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Eastern Hancock finds a way in key MHC victory


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MORRISTOWN — Eastern Hancock wasn’t as flashy or spectacular from the outside Friday night as it was the previous two games.

But the Royals played well enough to win, and moved a huge step closer to a Mid-Hoosier Conference title.

It was defense that won EH a 51-42 battle over Morristown at the Bee Hive, as the Royals withstood a flat evening shooting the basketball and knocked the Yellow Jackets out of the conference race.

The 13-4 Royals, winners of three straight, moved to 6-2 in the MHC and will clinch at least a share of the title by beating Indian Creek Monday.

EH coach Aaron Spaulding liked how his team played, despite shooting 32 percent from the field, 7-of-27 on 3-pointers and missing 11-of-21 free throw tries.

“We found a different way to win (Friday),” Spaulding said. “I thought the kids played hard and they played well. We didn’t shoot the ball well, particularly at the foul line. but I thought the kids did a lot of good things.”

The Royals made a combined 26 threes in their previous two wins, over Union County and Edinburgh.

It was more of a small-ball type of game for EH, especially in the second half. After hitting six treys in the first half, the Royals attempted only eight after that, and focused on limiting opportunities for Morristown.

The Royals led for all but the first 4 1/2 minutes and pushed the lead up to 30-19, either by guys like Isaiah McCormick and Garrett Hancock firing away, or Derrik Noel crashing inside.

Noel scored 11 of his game-high 17 points in the first half.

The Royals took a more conservative approach in the second half, with four starters with three or more fouls. Nobody fouled out, though.

EH netted only four field goals and 16 points over the final two quarters; however, the Jackets (9-8, 5-4 MHC) never really threatened. Morristown got to within 37-32, but the Royals later had a 6-0 run and were up 13 early in the fourth.

The Royals killed a lot of time late by going into a pattern similar to the North Carolina four corners that Dean Smith made famous.

“I thought our two big kids, Logan Splater and Tom Barton, did a great job on the boards,” Spaulding said. “We defended their leading scorer (Ty) Strreval well; he’s a very good shooter and he didn’t hit any threes (Friday).”

Barton led EH with seven rebounds, spelling Splatter, who had six.

McCormick’s 13 points and nine by Hancock rounded out the scoring by the starters.

“I thought our bench played outstanding,” Spaulding said. “We’ve got a deep team. Barton did a great job, Dustin Davidson gave us some good minutes, Cole Fout did some good things, as did Caleb Wallen.”

Eastern Hancock improved to 8-2 on the road.

The Royals’ JV squad fell to Morristown 30-29. Austin Lacy led EH with eight points.

 

BOYS VARSITY

Eastern Hancock 51, Morristown 42

EH — Noel 6-14 4-7 17, Splater 0-0 0-2 0, McCormick 4-12 3-5 13, Hancock 3-13 0-0 9, Henderson 0-1 0-3 9, Davidson 0-3 3-4 3, Fout 1-3 0-0 3, Barton 1-3 0-0 2, Wallen 2-4 0-0 4. Totals — 17-53 10-21 51.

MO — Shepherdson 3-7 2-2 8, Streeval 3-7 0-0 6, Borders 2-10 2-3 6, Burton 0-2 0-0 0, Munson 3-9 5-6 11, Flora 1-1 3-4 5, Hallauer 2-3 0-0 5, VanDyke 0-0 1-2 1. Totals — 14-39 13-17 42.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

EH (13-4, 6-2 MHC) 15 18 8 10 — 51

MO (9-8, 5-4 MHC) 9 15 8 10 — 42

Three-pt. field goals: EH 7-27 (Hancock 3-11, McCormick 2-10, Fout 1-3, Noel 1-1, Davidson 0-1, Wallen 0-1); MO 1-9 (Hallauer 1-1, Borders 0-4, Burton 0-2, Munson 0-2).

Rebounds: EH 36 (Barton 7, Splater 6, Noel 5, McCormick 4, Henderson 4, Hancock 3, Fout 2, Wallen 2, Team 3); MO 35 (Shepherdson 7, Borders 6, Streeval 5, Flora 4, Hallauer 2, Munson 2, Burton 1, VanDyke 1, Team 7). Assists: EH 11 (McCormick 3, Fout 2, Hancock 2, Davidson 2, Henderson 1, Splater 1); MO 5 (Burton 2, Shepherdson 1, Borders 1, Flora 1). Steals: EH 5 (Davidson 2, McCormick 1, Hancock 1, Splater 1); MO 3 (Borders 1, Munson 1, Hallauer 1). Blocks: EH 1 (Fout 1). Fouls: EH 19, MO 20. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: EH 5, MO 11.

JV

Morristown 30. Eastern Hancock 29

EH — Lacy 8, Allen 6, Spegal 6, Speas 5, Beyers 2, Wallace 2. 

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