than originally scheduled.
The Royals raced out to a 19-5 lead by the time Waldron head coach Nate Cangany was forced to call timeout. It didn’t stem the tide as hoped, and the Royals went on to cruise to an 80-54 victory, improving their record to 7-4 on the season.
“We spoke with our guys about playing an earlier game,” Royals head coach Aaron Spaulding said afterwards while attempting to get everyone home before the storm hit. “You know, this was no different as drawing the 6 p.m. game in the sectional and we tried to approach it like that.”
The Royals didn’t let up with a big lead after one quarter, however. Until the Royals reached 80 points with about 3 minutes remaining, the pedal was to the metal. At one point, the lead was as large as 38 points.
Leading the way were juniors Brycen Napier and Addison True. Napier finished the game with a team-high 28 points, and True was close behind with 23 points and 11 rebounds.
“I thought both of those guys really attacked the rim well tonight,” Spaulding said. “When you attack the rim like they did it gives you some easier looks from outside.”
True to Spaulding’s statement, True buried four 3-pointers and Napier made three.
On a junior-laden team, Duncan Cherry and Jacob Eischen also contributed to the Royals victory.
Eischen handled the paint while Cherry attacked the rim. Eischen’s positioning lead to at least two easy baskets during the game after being found by Napier and True.
In the second half, after the Waldron defense keyed in a bit more on Napier, True scored seven second-half points. Eischen would finish with eight points and seven rebounds, while Cherry would finish with 10 points and five rebounds.
“(As a coach for a team with a big lead) it’s my job to keep the team focused on making adjustments like normal and to work on things that may come up later in the year in a tighter game,” Spaulding said. “Even though our intensity let up a bit in the second half tonight, I think we did a great job of handling that.”
The Royals next take the floor at 7:30 tonight at against the visiting Union County Patriots.