By Mike Myers Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — EVANSVILLE — A torrid third quarter was too much for the Washington Hatchets as Evansville Memorial claimed a 66-49 win on Friday.
Washington (6-14) led 27-25 at halftime and had extended that lead to 34-30 midway through the third quarter before the Tigers exploded. Memorial (14-6) reeled off 14 straight points in a span of four minutes to take a 44-30 lead, Though the Hatchets were able to rip off eight straight points of their own to end the streak, Memorial would still end up taking a 47-42 lead into the final eight minutes of action.
The Tigers missed just two shots in the third quarter, which Memorial claimed by a 22-15 count on 9-11 shooting. Memorial started the fourth quarter strong as well, going on a 10-3 run to extend the lead to 57-43 with 5:10 remaining.
Washington’s found the mark from outside but couldn’t keep pace with the hot shooting Tigers (16-25 in the second half). The Hatchets connected for 10 3-pointers but were only able to net six baskets from inside the arc and were outscored from the free throw line 10-7.
For Washington coach Gene Miiller, it was the disparity in the offensive statistics (Memorial hit six 3-pointers but outscored WHS 40-12 inside the line) and the quality of shots Memorial was getting that made the difference.
“They shot the ball very well, but part of it was they had a lot of good shots. They beat us down inside in the paint, and we never did solve it, didn’t keep them out of the paint,” said Miiller. “The first half we did a much better job of keeping the ball out of the paint and surrounding it if they did get it down there. They beat us down in the paint, and they beat us on the offensive glass. As I always say, the team that scores the most points in the paint is the team that usually wins the ballgame.”
Colton Garland scored 12 points on four of those 3-pointers, but Garland only scored one basket after the first quarter as the Memorial defense clamped down on the sophomore. Jacob Overton led the Hatchets with 16 points, including a pair of trifecta’s and also pulled down three rebounds.
Connor Brown reached double digits with 11 points, including a trio of three’s. Austin Ghirardelli scored seven points, including a three. Ghirardelli also hit a buzzer beater just to give WHS a 27-25 at the half. Jake Bedwell added two points and three rebounds for the Hatchets.
Adam Eberhard, Memorial’s 6-4 junior center, topped all scorers with 20 points, including 12 in the second half. Ben Stachowski added 15 and Eric Decker 10 for the Tigers.
The Hatchets started strong, using five 3-pointers in the opening eight minutes to build a 22-16 lead after one quarter. Garland drained three of the trey’s, with Ghirardelli and Brown also connecting from long range. Overton added a three in the second quarter as the Hatchets were able to maintain the lead at 27-25 heading into the locker room.
The Washington JV squad finished the season with a 9-11 record after a 61-47 loss to Memorial. Carson Smith led the Hatchets with 23 points, while Clay Walker added 11 points.
Washington will face Southridge on Wednesday in Sectional 31 at Huntingburg.