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Mid-season hoops report: Eastern Hancock

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Whether Eastern Hancock’s struggles in close games are a direct result of the team’s inability to stay healthy is a question up for debate.

Something that isn’t arguable, however, is the fact that the Royals are marred in their worst losing streak in recent memory.

Saturday’s 56-37 loss to Union County was the team’s eighth consecutive defeat.

In records dating back to the 1993-94 campaign, three other EH squads experienced eight-game losing skids, but each prevailed in their next contest.

This edition has simply had a hard time staying on the court.

The Royals (2-10) began the season without reigning county scoring leader Victor Vincz, as well as contributors Cooper Henderson and Shane McCormick.

All three missed multiple games to begin the season — McCormick missed five, Vincz sat out four and Henderson was inactive for three — before returning.

Around that time, Garrett Lee came down with the flu and missed the team’s game against Muncie Burris on Jan. 4.

Now, Garrett Hancock — the team’s third-leading scorer at nine points per game — is out indefinitely with mononucleosis, while Vincz’s status for EH’s weekend games against South Decatur (8-3) and Shenandoah (6-5) is uncertain because of an injured hand.

“It’s been one thing or another with injuries or sickness,” said coach Aaron Spaulding, whose squad is 0-8 in games decided by 10 points or less. “But, with the exception of two games, we’ve been in every game in the final two minutes.”

Offense has been an issue for Spaulding’s squad, as EH’s scoring average is down to 48.8 points from 60.4 a year ago. The team had yet to crack the 60-point barrier, something it did on 12 occasions in 2011-12.

“We’ve got to find better ways to score,” Spaulding commented. “Defensively, we’ve done a pretty good job, that’s what has kept us in games. We just have to keep finding ways.”


Cody Wallace — For the third season in a row, Wallace has upped his scoring average, going from 3.3 his sophomore year to 7.9 last year to tallying 9.4 through 10 games this season.

EH’s tallest regular at 6-3, Wallace rarely ventures away from the basket, and is constantly battling with players three and four inches taller than him.

“He’s going to get his points by crashing the boards, lurking around the basket,” Spaulding said of Wallace, who is tied for the county lead in rebounds at 7.1 rpg. “He earns them the hard way, the dirty way, the old fashioned way — whatever you want to call it.”



Garrett Hancock and Shane McCormick — Hancock was hot to begin the season, averaging 11.2 points in the team’s first five games.

The junior guard has missed the past two games because of mono, but luckily for Hancock and EH, Shane McCormick has risen to the occasion and helped shouldered the scoring burden.

The senior has been the Royals’ best offensive option lately, averaging 9.7 points in the team’s past three games, including a career-high 16 vs. Muncie Burris.

“Kids have had to step up and play more, and different guys have stepped up and done a good job,” Spaulding offered.


The first step for Eastern Hancock is to get all of its regulars on the court at the same time, especially Vincz.

Vincz, who had to sit out eight months recovering from a concussion, is in “October form,” according to Spaulding.

Despite being out of his normal playing shape, Vincz, a senior, had scored in double digits in five of his eight games before injuring his hand against Union County.

Sitting at 1-3 in its first season of Mid-Hoosier play, EH has a chance to improve its conference standing with remaining contests against Edinburgh (8-2), Hauser (0-11), Morristown (5-4) and South Decatur (8-3).

The Royals close the season at Sectional 41 host Hagerstown (12-0, No. 6 in 2A). EH is 1-4 vs. common sectional foes.

“Once we are in the sectional, we’ll be ready to compete and have a chance to win,” Spaulding explained. “The goal has not changed even with our struggles.”


(per game)


12.4 l Victor Vincz

9.4 l Cody Wallace

9.0 l Garrett Hancock


7.1 l Cody Wallace

5.3 l Spencer Gilbert

4.8 l Victor Vincz


4.1 l Victor Vincz


58.0 l Cody Wallace


82.6 l Victor Vincz


Nov. 21     at Centerville {2A}       L   37-  45     

Nov. 24     at Indian Creek {3A}‡       L   56-  60     

Dec. 1     Southwestern (Shelbyville) {1A}‡      W   57-  46     

Dec. 7     at Northeastern {2A}       L   54-  59     

Dec. 14     at Knightstown {2A}      W   54-  37     

Dec. 15     Cambridge City Lincoln {2A}       L   55-  60     

Dec. 18     North Decatur {2A}‡       L   52-  62     

Dec. 29     Greenfield-Central {4A}     ot  L   53-  54     

Dec. 29     (n)New Palestine {4A}       L   34-  59     

Jan. 4     Muncie Burris {2A}       L   56-  59     

Jan. 11     at Waldron {1A}‡       L   40-  47     

Jan. 12     at Union County {2A}       L   37-  56     

Jan. 18     South Decatur {1A}‡     7:30 pm     

Jan. 19     at Shenandoah {2A}     7:30 pm     

Jan. 26     Greenfield-Central {4A}     7:30 pm     

Feb. 1     Tri {1A}     7:30 pm     

Feb. 7     Hauser {1A}‡     7:30 pm     

Feb. 12     at Edinburgh {1A}‡     7:30 pm     

Feb. 15     Morristown {1A}‡     7:30 pm     

Feb. 22     at Hagerstown {2A}     8:00 pm     


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