12-0. No. 1 ranking. Hancock County champions.
The season could not have started any better for Mt. Vernon, which was voted in Monday as the state’s top 3A team in the latest Associated Press poll.
MV’s only truly close game to this point came when it handed Hamilton Southeastern its only defeat of the season, a 52-49 decision that doubled as the Royals’ first home setback to a non-4A program since Feb. 3, 2007.
The Marauders have also beaten perennial 4A powers New Castle and Pendleton Heights, and dismantled rival New Palestine 60-39 in the semifinals of the county tournament.
Seventh-year MV coach Steve Lynch, who recently garnered his 90th career victory, has been impressed with his group’s ability to turn the page after each of those statement wins.
“The highlight has been their maturity, their business-like approach to playing,” he offered. “My excitement about this group is their consistency and willingness to respond to competition.”
Anthony Burnett, CJ Coleman, Stephen Turner and Dan Werner — Part of what has made Mt. Vernon successful is how the team’s players fit the puzzle, and that’s no different with its four most experienced members, Burnett, Coleman, Turner and Werner.
At 18.7 points, Coleman is a smidge below NP’s Michael Morris for the county lead, but is on track to lead the area in 3-point shooting for the second year running (46.2 percent).