Boys Basketball Falls In CIC Opener To Indians

Posted on December 18, 2019 in Boy's Basketball, Winter Sports

By Scott Hunt Chronicle-Tribune
CONVERSE – The road to the Central Indiana Conference boys basketball championship only started on Friday night, but the performance turned in by Mississinewa at Oak Hill says the road to the title might very well travel through Gas City before race is done.

The Indians were dominant, at times, on both ends of the floor and coach James Reed got solid contributions from all eight players in his normal rotation en route to earning a 69-46 win over the Golden Eagles.

Senior Trey Miles came off the Ole Miss bench to pour in a game-high 19 points, hitting 8-of-9 field goal attempts, all three of his 3-pointers, while senior Bryce Oglesby chipped in 11 in a reserve role as the Indians had four double-digit scorers.

“That team shouldn’t lose two or three games the rest of the year. They’ve got all of the pieces offensively to be really, really good,” said Oak Hill coach Kevin Renbarger of Mississinewa.

Oak Hill held the Indians’ top two scorers, senior Anthony Horton (15.8) and Landen Swanner (15) to six and 10 points, respectively, but Miles (7 ppg) hit a pair of his 3-pointers around two of his two-point field goals in the third quarter to help Ole Miss extend a seven-point halftime lead (31-24) to 51-35 entering the fourth quarter.

“If you would have told me before the game we would hold Horton to (six) and Swanner to (10) I would tell you we have a puncher’s chance of winning the basketball game,” Renbarger said. “When they get some points from their ancillary folks, they’re really, really tough to guard. There are certain things we are limited to athletically that we just can’t guard them straight up. When you take some of those things away and those other kids step up, it’s going to be tough. We didn’t help ourselves at all.”

Mississinewa hit 7-of-11 field goal attempts in the first quarter with all four misses coming from 3-point range, in taking an 18-14 lead. The Indians cooled off a bit in the second and made just 5-of-12, including 3-of-8 from long range.

The Indians ran their offense with the efficiency of an executioner in the final 16 minutes, missing just five shots in 23 attempts, including hitting 9-of-10 in the fourth quarter. Ole Miss was 2-for-4 from long range and 16-of-19 inside the arc.

The Indians finished the game making 30-of-47 (65 percent) total field goal attempts, 23-of-28 (82 percent) on two pointers. Mississinewa’s shooting efficiency can be traced to the Indians collectively recording 26 assists on their 30-made field goals.

“I felt like we got Oak Hill’s best shot in the first half and we had that seven-point lead,” Reed said. “(At halftime) We talked about when we play this way, team’s might be able to stay with us for a half but they’re going to be worn out the second half if we stay fearless and persistent. That was really the message tonight and they were so persistent all night.”

Ole Miss persistence carried over to their half-court defense as well. The Indians limited Oak Hill to 18-of-47 (38 percent) total from the field and 3-of-19 (16 percent) from 3-point range.

Oak Hill’s most successful offense ran through junior center Tristen Hayes, who hit 5-of-7 from both the field and foul line to finish with 15 points.

Seniors Tahj Johnson and Kody Dubois each chipped in with 10 points for the Eagles while Clay McCorkle finished with six.

“Tristen played without fear. We played really, really well offensively against Wabash and bottom line is to figure out how to get back to that and a lot of that is Tristen,” Renbarger said. “We lost him tonight. It was a focus to go in and play through him and we just lost him, possession after possession where we settled for threes where we could have worked the ball around and gotten something going to the basket.

“We were very, very good against Wabash because we got more going to the basket than we did from the three point line and we lost that focus tonight.” he added.

Tai McClung was the fourth Indian in double figures with 12 points while Colin Yoder and Horton each chipped in six. Horton handed out seven assists, McClung had five while Oglesby, Miles and Swanner had three assists apiece.

Hayden Ulerick drew a start in place of Miles, who has battled illness all week, and hit a first-quarter 3-pointer to go with his two assists. Yoder also had two assists.

“I started Hayden Ulerick who has practiced and played really great for us. I thought he gave us a huge spark at the beginning of the game and it was awesome to see him do that,” Reed said. “But then to have Trey Miles and Bryce Oglesby come in and just powerhouse this night, that was so much fun.

“I think Trey had a quiet 19 just doing his job and filling his role,” he continued. “When our first seven or eight (players) are playing well it’s going to be hard for teams to outlast them for four quarters.”

Dubois led the Eagles with seven rebounds and had two assists. Hayes finished with five boards while McCorkle and Johnson handed out four and three assists, respectively.

“Bottom line, they were a step quicker to everything than we were and they made us pay every time they were a step quicker,” Renbarger said of Ole Miss. “…overall they were a really good basketball team playing on all cylinders.”

After playing three of its first four games at home, Oak Hill (2-2, 0-1 CIC) begins a stretch of seven-straight games away from the Eagles Nest tonight at Maconaquah. Included in their upcoming travels is a road trip to Frankton on Friday and the Grant Four tourney at Madison-Grant on Dec. 28.

Mississinewa (3-2, 1-0 CIC) hosts Yorktown tonight at 7:30 p.m. then travels to Madison-Grant on Friday before going back to Fairmount for the Grant Four.

Leave a Comment