By Mike Myers
EVANSVILLE - The Washington Hatchets found out just how good the Bosse Bulldogs and standout guard JaQuan Lyle are in a 84-51 loss to one of the state’s best teams and best players on Friday.
Lyle, a 6-5 junior guard and five-star recruit who is being courted by some of the nation’s top college programs, including Indiana and Kentucky, scored 20 of his game high 36 points in the first half as Class 3A No. 7 Bosse (2-1) defeated Washington (1-5).
Lyle drilled six 3-pointers in the opening half, including long buzzer beating trey’s at the end of the first quarter and just prior to halftime. Bosse led 17-8 after one quarter only to see the Hatchets close to within four points at 19-15 thanks to an 8-2 run to open the second quarter.
But Bosse switched to a full court press on defense at that point, and the Bulldogs used the strategy to their great advantage, forcing seven Hatchet turnovers in the second stanza and outscoring WHS 24-8 over the final 5:19 of the half to take a 43-23 lead into the locker room.
Washington finished with 22 turnovers, which along with the Bosse shooting (12 e-pointers) helped doom the Hatchets.
“We have to do a better job taking care of the basketball. We had too many turnovers, especially that one little spurt there where we just threw the ball all over the place,” said Washington coach Gene Miiller. “Yes, they’re athletic, yes they’re quick, but we were just lazy at times. We didn’t get down, we didn’t ball fake, we didn’t do the fundamental things that we have to do. We have to go back and work on those.”
Miiller knew Lyle would be a tough match up for his team.
“He’s pretty good,” Miiller deadpanned of Lyle, who added 13 rebounds and nine assists to his 36 points, following the game. “The kid is as good as he wants to be, he’s loaded with talent. He sees the floor very well, he passes the ball, he can shoot it, he can drive it. You didn’t see it tonight, but he can post up.”
The Hatchets whittled away at the Bosse lead early in the second half, cutting the lead down to 15 points on baskets by Colten Garland and Jake Brashear to open the half. But Bosse quickly responded, and WHS was never able to get the margin near single digits in the half. The Bulldogs led 58-37 after three quarters as Lyle connected on a trio of free throws with :0.5 on the clock after being fouled in the act while behind the arc.
Hatchet Senior center Cullen Arnold guarded Lyle for much of the game and did a solid job in keeping Lyle from getting to the rim on the drive, only to see Lyle pull up and hit three’s (eight treys on the night). Arnold led Washington with 18 points, followed by Jarrod Purdue with eight points. Andy Garland and Jake Brashear added seven points apiece, while Tyler Stoll netted six points and Colten Garland scored five points.
Perry Fairrow was next after Lyle for Bosse with 13 points, followed by nine from Bryson Johnson and eight from Bo Burkhart.
Bosse claimed the JV contest 53-36. Matthew Sparks topped the Hatchets with 17 points, followed by Carson Smith with seven.
Washington is off until Friday when the Hatchets travel to Loogootee.