The visiting East Central Trojans ended the Batesville Bulldogs’ seven-game win streak with a thrilling, overtime victory 67-65.
The Dogs started the scoring at the 6:40 mark of the first quarter with Colt Meyer hitting a deep 3-pointer from the right side of the key. EC’s Trevor Becker found A.J. Messmore with a cross-court pass for a 3-pointer from the left-side corner. Both teams traded misses until Batesville’s Thomas Raver scored a 3-ball from the left wing at 5:20 to give the Bulldogs an early 6-3 lead. Both teams played a patient brand of offense and stifling defense. The Bulldogs displayed a swarming, full-court defense that made things difficult offensively for the Trojans. R.J. Powell had a good quarter, scoring at the rim twice and adding a free throw to put the Dogs up 13-9. Luke Collinsworth began scoring 6 in the post to help the Trojans notch the score at 13-13 to end the quarter.
The second quarter looked very much like the first one. Meyer scored 9 of Batesville’s 18 second quarter points while Logan Rohrbacher scored 10 of East Central’s 21. Sophomore Cole Werner delivered a “spot-on” pass to Sam Voegele in the post for 2 points with 3 seconds remaining in the half. The Trojans headed to the lockers at halftime leading 34-31.
The third quarter was hotly contested. Becker started it by hitting a 3-pointer at the top of the key. Batesville’s Raver followed with a deep 3 to get the scoring underway for the home team. The teams continued to trade baskets when BHS coach Aaron Garrett was charged with a technical foul at the 4:25 mark. East Central’s Becker converted the two technical free throws to up the Trojan lead to 43-34. With 3 seconds remaining in the quarter, Meyer was fouled shooting behind the arc. He converted all three free throws, pulling the Bulldogs within 5 points at 48-43 to end the quarter.
The Bulldogs started the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run. Meyer hit a pull-up jumper for 2 points and was fouled in the process. He missed his free throw attempt, but Voegele garnered the offensive rebound and scored 2 on the putback. During the Trojan’s next possession down court, Raver deflected an East Central pass, which Powell retrieved and quickly looked up court to hit a speeding Meyer for a 2-point layup, giving the Dogs a 49-48 lead.
With 5:30 left on the clock, Werner scored on a baseline drive to give the Dogs a 53-51 lead. The teams continued to trade baskets. Meyer was fouled and converted two free throws, giving the Dogs a 58-57 lead with 2:33 remaining. Rohrbacher scored on a baseline drive followed by a Collinsworth fastbreak layup, putting the Trojans ahead 61-58 with 1:38 remaining. Raver tied the score at the 1:10 mark with his fourth 3-point basket. During East Central’s next possession, Voegele and Charlie Dice successfully defended the rim with little less than a minute remaining and the Bulldogs with possession. The Dogs ran down the clock and Garrett signaled for a timeout with 8.9 seconds left. Meyer got a shot, which Becker blocked, and Powell came up with the loose ball and got it to the rim, but to no avail. The scoreboard read 61-61 as both teams headed to overtime.
Dice fouled at the rim and going to the free throw line. He made two big free throws, giving the Dogs the lead 63-61. East Central scored on their next two consecutive possessions, putting the Trojans ahead 65-63. Powell scored on a tough, pullup jumper off glass to tie the score at 65-65. Collinsworth then was called for a charging foul driving to the basket with 2:32 left in overtime.
The Bulldogs missed on their next possession with 1:12 left on the clock. Rohrbacher then drove down the lane, scoring 2 points and having an opportunity to go to the free throw line with 37.2 seconds remaining. He missed the free throw and the Bulldogs gained possession. Powell got a good look from just inside the arc, but the ball just fell off the rim as time expired, giving the Trojans the 2-point win.
After the game, the BHS coach observed, “Colt Meyer had a Herculean effort in terms of putting us on his back and hitting some tough, tough shots and continued going to the basket.” He added, “Charlie had two points, but they were a huge two points.”
“Cole Werner came in and played huge minutes for a sophomore in that type of atmosphere and game.”
“Thomas (Raver) had four 3s in the game. I thought he forced a couple shots early in the game, but Thomas settled in really nicely and took on the mindset to have his mind, hands, and feet ready and hit some huge 3s late in the game.”
The Bulldogs' Meyer was the game’s leading scorer with 30 points. Raver ended up in double figures with 12. The rest: Powell, 9; Voegele, 8; Werner, 4; and Dice, 2.
East Central was led in scoring by Rohrbacher with 25 points, followed by Collinsworth, 20; Becker, 14; and Messmore, 8.
The Bulldogs fall to 4-3 in the EIAC conference.
BULLDOGS VS. LIONS
Visiting Rushville fell behind early, down 21-7, at Batesville High School Feb. 13 before putting together a big fourth quarter rally, a 24-13 run. The comeback came up 4 points short as the host Bulldogs held on for the 58-54 victory.
Rushville is now 6-13 on the season and 1-6 in the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference. Batesville improves to 9-8 overall.
Batesville’s Meyer opened the scoring in the game after he came up with a steal. Rushville 7 points. Voegele hit a 3-pointer followed by a rebound bucket from Thomas Raver and drive to the bucket by Powell. The Bulldogs led 9-3 and never trailed again.
Eric Brown found a cutting Cameron Jackman for the lay-up to stop the Batesville run. Batesville closed the quarter on a 12-2 run, highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers from Meyer. The Bulldogs led 21-7.
Evans scored in the paint to open the second quarter for the Lions. After a 3-pointer by Meyer for the Bulldogs, Jackman hit a bomb. With BHS leading 26-12, Logan Graddy found Evans for the easy bucket and Evans scored the next time down to cut the Batesville lead to 26-16. Bulldog Dice scored to end the half with the home team on top 28-16.
Rushville’s Hayden Walls hit a short jumper to start the third quarter, but Meyer answered on the other end with another 3-pointer. A bucket by Graddy and steal and lay-up by Evans cut the Batesville lead to single digits with more than six minutes left in the third quarter. After a Meyer trey, Evans scored 4 straight to force a Batesville timeout with 4:47 remaining in the third. Voegele hit a triple out of the timeout and Meyer followed with a drive to the bucket to extend the lead to 39-26. Batesville pushed the lead to 16 on a bucket by Powell. After a triple from Rushville’s Camren Munchel, the Bulldogs closed the quarter with a bucket in the lane from Powell to lead 45-30.
Two points each from Graddy and Evans started the final eight minutes of action and cut the deficit to 11 points. The Batesville lead stayed in double figures until a 3-pointer by Jackman at the 2:40 mark cut the Bulldog lead to 50-41. Dice scored for the Bulldogs on the other end before Evans hit a bomb to get the Lions within 8. Batesville came right back with 4 straight from Dice to push the lead to double figures.
A 3-pointer by Graddy and rebound bucket by Brown had the Lions within 7 with :25.7 to play. A Brown free throw and drive to the bucket by Graddy closed the gap to 56-52. Meyer put the game out of reach with two free throws before Graddy’s bucket at the buzzer made the final margin 58-54.
The Bulldogs coach said, "As I told the boys in the locker room, there are plenty of times a game like this turns into a loss ... but we got the job done. We got outscored by 11 in the fourth, which we don't want to have happen, but we continued to close out the game and that's all that matters. I learned a long time ago never discount wins, never complain about wins, and the boys got themselves their seventh straight win tonight."
Batesville’s Meyer led all scorers with 25 points. The coach observed, "Offensively ... Colt Meyer deserves a tremendous amount of credit. His motor just gets better and better every game."
Dice was also in double figures with 13. Voegele and Powell both had 8 points and Raver finished with 4 points and was the top rebounder with five.
The Lions were led by Evans with 24 points, followed by Graddy, 11; Jackman, 8; Brown, 6; Munchel, 3; and Walls 2.
In the junior varsity contest, Rushville led 13-7 after one quarter and 22-20 at the half. Batesville outscored the Lions 16-7 in the third quarter and went on to the 52-41 victory.
The Bulldogs were led by Alex Siefert with 14 points, followed by Cody Mohr, 11; Cole Werner and Calvin Sherwood, 10 each; Kasin Hughes, 4; Eli Pierson, 2; and Nate Vankirk, 1.
Carter Tague connected on four 3-pointers for the Lions and finished with a team-high 16 points. Sam Smith and Jake Laker both added 8 points. Nash Paddack had 5 and Kameron Morton added 4.
Rushville Republican editor Aaron Kirchoff wrote this game article.