FAIRLAND — With just three seniors and limited varsity experience on the roster prior to this season, the Eastern Hancock boys basketball team isn’t the most experienced group when it comes to postseason play.

On Tuesday, in their first sectional game as a group and the first postseason game under first-year head coach Brett Bechtel, you wouldn’t have been able to tell.

In an IHSAA Class 2A Sectional 42 quarterfinal at Triton Central, the Royals (13-10) knocked off the reigning champs, Indianapolis Scecina (8-16), 67-41.

The win avenged last season’s 55-40 sectional semifinal loss to the Crusaders.

“We mentioned last year just a little bit. It’s two totally different rosters, but most of us still remember what happened on our floor last year,” Bechtel said. “A lot of our kids have not been in this situation before because this is a whole different animal, and they stepped up. They were poised, they executed and they defended. [Scecina] was another victim of us holding somebody at or below their average point total.”

In a back-and-forth first quarter, a charging call on Scecina’s Clifford Brown with just under four minutes left in the period gave the Royals the opening they needed.

After scoring four of the team’s first eight points and helping the Crusaders to an 8-5 lead, Brown was forced to the bench with two fouls.

Over the final four minutes of the quarter, the Royals outscored Scecina 6-0 and eventually pushed the run to 10-0 in the second quarter.

A Luke Morris basket just before the first-quarter buzzer put Eastern Hancock ahead 11-8, and he capped off the run with a layup to make things 15-8 early in the second period.

A Caleb Davis 3-pointer ended the run, but the Royals offense didn’t let up.

Morris answered immediately with Eastern Hancock’s first 3-pointer of the game, after an 0-of-6 start from deep as a team, and a Charlie Halcomb bucket at the buzzer gave the Royals an eight-point lead entering the break.

With momentum already trending in the Royals direction, they wasted no time putting the game to rest in the third quarter.

They outscored the Crusaders 22-9 and grew the lead to 21 by the end of the quarter.

“The third quarter we were just so good on the glass, we finished at the rim and we got some kick-out 3s. We were just defending and getting stops, and did a great job of executing,” Bechtel said. “It was one of those things where we expected a change in defense in the second half, but we wanted to just keep doing what we do. We wanted to move the ball around and get on the offensive glass. We’re not a first-shot make team, it’s going to be those second and third shots. We converted at the free throw line too.”

Out most of the second quarter with two fouls, junior Kayden Ruble led the charge on the glass in the third.

He pulled down two offensive rebounds and six total in the quarter. Unofficially, he had 13 rebounds on the night.

“Ruble found his spots in the third quarter and was great on the offensive glass for us,” Bechtel said.

A putback to open the quarter by Ruble gave the Royals their first double-digit lead of the night and was immediately followed up by a Morris 3-pointer.

Luke Schilling buried a trey later in the period, and after another Royals offensive board, Halcomb knocked down a 3 to make it 46-27.

The Royals were led by their trio of seniors on both ends of the floor.

Morris scored a game-high 20 points and held one of Scecina’s top scorers, David Mendez, to four points, Caiden Willis scored eight of his 14 points in the third quarter to help put the game away, and Halcomb scored eight points.

“The seniors played awesome,” Bechtel said. “Morris did a great job guarding Mendez. That kid is a really good player and he was held to four points. Caiden played within himself, rebounded and finished at the rim. He forced it once in the first half and knew it and didn’t do it again. Charlie did a great job on Brown and keeping that kid in front. They all just played composed and it was awesome to see.”

Eastern Hancock plays Triton Central on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the semifinals. All games are held at Triton Central High School.

Eastern Hancock 67, Scecina 41

Eastern Hancock;11;17;22;17; —;67

Scecina;8;12;9;12; — ;41

Eastern Hancock (13-10): Kayden Ruble 4 4-8 12, Luke Morris 6 6-6 20, Charlie Halcomb 3 1-1 8, Caiden Willis 6 2-2 14, Caden Powers 0 0-0 0, Luke Schilling 1 2-2 5, Garrett Shaw 1 0-0 2, Eli Manship 3 0-0 6. Totals: 24 15-19 67.

Scecina (8-16): Seth Trimble-Sunderland 6 3-4 15, Clifford Brown 6 0-0 14, Joe Alarcon Jr. 0 0-2 0, Caleb Davis 3 0-0 8, David Mendez 1 2-2 4, Ty Walker 0 0-0 0, Adrian Hill 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 5-8 41.

3-point goals: Eastern Hancock 4 (Morris 2, Halcomb, Schilling); Scecina 4 (Brown 2, Davis 2).