Sandwiched between a pair of tough road losses to Fishers and 4A No. 2 North Central, Hamilton Southeastern put together a string of five good wins over impressive competition.
The Royals’ last four wins have been over teams with a combined 22-9 record, including victories against a ranked 3A team as well as a ranked 4A team.
Having played arguably the state’s toughest schedule over the first month, Hamilton Southeastern dropped its second game of the season on Saturday to North Central after dumping No. 3 Zionsville the night before. Despite the loss, head coach Brian Satterfield is pleased with how his squad has coped with the tough schedule.
“It’s a good measuring stick,” said Satterfield. “It’s always tough, but if we’re going to win our sectional, we’ve got to beat one really good team and then turn around and play another really good team the next night. I think when that time comes, our guys will be ready.”
The Royals got past Zionsville behind a 27-point night from sophomore guard Gary Harris and a last-second basket by Zach Starr off a missed Harris three-pointer. Starr and Harris contributed 15 and 13, respectively, in the loss to North Central, but Hamilton Southeastern was ultimately undone by missed shots that led to transition points for the Panthers. Terone Johnson (23 points) and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (20) paced the Panthers
“We had gotten away from the things that we were doing to win games,” said Satterfield, who watched his offense put up just five points in the second quarter. “Our defense wasn’t bad, but our missed shots on offense enabled them to get some buckets. We’ve got some guys who we know can shoot the ball, they just haven’t done it consistently so far.”
The prospect of a more consistent offense has Satterfield’s expectations for his team pretty high. Last year’s squad earned a sectional title. After a strong start, the Royals are set-up for a big year and could have momentum heading into the postseason.
Hamilton Southeastern looks to be the strongest team heading into December 30th’s Huntington North Classic, and the Royals’ six games in January are against teams that are a combined 21-21. That leads Hamilton Southeastern into a tough February against the likes of No. 6 Pike, No. 9 Carmel, and Westfield before sectionals. Satterfield expects that, by then, the Royals will be firing on all cylinders.
Boys Basketball Wrap-Up
A.J. Hammons posted 12 points, 12 blocks, and 10 rebounds for Carmel as they edged Penn 49-41 on Wednesday.
It took a 22-point effort from Brandon Smith coupled with a 15-point, 10-rebound night from Collin Hartman for 4A No. 8 Cathedral to knock-off class A No. 9 Lafayette Central Catholic 62-59 in overtime. Brett Haan posted 30 points in the loss.
A day after he dropped 34 points on Western, Indiana recruit Austin Ethrington was held to just 15 points as Hamilton Heights fell to Noblesville 40-38. Jake Yeary scored a team-high 15, including the winning basket with four-tenths of a second left in overtime for the Millers (5-1).
Travis Carroll had 20 points and 11 rebounds as Danville improved to 6-0 with a 75-36 win over Plainfield.
Sophomore guard Yogi Ferrell scored a combined 65 points for Park Tudor as they toppled Guerin Catholic 61-52 and Covenant Christian, 57-50.
Girls Basketball Wrap-Up
Maegan Callaway put up 16 points and teammate Jama Sharp added 12 as 4A No. 3 Mooresville (10-0) topped No. 6 Decatur Central (9-2) 54-45. Senior Sierra Chabra hit seven straight free throws in the final two minutes to seal the victory for the Pioneers.
Jessica Parker dropped in 27 points and three other scored double-digits for 4A No. 10 Bloomington South as the Panthers (9-1) beat Indianapolis Tech 77-19.
4A No. 2 Warren Central (9-2) had three players in double-figures as they zoomed past Lawrence Central (6-3) 59-41, led by Brandi McKinney with 17 points.
4A No. 1 Ben Davis improved to 10-0 with an 81-40 win over Terre Haute North. Four Giants scored in double figures.
Haley Howard scored 26 points and coach Bill Hogue picked-up his 100th victory for Whiteland (6-3) with a 71-61 victory over Seymour (6-3)
Brownsburg improved to 8-3 with a 44-28 win over Noblesville. Stephanie Mavunga tallied 12 points and eight rebounds in the win.
Sharp-shooting guard Chloe Orrvar hit eight three-pointers for Greenwood (6-5) in a 52-48 win over county rival Franklin.
Roncalli (5-4) knocked-off Brebeuf 52-44 behind a 19-point, 15-rebound performance from Katie Brewer. Teammate Bridget Perry added 15 points and nine boards.