KNIGHTSTOWN — Out-sized by a few inches at nearly every position, Eastern Hancock’s strategy for dismantling Northeastern Tuesday in the Class 2A Sectional 41 quarterfinals at Knightstown was simple.
“Run, run, run,” EH coach Jeremy Powers explained after the Royals advanced with a 61-45 victory.
The Royals (17-4) will face Centerville (8-9) Friday in the semifinals in a rematch of a 41-38 regular season win by Eastern Hancock.
Powers’ team also defeated Northeastern (9-11) by three points in the regular season (50-47, Dec. 6), but the sectional sequel was no cliffhanger.
After a 3-for-19 shooting performance in the first quarter, EH trailed 11-10, despite forcing 12 Northeastern turnovers. As the Royals’ stroke began to equal their defensive efficiency, however, the balanced EH squad took over, outscoring the Knights 36-21 in the middle two quarters.
“We went back and looked at the film from the first game, looked at a couple other films and noticed that they’re a team, with all due respect, that doesn’t like to play a lot of defense,” Powers said. “So, we wanted to get up and down the court. Just run, get up and court and make their bigs have to work against us.”