By Todd Lancaster
---- — The Washington Hatchets knew Evansville Central would be big, they also knew they were fast and could shoot. The problem came when Central was able to combine all three elements at the same time, giving Washington a very tough task.
And as Central was able to combine that deadly skill set, WHS fell to 2-4 with the 50-39 loss to the Bears on Saturday night in the Hatchet House.Although the Hatchets played a solid game, turning the ball over just six times and committing only 10 total fouls, Central, dominated the defensive glass and used five first half three-pointers to keep the Hatchets at bay.The loss was the second of the weekend for WHS, but with the close game at Mt. Vernon on Friday, and a good effort against 4A Central, WHS coach Gene Miiller found several positives."Overall, we did good good keeping them off the offensive boards and did a nice job of not turning the ball over, but Central is a very good team."The Bears opened the game with a quick 5-0 lead, however buckets from freshman Matt Stephens and senior Andy Garland quickly tightened the game. However late treys from Andrew Coffman and Beau Dedmond pushed EC to a 13-9 lead. Senior Ty Stoll recorded a pair of interior buckets to open the second and to keep WHS within two points. Austin Ghirardelli added a trey to keep WHS close, but again EC was able to use the long ball to go into the half up 27-18.In the third, the sophomore Colton Garland picked up five of his team-high 12 and Andy Garland added a 3-pointer, but it was EC's Kourtlandt Martin who owned the quarter. Martin had 11 of Central's 13 points, while slashing to the basket and dropping threes."They had four very good shooters and you always have to worry about Martin and his penetration," added Miiller. "He is just so quick."WHS did outscore Central 12-8 in the final quarter, getting additional scoring from Jarrod Purdue and Jake Bedwell, but the overall 16 percent shooting disadvantage and a 26-14 rebounding deficit, weren't enough as WHS ended up failing 50-39."I think we shot about 33 percent for the weekend," said Miller. "It is really hard to win if you don't put the ball in the basket.Colton Garland led with 12 points, while Andy Garland added 10. Also adding multiple baskets were Stephens with 5 points and Stoll with 4. Stoll led with 4 boards.The Hatchet JV lost a 71-63 triple-OT thriller, but had four players in double figures, including Reid Neff with 15, Jacob Overton with 13, Carson Smith with 12 and Matt Sparks with 11.