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Wednesday hoops wrap: New Pal wins opener over Jennings Co.

November 26, 2012
By Chris Lambert of Hancock County Sports

Senior forward Michael Morris scored 26 of his game-high 37 in the second half, including an improbable 9 straight points and 16 overall in the fourth quarter, as New Palestine battled back from a first-half hole and beat the Jennings County Panthers 58-55 in both teams' season opener.

Morris's fourth quarter onslaught - a three, followed by 3-of-4 from the line following a flagrant foul and a technical foul on the JC bench, then capped with another three on the ensuing posession - brought the Dragons back from 36-33 down at the end of the 3rd quarter to up 42-36 barely a minute in. Ryan Curry hit a three and Morris would then add his third triple to pish the Dragon lead to 48-40. The Panthers put together one last run to close to within two at 52-50 with 1:50 to play, but simply ran out of time. a three at the buzzer by JC guard Bailey Sanders sliced a would-be six point Dragon win in half.

The Panthers, now coached by Indiana Hall of Famer and JC Athletic Director Mike Broughton (who has a 1993 state title with Jeff and the head coaching position at Southern Nazarene University on his resume), were without the services of last year's returning scorer, as Senior forward Tommy Taylor was serving a suspension incurred in the Panthers' football finale. Even so, the young Panthers were very impressive, coming back from an early 5-1 hole to tie the game 7-7 after 1 quarter and building to a 22-14 lead with 2:02 to play in the half. The Dragons battled back with a Morris 3-point play and Junior guard Justin Ikerd's lone three-point basket to cut their defecit to three at the half, 24-21.

Morris's 37 came on 11 field goals including the three triples and 12-15 shooting from the foul line (with two of those misses being his last two attempts) and included ten of the Dragon's 12 third-quarter points. He had eight rebounds. Solomon Haynes and Brandon Jonas were the next highest scorers for NP with six apiece and Ikerd added five. Jonas also had eight rebounds. Seth Cox, Solomon Haynes and Sam Larrabee had five boards each.

Jennings County was paced by junior center Brad Hunt's 18 and Sophomore forward Caleb Eder's 15, while Sanders scored 13.

You can listen to the archive at iHigh.com/hancockcountysports. The Dragons host New Castle Saturday night, and we'll have that broadcast for you as well.

Centerville 45, Eastern Hancock 37: The Royals dropped their season opener at Centerville, the latest renewal of a series that has been played on Thanksgiving Eve since the 1960s.

EH led for much of the game, but the host Bulldogs rallied down the stretch.

EH is 0-1. The Royals will play Saturday at Indian Creek in a boys/girls doubleheader. JV action will begin at 4:00, with the varsity girls and boys games slated to begin at approximately 6:30.

EH won the JV game 22-15.

Girls basketball

Hamilton Heights 70, Mt. Vernon 59: The Marauders dropped a matchup of Top 10 teams in Class 3A, falling to HH at home.

Erica Moore had 22 points for the Marauders. Sydney Shelton added 18.

HH was led by 19 points from Dakota Weatherford and 15 from Haley Cook. Weatherford also had six rebounds and nine steals.

HH led 28-11 after a quarter and 47-27 at halftime.

MV is now 3-1 on the season. The Marauders' next game will be Tuesday at Muncie Central.

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