>It was hard to distinguish the winner from the loser by simply listening to the coaches Thursday after the Hanover-Horton High School boys basketball team held off Concord 67-59.
“We played terrible. It’s unacceptable to play that way,” Mortimer said. “Yeah, you’re going to miss shots and things like that, but to be that lazy on defense, to not do the responsibilities they’re taught from the minute they come into the program, is unacceptable.”
Hanover-Horton’s guards limited Concord guard Zach Brigham to seven points after he put up 21 in Monday’s season opener, and the Yellow Jackets (1-1) turned the ball over 17 times. Still, coach Matt Lehman was pleased with his team’s never-say-die attitude.
“We just kept on regrouping,” he said. “Like I told them, we’re a young team — sure we’ve got a few veteran guys, but we also have three sophomores that play a lot for us — and we came into probably the toughest place to play and had a lot of opportunities to roll over and get blown out, and we didn’t do that.”
Concord junior Jack Ropp led all scorers with 20 points, including three 3-pointers, but good looks were hard for the Yellow Jackets to come by in the first half.
After Concord jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead, Hanover-Horton went on a 21-5 run, utilizing fast-break opportunities.
Spink scored 12 points in the first half, helping his team to a 35-23 cushion. Backcourt mate Tyler Hull was especially relentless with his on-the-ball defense before the intermission, and he totaled six assists and four rebounds.
The Comets threatened to pull away in the second half, leading by as many as 15, but missed layups and free throws, coupled with several defensive breakdowns, kept them from putting Concord away.
“Concord played well,” Mortimer said. “I think our experienced players need to start leading better.”
Lehman was happy to see his players finally separating from defenders in the second half. Two games into the season, he said he likes his squad’s offensive balance.
Christian Riske tallied 15 points and two blocks, and Christian Anderson added eight points and five rebounds.
“(Hanover-Horton) is a team that has probably two of the best players in the area, they will probably be ranked in the top 5 in Class C, and in their gym on the road with a big crowd, we were a few plays here and there from being in this basketball game,” Lehman said.
Schuette led all players with 13 rebounds.
As published in the Jackson Citizen Patriot on Dec. 10, 2010