Washington bounced back from a tough overtime loss at Vincennes Lincoln last week by chopping Evansville Day School 69-51 at the Hatchet House on Thursday.
Washington started slowly on offense but eventually warmed up to take a 20-13 lead after one quarter, a margin which stretched to 11 points at 31-20 by halftime. But that was nothing to what the Hatchets did in the third quarter.
Washington (5-11) outscored Evansville Day (6-10) 25-14 in the third eight minutes, hitting eight of its first 11 shots on the way to a 56-34 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Hatchet coach Gene Miiller felt his team’s defense - where WHS forced 21 Eagle turnovers and limited Day School to 15-36 (42 percent) shooting - was the key to getting his team going on the offensive end of the floor.
“Our defense got us going offensively. We got some easy baskets off of our defense, and that kind of got us going offensively, it gave us some more confidence. It kind of spreads your offense as well,” said Miiller. “We have some guys that can shoot the basketball. We just have to be ready to shoot it, and we have to make sure we get a good shot every time we move the ball from side to side. If we get a good shot, I know we have guys that can put the ball in the basket.”
Colton Garland was the main Hatchet to put the ball in the basket. The sophomore drained five 3-pointers on the way to a game-high 26 points, including scoring points in every quarter. But Garland had help.
Matthew Stephens netted a trio of trey’s while adding 14 points. Jake Bedwell was next with 13 points and added seven rebounds. Austin Ghirardelli pulled down five rebounds and scored nine points off the bench, while Connor Brown added four points. Matthew Sparks had four rebounds and two points, while Timber Shelton added a free throw for one point.
It was the team effort that pleased Miiller. Washington shot the ball well - 25-49 (51 percent) and committed just five turnovers through three quarters.
“Colton shot the ball well, and he was consistent throughout the ballgame. Bedwell had a really good second half. We keep track of deflections, which is how many times you touch the ball on defense, and we had him for 11 deflections in the second half, that’s by far our high for the year,” said Miiller. “Matthew Stephens had 14 points, and Ghirardelli had nine off the bench.
“I thought throughout the ballgame we had good contributions from everybody. Connor Brown played well defensively and hit a couple of shots for us,” said Miiller. “And Luke Raymond came in and in his first real varsity game, had a nice assist and another one that was missed.”
Will Stevens topped the Eagles with 22 points, followed by Brevin Tilmon and 10 from Derek Hammelman.
Washington rolled to a 70-21 win in the reserve game. Timber Shelton led four Hatchets in double figures with 18 points, followed by 16 from Reid Neff. Jeremiah Kirsch was next with 11 and Luke Raymond added 10.
Washington travels to Southridge on Tuesday.