Muncie Central stayed step for step with one of the best teams in the state last night but fell to #8 Richmond 76-65. The final score was not indicative of the type of game this was. Richmond pulled away late but had all they could handle with Muncie Central.
Early on it was back and forth between both schools with Central leading after the first quarter. Trenton Hatfield poured in 7 points of 15 overall on the evening. As this season winds down, he will be a key contributor this team needs to get going. He certainly found consistency last night. At the end of the second half, Richmond pulled in front by 5 but it didn’t seem safe for the Red Devils. In the 3rd quarter, Corthen and Okafor went back and forth for Central and Richmond respectively. Richmond could not pull away from the fiery Bearcats team. At the end of the 3rd it was just a 6-point lead. The final frame was completely controlled by Richmond. They made the plays down the stretch they needed to make. They won their 17th straight contest and keep rolling along. Joel Okafor had 20 points and 8 rebounds for the Red Devils. He has committed to play basketball for Wisconsin Green Bay next year. He took apart the Central defense by continuing to force the defense to collapse on him. This made life easier for his teammates. They produced. Davious Webster had 18, Adrion Burns had 10 and Auntonio Brown had 13.
Phillip Corthen, who scored 22 points, led the Bearcats. Andre Jones had another double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Duane Clemens and Trenton Hatfield were both in double figures for the Bearcats as well. So what do you take away from this? Battle tested? Toughness? All of that is great to talk about and what you want is win. However, these last three games have been great learning experiences for this bunch. How will they use these experiences positively? Only Muncie Central can answer that question in the tournament. Next up for the Bearcats is Marion on Friday.