CHARLOTTESVILLE — The Class 2A 10th-ranked Eastern Hancock boys basketball team dropped a tough game, 57-48, at home Saturday against 2A Heritage Christian.
The visiting Eagles (5-6) grabbed an early 18-12 lead and later led 35-26 by halftime to hand the Royals their second loss in three games. Eastern Hancock was coming off a 74-49 road win over Mid-Eastern Conference foe Randolph Southern on Tuesday, Jan. 11.
The Royals (8-3, 3-1 MEC) resume conference play on Friday at 2A No. 4 Monroe Central to kick off a back-to-back MEC weekend with a home game on Saturday night against rival Shenandoah (6-4, 2-1 MEC). Both games tip at 7:30 p.m.
In their loss to Heritage Christian, the Royals were paced by senior Landon O’Neal’s team-high 21 points on 6 of 13 shooting.
Silas Spaulding finished with 12 points, including four 3-pointers, but the Royals shot 31 percent from the field as a team and were 11 of 31 from 3-point range. O’Neal converted 5 of 7 attempts from beyond the arc and added two rebounds.
Cole Rainbolt had three points and a team-best seven rebounds, followed by Edric Miller’s five boards and five points. Silas Spaulding and Jacob Spaulding each finished with three assists. Miller had a pair.
Marauders win third straight
The Class 4A No. 17 Mt. Vernon boys basketball team collected its third consecutive victory by defeating host 4A Avon, 78-54, on Friday night.
The Marauders (9-2) flipped a 17-14 first-quarter deficit into a 35-23 halftime lead that they never relinquished following a 21 and 22 point third and fourth quarter, respectively.
The Marauders shot 56 percent from the field in the game and were powered by a team-high 18 points by Amhad Jarrard and 17 from Cooper Galli.
Avery Williams Jr. and Armon Jarrard each provided nine points, Razhaun Wells had eight and Darren Smith added seven. Gavin Sullivan chipped in five.
Mt. Vernon went 6 of 13 from 3-point range with three going to Galli, who shot 6 of 8 from the field with two of his team’s 18 free throws. The Marauders were 18-for-21 from the foul line.
Eli Bridenthal had three assists and a team-best nine rebounds, while Armon Jarrard, Galli and Smith each hauled in five boards apiece. Wells and Williams finished with three. Amhad Jarrard also dished out three assists.
The Marauders travel to 4A Lawrence Central tonight before hosting 3A Hamilton Heights on Friday night. Both games tip at 7:30 p.m.
Royals drop second straight
The Class 2A No. 11 Eastern Hancock girls basketball team dropped its second straight, losing to visiting Class A Waldron, 55-44, on Saturday.
The Royals (13-4, 6-1 MEC) hadn’t lost more than one game in a row this season until now and had won nine consecutive contests from Nov. 16 through Dec. 21.
They travel to New Palestine tonight for a county showdown at 7:30 p.m. before hosting MEC foe Daleville on Thursday night.
Against Waldron, the Royals led 10-8 after the first quarter, but they fell behind 23-14 by halftime. They clawed back with a 32-point second half, but the Mohawks held on by posting 30 points of their own to maintain the advantage.
Sammie Bolding was the lone Royal to reach double digits with 15 points on 5 of 9 shooting. Grace Stapleton had nine points, while Caroline Stapleton had five and Brooklyn Willis, Makenzie O’Neal and Emma Bolding each had four.
The Royals were 5 of 23 from 3-point range and converted 17 of 29 free throws.
Ruby White, who had three points, pulled down a team-best seven rebounds. Grace Stapleton posted six rebounds, three assists and two steals. O’Neal had six rebounds and three steals.
Emma and Sammie Bolding each had five rebounds. Caroline Stapleton had two steals.
Dragons win season opener
The New Palestine gymnastics team won its season opener Thursday, tallying 97.2 points to beat host Shelbyville (87.15) and Lutheran (33.525).
Kennedy Garrett won the floor exercise with a score of 8.825. Addy Kendall was second (8.525). J.J. Fee was fifth (8.3).
Kendall also posted an individual-event victory for the Dragons, winning the uneven bars (8.2). Garrett was fourth (7.625) and Alyse Rickey fifth (7.15).
Fee was second on balance beam (8.2) and Garrett third (8.125). On vault, Chaira Polo and Maliyah Ringham tied for third (8.1), while Garrett tied for fourth (8.075).
Garrett was third in the all-around (32.65).
The Dragons return to action Saturday at the Valparaiso Invitational.