By RJ Walters / For the Jackson Citizen Patriot
Aside from hitting 14-of-18 free throws down the stretch and a 33-point effort from Sam Spink, it was a touch-and-go start to Class C district play for the Hanover-Hanover High School boys basketball team as it chases a ninth straight district title.
The Comets (18-2) overcame 21 turnovers and held off a late Michigan Center surge to beat the Cardinals 62-53.
“We’re just glad to get the win; it was an ugly win,” Hanover-Horton coach Chad Mortimer said. “We were careless with the basketball, and we’ll work on that (today), learn from it and move on.”
It was the second time in five days the Comets beat the Cardinals, but it was nothing like the 56-45 victory Thursday that clinched Hanover-Horton’s first league title in three years.
Dylan Schuette was held to seven points and 11 rebounds after recording 29 and 20 last meeting, but Spink more than made up for that.
Spink scored just six points in Thursday’s win and had been preparing to rectify that ever since.
“I was in the gym about every second. I was in the gym all three days we had off,” he said. “We knew coming in they were going to double down on Dyl, and he did a good job kicking it out.”
Spink drained five 3-pointers, including one at the halftime buzzer to give the Comets a 29-19 lead.
Michigan Center (8-13) kept trimming the deficit, but twice more in the second half Spink hit 3-pointers that turned a single-digit lead into a double-digit one.
Michael Parker scored eight of his 19 points in the third quarter and a Nic Stevens 3-pointer drew the Cardinals within 51-47, but the Comet’s success at the free-throw line late was too much to overcome.
“I’m proud of the character they displayed and the determination they had,” Michigan Center coach Greg Vieau said. “They didn’t play as well as they can, but they played as hard as they can.”
Vieau said his team was well prepared, but shots that would normally go in for Parker and Jeremy Large just weren’t dropping.
Large had nine points and Stevens had eight points and five rebounds.
Josh Vincent tallied seven points and three assists for Hanover-Horton.