Boys Basketball Tops Elwood

Posted on February 17, 2018 in Boy's Basketball, Winter Sports

BY MIKE LINVILLE – sports@elwoodcalleader.com
ELWOOD — ‘Any which way you can …’

Despite 17 turnovers total, and not playing particularly well on offense versus host Elwood, Oak Hill was able to come away with a 71-54 Central Indiana Conference win Friday night over the Panthers, at John W. Ward Gym.

“Obviously we didn’t play particularly well,” Oak Hill varsity head coach Kevin Renbarger said. “With 17 turnovers, and we missed too many shots around or near the basket. However, we were able to grind it out, and work our way through and walk away with a substantial margin of victory. We have to come a little bit more prepared to play a basketball game.”

Oak Hill finishes at 6-1 in the CIC, and are 17-5 overall on the season, while Elwood is 5-16 overall, and finishes at 1-6 in the CIC.

Oak Hill’s height and length was the difference in the game, along with unforced turnovers, according to Elwood varsity head coach Mathew Corn

“When you’re giving up four to six inches in almost every spot (in the lineup) they (Oak Hill) can play at a different altitude,” Corn said. “That was the difference. They didn’t do anything that we weren’t prepared for or capable of stopping but there height was a big factor.

“Our turnovers, about 10 of them a lot that were sorely un forced and just careless, and that’s 10 shots that we don’t get,” Corn said.

Oak Hill’s Spencer Ballinger not only took game scoring honors with 22 points, but the 6-foot-5 senior hit a 3-pointer from deep in the corner at 3:20 of the fourth quarter to reach the 1,000 career point plateau.

“Spencer getting 1,000 points, he finished with 22 but he had to grind it out too,” Renbarger said. “ That’s just kind of a testament to being able to fight his way through.”

Three other Golden Eagles also scored in double-figures for Oak Hill; Tyce Frank finished and Caleb Middlesworth both scored 14 points, while Kenner Cabe scored 12.

With a big fourth quarter, that included two 3-pointers and 3-of-3 free throws, Jack Bennett led Elwood with 16 points total, including 5-of-5 on free throws.

Also for the Panthers, Aaron Litherland had the hot hand early from beyond the 3-point arch, hitting three in the first half, and adding another in the third quarter for 12 points in the game.

Seth Mireles also scored 12 points for the Panthers.

Oak Hill was able to create some separation in the first quarter. With Ballinger scoring eight first quarter points, the Eagles led 19-12 after one quarter.

Oak Hill opened the second quarter with a 10-3 run, and led 29-15 at on Cabe’s 3-pointer at 4:23.

However, Elwood pulled within 38-34 at 6:10 of the third quarter, but Oak Hill answered with a 13-1 run to close out the third quarter.

“We were down seven after the first quarter, and then we were just minus three with them in the third quarter,” Corn said. “ I’m still proud of how we fought, especially our seniors.

“We just have to believe that we can play with these elite teams,” Corn said.

Elwood hosts Cowan tonight, while Oak Hill hosts Northwestern on Tuesday.

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