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Lehman lights up Royals' defense


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TRAFALGAR — The Eastern Hancock girls basketball team faced one of the best players it has seen the last two seasons. Accordingly, the Royals suffered one of their worst losses in that time span.

Indian Creek’s Ally Lehman scored 18 of her game-high 27 points in the first quarter Saturday to start the Braves on the way to an easy 74-45 win. Lehman, bound for Division I Northern Illinois next fall, made 7-of-10 shots from the field in the opening quarter; her 3-pointer to end the quarter gave Indian Creek (5-2, 1-0 Mid-Hoosier Conference) a 20-10 advantage, and the Braves went unchallenged the rest of the way.

The Royals (2-2, 0-1 MHC) made their conference debut — they were independent the last two seasons — and they hadn’t faced Indian Creek since 2009, but they were aware of Lehman prior to the contest.

“We actually talked in the scouting report and game plan to make sure we full deny her, not to watch the ball,” EH coach Jeremy Powers said. “And I think we got caught watching the ball a couple times. It was defensive breakdowns. I think we just lost track of where she was for some reason.” 

Lehman, a five-foot-10 senior forward who added seven rebounds, six assists and five steals, was one of several Braves who made Swiss cheese of the Eastern Hancock defense. Indian Creek shooters found open lanes to the basket and uncontested jumpers on the way to 28-of-44 shooting from 2-point range. The Braves finished with 20 assists on 29 total field goal attempts.

“They were a step quicker tonight and we could never match that speed or intensity,” Powers said. “They’re quicker, they’re better. They’re 3A for a reason.”

Candace Danz (16 points), Alexis McGregor (12 points) and Jessica Knight (10 points) joined Lehman in double figures. The quartet also combined for 14 steals, part of 2A Eastern Hancock’s 31 turnovers.

The Royals, led by Kiersten Schrope and Hannah Best with 11 points each, suffered their worst loss since suffering back-to-back blowouts to 3A Mt. Vernon (67-18) and 4A Greenfield-Central (78-47) in last season’s Hancock County Tourney. However, Eastern Hancock followed up those setbacks by winning four of its next six games against similar small-school foes and finished — with nearly all of these same players — 12-9, its best record in nearly a decade.

Powers expects a similar benefit from Saturday’s challenging contest.

“I told the girls this is Nov. 24th; this is not January, not February,” he said. “A game like this does nothing but make us better in the long run, because now we’ve played a tougher team at the beginning of the season. We know what we have to do to get better, and we’ll be fine come Tuesday night.”

Eastern Hancock will look for its inaugural MHC victory tonight at home against South Decatur (1-5, 0-1 MHC).

Notes: Eastern Hancock’s Kristin Eischen led all players with 10 rebounds. ... Indian Creek has won 10 straight over the Royals. IC lost to Eastern Hancock 80-58 Dec. 16, 2000 — the season of the Royals’ lone sectional title — then IC won nine in a row over EH before the series was suspended following 2009-10. It resumed this year with the Royals’ addition to the MHC. ... Morgan Mench (16 points, eight rebounds) and Hope Spaulding (nine points) led the Royals JV to a 27-25 win.

VARSITY

Indian Creek 74, Eastern Hancock 45

EH — Schrope 4-8 0-0 11, Dickey 1-3 0-0 2, Eischen 1-6 4-6 6, Eastes 1-3 1-1 3, Best 4-12 0-0 11, Marshall 0-0 1-2 1, Overleese 1-2 1-2 3, Neisler 1-4 2-6 4, Mourey 2-2 0-0 4, Mo. Mench 0-1 0-0 0, Spaulding 0-1 0-0 0, Lee 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 15-42 9-17 45.

IC — Mathena 1-7 1-4 3, Knight 3-4 4-6 10, McGregor 6-12 0-0 12, R. Danz 0-1 0-0 0, C. Danz 5-15 6-7 16, Lehman 11-16 4-6 27, Haste 3-3 0-0 6. Totals — 29-58 15-23 74.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

EH (2-2, 0-1 MHC) 10 15 6  14 — 45

IC (5-2, 1-0 MHC)  20 15 24 15 — 74

Three-pt. field goals: EH 6-14 (Schrope 3-5, Eischen 0-1, Best 3-8), IC 1-14 (Mathena 0-5, McGregor 0-1, C. Danz 0-6, Lehman 1-2).

Rebounds: EH 27 (Schrope 3, Eischen 10, Eastes 3, Best 1, Marshall 2, Overleese 2, Neisler 5, Mo. Mench 1), IC 27 (Mathena 4, McGregor 6, R. Danz 1, C. Danz 8, Lehman 7, Haste 1). Assists: EH 5 (Schrope 2, Dickey 1, Eischen 1, Best 1), IC 20 (Mathena 7, Knight 2, McGregor 2, C. Danz 2, Lehman 6, Haste 1). Steals: EH 6 (Dickey 1, Eischen 1, Best 2, Overleese 1, Spaulding 1), IC 18 (Mathena 1, Knight 3, McGregor 3, R. Danz 1, C. Danz 3, Lehman 5, Haste 2). Blocks: EH 0, IC 0. Total fouls: EH 16, IC 18. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: EH 31, IC 13.

JV

Eastern Hancock 27, Indian Creek 25

EH — Mo. Mench 10, Spaulding 9.

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