By Mike Myers
Tribune Star Correspondent
The only thing colder than the weather outside Jack Butcher
Arena on Friday was the shooting of the home team inside the arena.
On a night when the Lions unveiled their 2012 state championship banner,
Loogootee suffered its first loss of the season to their longtime nemesis
from Daviess County as the Washington Hatchets picked up a much needed win
46-29 over the Lions.
Washington (2-5) quickly extended a three-point halftime lead against Class
A No. 1 Loogootee (7-1). The Hatchets ran off an 11-0 run to begin the third
quarter and led 32-18 after three quarters, a margin which reached as many
as 20 points during the fourth quarter. Washington limited the Lions to just
13 second half points on 5-14 shooting in the second half as coach Gene
Miiller liked what he saw from his team on the defensive end of the floor.
In particular, Miiller was happy with his team¹s defense on Loogootee¹s
Connor Wittmer and Matt Mathies, who combined for just 13 points.
"We played really well defensively, we executed our game plan defensively
really well. I thought (Tyler) Stoll and (Cullen) Arnold did a great job on
Wittmer, and Jake Brashear did a really nice job on Mathies. Those were the
two main guys we were trying to stop and contain," said Miiller. "And I
thought the other guys did a good job of helping on those guys and then
getting back and playing their man."
It was team effort from the Hatchets, who were led in scoring by Arnold¹s 12
points. Stoll added 11, and together they were a big part of a 21-9 Hatchet
rebounding advantage. Jarrod Purdue knocked down a trio of 3-pointers for
nine points, followed by seven from Colton Garland. Brashear added four
points and played a solid floor game in directing the Hatchet offense.
Andy Garland finished with three points for WHS, which connected on 16-29
shots (55 percent) on the night.
The win against Loogootee capped a bruising pre-Christmas schedule for the
Hatchets and was important according to Miiller.
"It was a big win for us. The kids understand how hard you have to play to
beat good teams. We played hard tonight, we had better concentration
tonight, especially defensively," said Miiller. "This is a big win. To lose
this one going into the holidays 1-6 would have been tough. But hopefully
this gives us some momentum we can carry over into the second half of the
Loogootee shot just 26 percent (10-38). Wittmer was the only Lion to reach
double figures with 11 points, followed by seven apiece from Colin Nelson
and Cam Wagler. Will Nonte rounded out the Loogootee scoring with two
Loogootee coach Mike Wagoner felt his team didn¹t match the Hatchets when it
came to the intangibles of the game.
"We just talked in the locker room about having some heart, passion, and
desire when you step on the floor because people are going to come at you,"
said Wagoner. "I've seen Washington play, they play with a lot of heart, and
they play physical. I told the players before the game that they would play
physical, nothing dirty but to the point that we have to handle that and
attack it. And we didn¹t do that."
After trailing 11-6 after eight minutes of action, Washington rebounded and
led at -halftime 19-16. The first half was marked by deliberate play on
behalf of the Hatchets as WHS was able to overcome six turnovers, a
statistic which was offset by Loogootee¹s 4-14 shooting. Colton Garland led
the Hatchets with seven points in the first half, while Wittmer topped LHS
with nine points.
Loogootee claimed the reserve contest 34-18. Josh Sibrel led the Lions with
13 points, while Luke Raymond netted five points to lead WHS.
WASHINGTON 6 13 13 14- 46
LOOGOOTEE 11 5 2 11- 29
Washington (46) - Purdue 3 0-0 9, C. Garland 2 2-2 7, A. Garland 1 1-1 3,
Brashear 2 0-2 4, Stoll 3 5-6 11, Arnold 5 2-3 12. Totals 16 10-14 12.
Loogootee (29) - Mathies 1 0-0 2, Nelson 3 1-1 7, Wittmer 3 4-4 11, Wagler 3
0-0 7, Nonte 0 2-2 2. Totals 10 7-7 29.
3-point goals: Washington 4, (Purdue 3, C. Garland),.Loogootee 2 (Wittmer,