Mired in a January losing streak that’s gotten as old as the dreary winter weather and down 10 points to a team his program hadn’t lost to in 15 years, Gene Miiller needed some help at the Hatchet House Saturday night.
So Miiller looked to his bench and found what he needed. And now Hatchet fans can only hope that Mother Nature’s winter goes away as quickly and quietly as did the Pike Central Chargers.
Washington stemmed the bleeding in the second quarter, then dominated the second half as the Hatchets snapped a seven game losing streak and defeated Pike Central 55-38.
Trailing 19-9 after one quarter, Washington (3-10) began to turn things around in the second period. Miiller looked to his bench in the second quarter and got results as the Hatchets outscored Pike Central (4-7) 5-4 to trail 23-14 at the half.
“It’s great for the kids to be able to win one, and they way they did it, the effort they expended was great,” said Miiller. “I was not very happy with our effort in the first quarter. That’s the reason you saw four new guys come in the ballgame.
“I thought that second quarter changed the whole ballgame. G (Austin Ghirardelli) and Connor Brown … they really changed the tempo of the ballgame,” said Miiller. “They got after it defensively, they forced turnovers. We gave up 19 points in the first quarter and four in the second. From then on, the defensive intensity got better.”
While Ghirardelli and Brown helped turn things around on the defensive end in the first half, a host of Hatchets got going on the offensive end in the second half. Washington shot just 5-25 (20 percent) in the first half, but got hot in the third quarter. WHS outscored the Chargers 22-8 in the period, including finishing the quarter with an 11-0 run to take a 36-31 lead into the fourth quarter.