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Eastern Hancock's losing skid hits eight


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CHARLOTTESVILLE — Eastern Hancock hustled its way to a staggering 24 offensive rebounds against South Decatur Friday night.

On the flip side, the Royals missed an equally-astounding 46 field-goal attempts off 65 tries.

While creating two dozen second chances usually wins games, shooting at a 29-percent clip seldom does. And it didn’t for EH against the Cougars.

For the eighth time running, the Royals found themselves on the short side of the ledger, 53-45, as EH was unable to convert its numerous opportunities against a quality Mid-Hoosier Conference opponent.

The Royals fell to 2-11 and 1-4 in the conference. Their last win was Dec. 14, against Knightstown.

“That’s kind of been where we’ve been this year,” EH coach Aaron Spaulding said. “We’re competing well, but we’re just not getting it done.”

A prime example of how the Royals’ night went occurred early in the fourth quarter, when the Royals were down only 40-38 and Garrett Lee at the line with a chance to tie. He missed both shots, then EH collected two rebounds to keep the possession alive but couldn’t convert. On their next possession, the Royals went 0-for-3.

After an exchange of baskets, SD (9-3, 1-3 MHC) ran off six unanswered points and EH was unable to get to within a possession of the Cougars after that.

The Royals had three brief leads, (2-0, 16-14 and 18-16). SD pulled away just before halftime and led 25-19 at the break.

Cody Wallace (15 points) and Derrik Noel (10) not only were the lone Royals in double figures but the only two for EH that shot better than 50 percent.

The rest of the team shot 7-for-44, with usually-reliable guard Victor Vincz being shut out in the first half. He ended with 6 points, less than half his team-leading average.

EH made just 2-of-18 three-point attempts.

“We’ve got to find ways to score the basketball,” Spaulding said. “We’ve got to keep working at it in practice and sooner or later those shots are going to fall and some of these games are going to go our way.”

Wallace also led the way for the Royals on the boards with 12, seven offensive.  Backup Spencer Gilbert grabbed six offensive rebounds and nine total.

“The kids played extremely hard, our offensive rebounding was purely effort and you’re not going to get better than that,” Spaulding said. “I absolutely cannot fault the kids’ effort; they fought their tails off and left it on the floor.  We just needed some shots to go down.”

Spaulding said frustration is showing on the players’ faces as the program is now mired in its longest skid in seven years.

“Every time, we’re going to get up, we’re going to fight and we’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves,” Spaulding said. “Our goal has always been to be playing our best basketball in March and that hasn’t changed. We’ve shown we can compete with good people, but now we’ve got to find ways to win.”

Notes: Byron Balser and Cameron Agnew both scored 16 for SD, with Balser adding 14 rebounds (11 in the first half). … Friday was Hoops for the Cure night, promoting cancer awareness.  Many in the crowd wore pink T-shirts. ... EH also lost eight in a row during the 1999-2000, 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. …The JV Royals blasted SD 44-12, led by freshman Tom Barton’s 16 points. ... EH is at Shenandoah tonight.

BOYS VARSITY

South Decatur 53, Eastern Hancock 45

SD — Balser 6-17 2-2 16, Miller 2-2 3-5 7, Agnew 3-5 8-9 16, Hatton 2-4 0-0. 4, Wullenweber 1-3 2-3 4, Kopplin 2-7 0-0 6, Johannigman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 16-38 15-19 53.

EH — Wallace 7-13 1-1 15, Lee 1-4 0-0 2, Vincz 2-14 1-2 6, I. McCormick 0-6 0-0 0, S. McCormick 3-11 2-6 8, Gilbert 0-2 1-2 1, Fout 1-7 0-0 3, Noel 5-8 0-0 10, Hicks 0-0 0-0 0, Henderson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 19-65 5-11 45.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

SD (9-3, 1-3 MHC) 14 11 15 13 — 53

EH (2-11, 1-4 MHC) 9 10 14 12 — 45

Three-pt. field goals: SD 6-12 (Balser 2-3, Agnew 2-2, Kopplin 2-6, Hatton 0-1), EH 2-18 (Fout 1-6, Vincz 1-6, I. McCormick 0-3, S. McCormick 0-3).

Rebounds: SD 30 (Balser 14, Agnew 6, Hatton 2, Kopplin 2, Miller 1, Team 5), EH 44 (Wallace 12, Gilbert 9, S. McCormick 6, Lee 4, I. McCormick 4, Vincz 3, Noel 1, Fout 1, Team 4). Assists: SD 6 (Miller 2, Balser 2, Agnew 1, Wullenweber 1, Kopplin 1), EH 11 (Noel 2, S, McCormick 2, Vincz 2, Henderson 2, I. McCormick 2, Fout 1). Steals: SD 8 (Agnew 3, Miller 2, Balser 2, Kopplin 1), EH 9 (Wallace ). Blocks: SD 2 (Balser 1, Miller 1), EH 1 (Lee 1). Total fouls: SD 13, EH 18. Fouled out: Wallace (EH). Turnovers: SD 19, EH 14.

JV

Eastern Hancock 44, South Decatur 12

EH — Barton 16, Reece 11, Davidson 5, Splater 5, Spegal 4, Lacy 3

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