Boys Basketball Flies Over Mississinewa

Posted on December 14, 2011 in Boy's Basketball, Home, Winter Sports

by chuck landis

MIER – Oak Hill put together the kind of third quarter boys’ basketball coach Kevin Renbarger has been waiting for Friday evening, and it helped the Golden Eagles defeat county rival Mississinewa.

A 13-1 surge fueled by three consecutive 3-point baskets put the Eagles in command, and they held on to defeat the visiting Indians 61-55 before a capacity crowd of 2,500 fans.

“We were able to come out with a little more energy and able to push out to a lead,” Renbarger said after the Eagles improved to 3-1 and won their Central Indiana Conference opener.

“The third quarter was a good representation of what kind of team we can become if we get (defensive) stops and run our offense. We didn’t do many things wrong in the third quarter.”

Mississinewa, 1-2, 0-1 CIC, had led 31-29 at halftime with a Daylon Randolph 3-pointer in the waning seconds giving the Indians the advantage. The Indians trailed 36-34 with 4:32 left in the third quarter when the Eagles took off and hid.

Jace Martin hit two 3-pointers and Derek Durkes added another during the run as the Eagles opened a 49-34 advantage. Ryan Spaulding knocked down four free throws, and the point guard went on to finish a perfect 16-of-16 from the line in scoring 22 points.

Although Mississinewa would pull to within 57-55 with 35 seconds to play, coach Mark McFarland agreed the game was lost in the third quarter.

“We gave up three ‘3s’ back-to-back-to-back and that hurt us bad,” McFarland said. “It got the crowd into it, and then we got a couple fouls that hurt and lost our responsibilities a bit.

“I tried to let the guys play through it, and maybe I let them go a little too long.”.

Braden Hamilton connected on back-to-back layups that reduced the Indians’ deficit to 49-38 heading into the fourth quarter. The Indians were able to hang around and finally made it a one possession game 55-52 on Caleb Swanner’s 3-pointer with 2:43 remaining.

Dalton Coppock’s layup on a Randolph feed cut Oak Hill’s lead to 57-55 at the 35-second mark. But Spaulding and Martin each hit two free throws for the Eagles sandwiched between a missed Randolph 3-pointer that secured the victory.

Oak Hill was missing leading scorer Seth Sallee, who was in street clothes after severely spraining an ankle in Thursday’s practice. Renbarger said Sallee’s status is day-to-day and doubted he would be available for today’s game at Maconaquah.

Spaulding, though, stepped up with his 22-point effort and got the better of his matchup with Indians point guard Randolph. The senior also was 2 of 3 from 3-point range and passed out seven assists.

“He’s starting to play point guard the way we have wanted him to for the last three years,” Renbarger said of Spaulding. “He’s running the show and also being aggressive in looking for his own offense. As you saw, he can usually hit his free throws, and that’s another weapon we can use.”

The 5-foot-7 Randolph, who came in averaging 28 points a game, found the going difficult against Oak Hill’s tall lineup. He did finish with 10 points and six assists.

Hamilton led the Indians with 15 points before fouling out with 2:21 to play. Andrew Wilds came off the bench to contribute nine points.

Martin added 13 points and Durkes and Matt McDivitt each scored nine for the Eagles. Michael Moffitt grabbed 14 rebounds and helped the Eagles to a 29-18 advantage.

Mississinewa plays today at Northwestern.

In the junior varsity game, Seth McPherson scored 11 points and Alex Morrison 10 points in leading the Indians to a 48-39 victory. Jonathan Mauk had 15 and Caleb Livingston 10 for the Eagles.

Oak Hill was a 40-25 winner in the freshman game.


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