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Titans Defeat Lewistown

January 13, 2014
Warsaw High School

The West Hancock Titans stayed alive in the Macomb-Holiday Basketball Tournament by using a strong second half to defeat the Lewistown Indians Friday.

West Hancock trailed by as many as nine on three separate occasions in the first half, but the Titans outscored Lewistown 36-21 in the second half to come away with a 59-50 win.

"It's the story of two halves again," said West Hancock Head Coach Reno Pinkston. "As a basketball coach you always want consistency, and we've had some very inconsistent games. We didn't play well in the first half. We made some mistakes in the second half, but overall we played a lot better. Anyone watching the game could tell how much better we played in the second half than the first."

Lewistown hit 6 of 15 three-point field goals in the first half to build its lead. Brady Hardesty hit three-pointers to give the Indians leads of 26-17 and 29-20 late in the first half. West Hancock made 3 of 4 free throws in the final minute to close the deficit to six at halftime.

West Hancock shot the ball well (8 of 15 from the field), but 13 turnovers hurt the Titans during the first two quarters.

"We need to eliminate some of the mental mistakes we're making at the varsity level," Pinkston said. "You might be able to get away with some of those things when you're younger, but those things will get exploited at the varsity level. Once we get that down, we're going to be a better team overall."

The Titans got a basket from Drew Beeler to start the second half. Jeramey Marshall added a three-pointer, and Beeler made 1 of 2 free throws to cut the deficit to 31-29. Trevor Knipe followed with a basket that tied the game with 4:54 left in the third quarter.

"I was proud of the way they came out," Pinkston said. "They didn't hang their heads being down six at halftime. They came out and cut the lead right away. We actually talked about running three sets in a row so we can score six or seven points, and I think we did exactly that."

Lewistown reclaimed the lead on a three-pointer by Colton Johnson, but Cole Fox scored four straight points to give West Hancock the lead.

The two teams traded three-pointers to end the third quarter. Jonathan Ferguson and Marshall each hit threes to put the Titans ahead 41-37 with one quarter remaining.

Andrew Hardy started the fourth quarter with a three to extend the margin to seven. Hardesty scored four straight for Lewistown, but Knipe knocked down a three, and Fox scored on a drive to the basket that pushed the advantage to 49-41.

Devin Rings made 3 of 4 free throws, and Beeler scored inside to finish a run of 10 straight points for a 54-41 lead with 2:24 remaining.

West Hancock finished the game 18 of 33 (54.5 percent) from the field, including 9 of 18 from three-point range.

Rings had 13 points and six rebounds to lead West Hancock. Fox added 10 points and seven rebounds, and Knipe finished with 10 points and six assists.

Beeler tossed in eight points. Ferguson contributed seven points. Marshall scored six points, and Hardy finished with five points.

Johnson scored 14 points, and Hardesty added 13 points to lead Lewistown, 4-7 overall. Brian Kruzan had 10 points.

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