By MC WEEKLY SPORTS STAFF
---- — Tri-Central’s boys basketball team, coming off an impressive win over outmanned Clinton Central on Friday night, ran into an entirely different breed Saturday night, a hot-shooting Maconaquah club that exploded in the second half en route to a convincing 65-51 victory at Bunker Hill.
In improving to 4-8 and snapping a six-game losing streak, coach Andy Steele’s Braves turned a slim 28-23 halftime command into a 44-30 lead halfway through the third segment, thanks to 7-for-7 shooting. They completed the period with three hits in the next six attempts, then meshed 7 of their final 13 tries to finish with a torrid 27-of-58 (.465) mark.
In so doing, the Braves put two players in double digits, but more importantly got offensive production from six other performers. At the same time, the energetic Brave 2-3 zone defense cooled the Trojans to 18 baskets in 50 tries (.360), and the Maconaquah bench outscored TC’s reserves, 18-4.
Steele remarked afterward: “Our shooting comes and goes, but we shot very well [Saturday]. Our zone was also effective. We wanted to keep them out of the middle and make them shoot from outside. We made some adjustments at halftime that helped make the difference.”
Trojan coach Kyle Zahn offered: “Maconaquah shot about as well as I’ve seem them shoot. They had a size advantage, and we wanted to clog the middle, but then they knocked down jumpers from the outside."
Talented three-sport athlete K.J. Walton scored a game-high 18 points for the Braves. Wyatt Hughes had 13, Kyle Dinn, Luke Hann and Ben Stephenson had seven each and Trevor Hagen had six.
• Mid-Indiana Conference leader Hamilton Heights beat Maconaquah 59-44 Friday night. Adam Harts led the Braves with 10 points.
CASS 55, PERU 34
Lewis Cass’ boys basketball team gave up size at almost every position, and a lot of it, when the Kings lined up against Peru on Friday night. Where the Kings had an advantage was at floor level, with speed to burn.
Cass’ press harassed Peru into 23 turnovers and the Kings took advantage over and over, scoring 21 points off Peru miscues and pulling away for a 55-34 Mid-Indiana Conference victory.
Peru (2-3 MIC) shook up its lineup, starting JV regulars Kordell Prescott and Jonah Lester. The result was an effort the Bengals were happy with, but not the outcome desired.
Peru got 13 points and 15 rebounds out of 6-foot-11 center Seth Adelsperger, who was the focus of Cass’ defense. Cass countered with 6-1 senior Victor DeJesus, and a lot of active help defense.
That helped lead to dozens of deflections and a slew of steals that Cass was able to take the other way. Cass guard Austin Keisling scored a game-high 14 points, 5-10 forward Owen Ohman added 11, and guards Ryan Bixler and Blake Hadley scored eight each.
Cass led 17-10 at the end of the first quarter and 33-22 at halftime. By the break, Cass had 14 points off a dozen Peru turnovers. After Keisling hit a free throw to start the scoring in the second half, Cass’ lead was never less than a dozen points. And the Kings controlled the clock in the fourth quarter, giving up just one 3-point basket by Eddie Childers for Peru’s only scoring in the final frame.
“It always helps when you’ve got guys like Hadley and Keisling, who are very comfortable with the ball in their hands and take good care of it,” Peru coach Jim Metcalfe said. “I think they had four or five turnovers at halftime. When you don’t turn it over and give yourself a chance every possession to get a good shot, that’s really hard to guard.
“Defensively they play really hard. Their press disrupts anything you’re trying to do offensively.”
• Manchester beat Peru 61-46 Saturday night, dropping Peru to 5-10 and extending the Tigers' losing streak to five games.
NORTH MIAMI WINS 2
North Miami had a big weekend, beating Whitko (41-38) on the road, then beating visiting Sheridan (63-54 in OT) for its first two-game winning streak since the 2010-11 season.
North Miami improved to 3-11 with the weekend sweep.
Maconaquah was led by Gabby Ladd, who was sixth in the 50 freestyle, and Kaleigh Gray, who was sixth in diving.