Royals go 1-1 during first day of Wettig

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Eastern Hancock’s Jacob Spaulding had 38 points in two games in Tuesday’s pool play of the Bob Wettig Invitational Tournament in Richmond. The Royals split games, beating North Decatur and losing to Bloomington South.

Mike Brown | For The Daily Reporter

Competing well against a strong Class 4A program and getting a convincing win in the second game of the day, made for a pleasing start for the Eastern Hancock Royals in Tuesday’s Bob Wettig Memorial Tournament in Richmond.

The Royals, ranked No. 5 in the latest Associated Press Class 2A poll, lost 67-55 in the morning to Bloomington South. They followed with a 60-36 victory over North Decatur in the afternoon.

Eastern Hancock (7-2) will play Class 1A No. 10 Indianapolis Tindley 1 p.m. today at IU-East.

The Royals will also play at 5 p.m. — at IU-East or Richmond High School’s Tiernan Center — against either Greensburg or Heritage in a fifth-place or seventh-place game. There are 12 teams in the tournament.

“I was really pleased with the day. Playing someone like Bloomington South, which has 8 or 9 really good players, we competed really well with them and led (in the first half),” Eastern Hancock head coach Aaron Spaulding said. “(Bloomington South) shot it very well and it just got away from us. We didn’t shoot well in the second half.”

In the first half, Silas Spaulding had a four-point play to turn a 20-20 tie into a four-point lead. The Royals led by as much as seven in the first 16 minutes.

At halftime, Eastern Hancock trailed 30-29. The Royals were outscored 14-4 in the third period.

With its win over Eastern Hancock, and later over North Decatur, Bloomington South improved to 7-3 and won the three-team pool.

Against the Panthers, Silas Spaulding led Eastern Hancock with 20 points. Twin brother Jacob Spaulding scored 18 and Edric Miller added 11. Silas Spaulding hit five 3-pointers. Jake had three.

“I was really pleased about the competition,” coach Spaulding added on his team’s play. “Against North Decatur, where we were playing our second game and they were just playing their first, we built a nice lead and was able to stretch it out from there. It was a good day, good for our team.”

Jacob Spaulding led Eastern scorers against the Chargers with 20 points. Grant Gray had 13, including three 3s. Silas Spaulding made three 3s and had 11.

“This day was all about the competition and getting us ready for later on in the year,” coach Spaulding added. “Coming into (Tuesday), five of our seven games had been running clock. We needed a day where we were pushed and competed and I thought we got that.”