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Noel double-double carries Royals to 7th straight win


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GREENSBURG — On a challenging night for a number of reasons, Eastern Hancock’s boys basketball team was again up to the task Friday.

The Royals again hit the road under less than ideal conditions, this time more than an hour away to South Decatur, and came back with a 57-47 win.

A Derrik Noel double-double (18 points, 11 rebounds) spearheaded EH’s seventh consecutive victory, and sixth straight in an opponent’s gym.

The Royals (8-2, 4-1 Mid-Hoosier Conference) did so on an off night of sorts.  They shot just 38 percent from the field and made only 8-of-19 free throws.

“Obviously when you get a conference win on the road, we’re happy with it,” EH coach Aaron Spaulding said. “I thought a few times we could have buried them, but we let them back on the game. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well (Friday).”

But aside from a few instances early on, the Royals led the Cougars (3-6, 0-2 MHC) throughout.

EH began to separate itself from SD near the end of a 20-point first quarter for the Royals, as Noel made 4-of-5 baskets and had 10 points in the period.

The Royals had the lead up to nine on two instances in the second quarter, but the Cougars held EH to just one bucket over the final five minutes of the first half. The Royals were ahead 28-25 at halftime.

EH increased the lead 11 in just over three minutes of the second half, thanks in large part to three more hoops by Noel. But SD stayed in it, getting to within 42-39 with 6:10 to go in the contest.

Garrett Hancock, though, prevented the Cougars from getting any closer. The senior sixth man drilled 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions, and EH again was up by double digits.

The Royals’ largest advantage was 55-41 at the tail end of 10-0 run with 47 seconds to go.

EH hit the boards in abundance — 39 in all — and, most pleasing to Spaulding, it committed only six turnovers.

“We did a much better job in the second half, and we outrebounded them by six in the second half,” Spaulding said. “Those are the types of things you’ve got to do to win games, especially when the ball isn’t going in.”

Hancock ended with 14 points, including four triples.  Cooper Henderson and Logan Splater both scored eight.  Splater added nine rebounds and Cole Fout eight.

EH improved to 6-0 on the road, and remained in second place in the MHC. Knightstown  leads at 3-0, and North Decatur (3-1) beat Morristown (2-1) Friday.

“This was a very difficult game, it was a cold night and we had a long drive,” Spaulding said. “We’ve done a nice job with adversity, and we’re still waiting to hit our stride.  We’re not quite there yet.”

Notes: The Royals’ JV beat SD 54-23, with Cole Allen leading EH with 12 points. ... SD visits Class 3A No. 1 Greensburg (13-1) tonight. Greensburg lost Friday to Madison to snap a 28-game winning streak. ... EH is scheduled to host Shenandoah (6-5) tonight.

BOYS VARSITY

Eastern Hancock 57,

South Decatur 47

EH — Noel 8-17 2-3 18, Splater 4-7 0-4 8, Henderson 3-7 0-0 8, Fout 1-5 2-7 4, McCormick 1-7 0-0 3, Hancock 4-7 2-3 14, Davidson 0-4 2-2 2, Barton 0-1 0-0 0, Wallen 0-0 0-0 0.  Totals — 21-55 8-19 57.

SD — Kopplin 6-14 2-3 16, Schwering 0-1 0-0 9, Taylor 2-3 0-2 5, Wullenweber 4-9 3-5 12, Johannigman 1-7 1-2 3, Cunningham 3-7 1-2 8, Studler 1-2 0-0 2, Ortman 0-4 0-0 0, Niese 0-0 1-2 1. Totals — 17-47 8-16 47.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

EH (8-2, 4-1 MHC)    20    8    14    15    —    57

SD (3-6, 0-2 MHC)    14    11    11    11    —    47

Three-pt. field goals: EH 7-17 (Hancock 4-7, Henderson 2-2, McCormick 1-4, Davidson 0-2, Fout 0-2), SD 5-14 (Kopplin 2-6, Wullenweber 1-2, Cunningham 1-2, Taylor 1-1, Schwering 0-1, Johannigman 0-1, Ortman 0-1).

Rebounds: EH 39 (Noel 11, Splater 9, Fout 8, Hancock 3, Henderson 1, McCormick 1, Barton 1, Wallen 1, Team 4), SD 35 (Johannigman 7, Cunningham 6, Kopplin 5, Taylor 5, Studler 5, Taylor 3, Schwering 2, Wullenweber 1, Team 1). Assists: EH 11 (Noel 4, Fout 2, Henderson 2, Barton 1, Hancock 1, McCormick 1), SD 7 (Wullenweber 3, Ortman 2, Schwering 2, Johannigman 1). Steals: EH 9 (Noel 3, Splater 2, Henderson 1, Fout 1, McCormick 1, Barton 1), SD 2 (Johannigman 1, Studler 2). Fouls: EH 16, SD 17. Fouled out: none. Technical foul: Henderson (EH). Turnovers: EH 6, SD 16.

JV

Eastern Hancock 54, South Decatur 23

EH: Allen 12, Speas 11, Dickey 10, Lacy 8, Spegal 6, Wallace 5, Beyers 2.

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