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Friday county wrap: NP beats MV to win HHC title, G-C wins

February 15, 2013
Hancock County Sports

Boys basketball

New Palestine 52, Mt. Vernon 51: The Dragons clinched the Hoosier Heritage Conference championship and knocked Mt. Vernon from the ranks of the unbeaten in a wild game Friday in front of a near-capacity crowd at NP. 

Michael Morris scored 19 points to lead the Dragons -- the last three breaking a 45-all tie and giving his team 1,001 for his career -- in the contest. 

Morris and MV's C.J. Coleman led their teams in the fourth quarter -- Morris scored eight of his points in the period, while Coleman had half of his game-high 24 points in the final eight minutes. 

The game was a see-saw affair that saw MV take a 43-42 lead when Anthony Burnett drove the wing and split two Dragons to get a driving layup. But Ryan Curry answered with a 3-pointer out of the corner moments later to give NP a 45-43 edge. Coleman answered with an 18-foot floater to tie the game, but Morris hit a 3-pointer at the top of the key on the ensuing possession with 2:20 left to break the tie. Coleman answered with a bucket to cut the Dragon lead to one. 

MV's defense forced two stops, but a missed 18-footer and a traveling violation gave the Dragons the ball back. Morris was fouled intentionally with 12 seconds left, but missed the front half of a one-and-one. Stephen Turner drew a foul with 8 seconds left, but saw his free throw rim out. Curry hit two free throws with 5.4 seconds to go to make it a 50-47 game. NP fouled Coleman intentionally with 2.7 seconds left. After hitting the first, he missed the second intentionally -- the Dragons got possession and another sophomore, Brandon Jonas, hit two free throws to ice the game before Coleman's three-quarter-court shot set the final score. 

NP built an early eight-point lead thanks to a 13-2 first-quarter run -- sparked by Solomon Haynes' five points, then Morris and Jonas scored four each -- to put their team up 13-6, and by eight early in the second quarter. MV cut it to 26-21 at halftime thanks to six points each in the second by Coleman and Dan Werner. In the third, Werner hit two 3s to spark a 10-4 run that put the Marauders up 31-30, and it would be a see-saw contest the rest of the way. 

Werner scored 14 points and Burnett 10 for MV. Turner -- the Marauders' second-leading scorer on the season -- was held to two points by the NP defense. 

Curry scored eight, Haynes seven, and both Justin Ikerd and Jonas scored six for NP. 

The Dragons are now 14-5 and win their third HHC title -- joining championships won in 2000 and 2003. The Marauders are 17-1 and now 5-1 in HHC play. NP next plays Friday at home against Greenwood. MV hosts Westfield Tuesday and Yorktown Friday. All games will be broadcast at HancockCountySports.com. 

Greenfield-Central 59, Rushville 47: Derek Conley set a G-C school record by hitting 19-of-20 from the line in the Cougars' victory. 

Conley scored 28 points to lead the Cougars as they finished HHC play with a victory. Tate Hall added nine and Zach Batton eight for G-C. 

G-C started the second quarter with a 13-3 run to lead 24-10 in the second, and led 25-15 at the break. Rushville cut the deficit to 36-30 after three, but the Cougars outlasted the Lions by scoring 23 fourth-quarter points. 

G-C is now 4-14 and 1-6 in HHC play. Rushville falls to 8-11 and finishes HHC play 1-6. It was the Lions' final league game as a member of the HHC. 

Morristown 49, Eastern Hancock 46: The Royals fell to the Yellow Jackets at home, spoiling their Senior Night. 

Morristown rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit, as EH led 36-25 in the third, but was outscored 24-10 the rest of the way. 

Morristown is now 12-6 on the year and finishes Mid-Hoosier play 6-2. The Yellow Jackets clinched second in the MHC with the victory. EH is now 6-13 and 3-5 in the MHC. The Royals next play Friday at Hagerstown. 

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