By Brady Extin | Daily Reporter

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KNIGHTSTOWN — Eastern Hancock tied up the all-time series with rival Knightstown Friday night.

On the road, they secured a dominant 67-10 victory to move the series to 39-39.

“It’s a great rival, and always has been. It’s always nice to beat Knightstown. It doesn’t matter the records or anything,” Eastern Hancock head coach Aaron Spaulding said. “I told the kids to throw all that out because I’ve known a lot of times where one team has played the other fantastic when on paper it didn’t look like that. I’m really proud of our kids coming out with energy and really getting after it, and doing a nice job tonight.”

The Royals led from start to finish and, after going up 11-0 at the end of the first quarter, never let the Panthers back within single digits.

Just over two minutes into the second quarter it was a Silas Spaulding steal, and subsequent layup by his brother Jacob Spaulding that pushed the Eastern Hancock lead up to 20-0.

From there, the lead continued to grow.

The Royals’ leading scorer, Jacob Spaulding, outscored Knightstown by himself in the first half.

He hit four first-half 3-pointers and totaled 15 first-half points to give Eastern Hancock a 33-6 halftime lead.

On the night, he led the Royals with 16 points.

As a team, the Royals knocked down 12 3-pointers, and had plenty of opportunities to add even more to that total.

“We’re still not quite hitting on all cylinders offensively, which is a good thing. We’ve still got to work on some stuff, but obviously we got some good stuff tonight,” coach Spaulding said. “Early on I thought we were actually taking too many 3s, so we started attacking the basket better and that opened up some stuff. We’ll continue to get better at that as the year goes on.”

Scoring double digits along with Jacob Spaulding was Edric Miller with 14 and Silas Spaulding with 13.

Starting center Grant Gray was responsible for three of the 3-pointers, and finished with nine points.

With the lead in hand, the starters exited the game just after the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Off the bench, the Royals’ got scoring from Caiden Willis (4), Kayden Ruble (4), Jayden Stine (4), and Luke Morris (3).

Defensively, the Royals’ held a Panthers team that came into the game averaging 51.3 points per game scoreless until the 3:40 mark of the second quarter, when Jacob Byers knocked down two free throws.

He tacked on four more second-quarter points, and led the Panthers on the night with six.

Knightstown’s leading scorer, Michael Roberson, came into the night averaging 20.5 points per game. The Royals defense held him to just three late free throws.

“Really, really pleased with our defense right now. We are guarding at a high level,” coach Spaulding said. “I have a lot of pride in how they guard, so I’m really pleased with where we are at. I thought we played with energy and kept our focus throughout the entire game.”

Eastern Hancock’s next game is Tuesday at home against Randolph Southern.

Eastern Hancock 67, Knightstown 10

Eastern Hancock;11;22;20;14;-;67


Eastern Hancock (5-1): Jacob Spaulding 5 2-4 16, Silas Spaulding 6 0-0 13, Edric Miller 5 1-1 14, Grant Gray 3 0-0 9, Kayden Ruble 1 2-2 4, Luke Morris 1 0-0 3, Caiden Willis 1 2-3 4, Charlie Halcomb 0 0-0 0, Jayden Stine 1 2-2 4, Eli Manship 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 9-12 67

Knightstown (4-3): Michael Roberson 0 3-3 3, Brayden McDaniel 0 1-2 1, Mason Fields 0 0-0 0, Owen Newkirk 0 0-0 0, Jake Byers 2 2-2 6, Peyton Inman 0 0-0 0, Hayden Waggoner 0 0-0 0, Palmer Newkirk 0 0-0 0, Ayden Keith 0 0-0 0. Totals: 2 6-7 10.

3-point goals: Eastern Hancock 12 (J. Spaulding 4, Miller 3, Gray 3, S. Spaulding 1, Morris 1), Knightstown 0.