There are very few times when the Batesville Bulldogs and East Central Trojans meet on the hardwood that the outcome is not decided late in the game.
And Saturday was not any different.
The East Central Trojans traveled to Batesville and gave the Bulldogs all they could handle and wound up with a chance to win with the last shot.
As Payton Stonefield’s shot missed the mark, the Bulldogs escaped with a 65-63 victory.
Again, the Bulldogs should not have been in such a fragile spot late in the game.
The Bulldogs held a comfortable 62-51 lead with just over three minutes to play in the game. The Trojans went on a 10-0 run and cut the margin to 62-61 on a field goal by Howie Backherms with just over a minute to play.
Batesville junior Wes McKinney was sent to the free throw line with :34 remaining and hit the first of two attempts to make it 63-61. Unable to score on their next trip, the Trojans were forced to foul again and McKinney was again on the receiving end. This time, the BHS junior stepped to the line and buried both shots to extend the lead to 65-61.
The Trojans answered with a field goal by Cody Hudepohl with :04 remaining.
Reminiscent of some previous attempts to secure victories late in the game, the Bulldogs turned the ball over on the next inbounds play and it ended up in the hands of Stonefield. The EC senior gathered it in and was able to get up a shot from just beyond the three-point arc, which was off the mark as time expired.
“It is nice to get the victory over a quality opponent,” BHS head coach Aaron Garrett commented. “But we cannot afford to continue to put ourselves in that position.
“We have to get better and do a better job closing out the game,” he added.
It was not a game without positives, but the ending is what tends to stick with those exiting the gym.
“It was not our best effort in a number of areas,” Garrett commented. “We did not do a very good job on the boards and defensively I felt we were out-of-sync.
“Still, this group found a way to get the job done,” he added.
The Trojans controlled the tempo with a good night shooting from the perimeter and continually switched up defenses in an effort to keep the Bulldogs off-balance.
The Bulldogs led at each of the first two quarter breaks, but did not seem to be in control.
It was not until the third quarter that the Bulldogs began to find a rhythm.
A 3-pointer by Quinn Grimsley opened the second half to give the Bulldogs a boost and made it a 26-23 game. Three minutes later field goals by McKinney, Bryan Hoeing and Mike Hoeing put Batesville in front 35-29. Back-to-back field goals by McKinney to close the third quarter gave the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the game to that point at 45-34.
The Batesville lead grew to as many as 13 points before the Trojans rallied.
The Trojans did nearly everything right in an effort to beat the Bulldogs. They shot 44-percent from two-point range and hit 9-of-18 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc. EC also hit 14-of-15 attempts from the free throw line. In addition, coach David Disbro’s crew out-rebounded the Bulldogs 28-20.
“It was a hard-fought victory and one we needed,” Garrett commented. “Now we get back to practice before facing South Dearborn on Tuesday and then New Castle on Saturday.”
The Bulldogs improved to 4-1 on the season, while the loss dropped the Trojans to 2-4.
Rally comes up
short of Bulldogs
The Batesville junior varsity basketball team fell behind early by as many as 16 points, but rallied to make it close in the end.
The Trojans escaped with a 44-40 win over the Bulldogs.
Coach Jay Gerkin’s crew was led by Bo Gowan with 16 points followed by Jacob Vogelsang with 12.
The Trojans got a team-high 12 points from Brandon Koch and 10 from Andrew Keilholz.
Batesville (65) - Grimsley 0-1-0-0-13; McKinney 2-2-3-4-13; B. Hoeing 7-3-3-4-26; Kase 0-0-2-2-2; Walsman 0- 0-2-2-2; M. Hoeing 0-1-1-2-4; Longstreth 5-0-4-4-15; Dennis 1-0-0-0-2; Totals 15-7-14-18-65.
East Central (63) - Seiwert 0-1-0-0-3; Baker 0-3-0-0-9; Werner 5-0-2-2-12; Schuman 0-0-4-4-4; Stonefield 1-4-5-6-19; May 0-0-0-0-0; Backherms 4-1-4-4-14; Hudepohl 1-0-0-0-2; Gutapfel 0-0-0-0-0; Totals 11-9-14-15-63.
Junior Varsity Scoring
Batesville (40) - Prickel 3, Moorman 3, Gowan 16, Vogelsang 12, Nobbe 4, C. Reer 0, J. Reer 2, Blanken 0, Meyer 0.
East Central (44) - Gibbs 3, Keilholz 10, Spencer 0, Kammer 4, Greiwe 8, Acheson 6, Koch 12, Hoog 1, Fetter 0, Meyer 0.