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Muncie Central at Marion

In their last four games, Muncie Central has been oh so close to winning. On Friday night, they continued that trend. The Bearcats fell to the Marion Giants 61-55. It was a tough defeat not just because they lost, but Central lead 20-5 at the end of the first quarter. Phillip Corthen had 22 while Andre Jones added 15 points and 6 rebounds.

Phillip Corthen is the engine of this team. His running mate Andre Jones can produce consistently on a night to night basis. However after those two, you’re not sure who will give you what you need. Duane Clemens, Joseph Morton, Donald Allen, and Jamel Barnes are all capable. Consistency has alluded each of them. If the Bearcats are to make a run like last year, at least one of those four players has to step up each game. If so, Muncie Central will be an incredibly tough out.

The Bearcats have just one more game left against Frankton who has just lost one game this season. A win going into the sectional tournament would be great for this team.

 

(Highlights below)

 

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#8 Richmond at Muncie Central

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.

 

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Muncie Central at Pendleton Heights

Muncie Central’s tough weekend left them 0-2 after a loss to Pendleton Heights Saturday 63-48. When the third option for Pendleton Heights scored 24 points and shoots 7-7 from 3-point range, you’re in for a long night. That’s what Mark Albers did to Muncie Central.

It started quickly for Pendleton Heights who jumped out to a 21-4 lead in the first quarter. Muncie Central was bothered by the defensive pressure and perimeter shooting for the Arabians. However, Muncie Central was able to fight back in the 2nd quarter and closed to within 3 at the half. As badly as the game started, the adjustments made by the Bearcats in-game was impressive. Central switched to a Box and 1 zone while face-guarding Pendleton Heights stud Sean McDermott in the second quarter. The philosophy worked….for a quarter. After taking the lead for the first and only time in the game, 28-26, Pendleton Heights then put down the hammer. They were lead by three straight Albers threes and pulled away from the Bearcats comfortably in the mid 3rd quarter to the end of the game. McDermott had 20 points and 11 rebounds while Albers lead with those 24 points.

Muncie Central received 18 points from Phillip Corthen and 12 points from Andre Jones. Once Pendleton Heights adjusted, Central had no answer. Eight out of nine losses for the Bearcats this season have been to 4A teams. Central next plays against Richmond, who they host on Thursday at the North Walnut Street Fieldhouse.

 

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Logansport at Muncie Central

Coach Holloway for Muncie Central was asked what do you want to improve upon most in the last month of the season? Without hesitation he said, “We need to get tougher.” While Muncie Central fell to Logansport 70-65 they took a step in the right direction to get tougher.

Logansport got off to a quick start in the first quarter leading 22-11. Turnovers and miscues by the Bearcats contributed to the quick burst from the Berries. The run continued in the second half with Logansport having a game high 17-point lead at the mid-point of the second quarter.   However going to halftime Central found some rhythm and closed the lead to 33-24 for Logansport. The second half was completely different. Phillip Corthen had just 3 points in the first half but in the second half came alive by scoring 25 out of his 28 points. He was aggressive and a nightmare for the defense. He made his biggest play at the end of the third period by getting fouled a made three and completed a four-point play. Muncie Central outscored Logansport 26-17 in the third quarter. Once Muncie Central got that close, Logansport had an answer and ended up defeating Muncie Central by five.

While frustrating, it served a good learning lesson for Central. They can’t allow themselves to fall behind early. That’s what happened against Logansport. Central played a better overall game. The big run at the beginning of the game proved to be the difference. Muncie Central falls to 9-8 on the season. They play Pendleton Heights on Saturday.

 

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Yorktown at New Palestine

If I told you a player was averaging 21 points per game and they face your team, how many points do you think they’d score? You might guess 15? 20? 25? Maybe 30? Well, how much did he really score? Would you believe me if I said 2 points? That’s what the Yorktown defense did to Ryan Curry for New Palestine winning 60 to 39 for their 8th straight win on the season. The game was full of runs in the first half but Yorktown in the second half took complete control.

Yorktown opened up the game with an 11 to nothing run. However, they let New Palestine cut into the lead quickly as it was only 13-8 Yorktown after the first quarter. In the second quarter, Yorktown opened up with a quick run to lead 21-13. Once again, New Palestine stormed back to make it just 25-22 Yorktown at the halftime break. The second half was a complete change. Yorktown outscored New Palestine 35-17 in the second half including 18-7 in the 3rd quarter. It was due in large part to Riley Miller who scored a game high 22 points. His offense was important, yes, but defensively is where he made his mark.   Miller had 7 steals on the top of the perimeter where Yorktown played a 3-2 zone. Miller was to the far right of the zone. His length and foot speed was shown as he was able to clog up the passing lanes. Time and time again he made plays. He was the best player on the floor that night.

Yorktown comes into a very tough weekend. They face both Jay County and Pendleton Heights on Friday and Saturday.

 

(Listen to Highlights and interview below)

 

 

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Monroe Central at Yorktown

The backcourt duo of Caleb Morey and Riley Miller were took much for Monroe Central as Yorktown rolled to a 56-33 triumph. It was Yorktown’s 6th straight victory and 10th overall on the season. Morey was electric from the arc by scoring all 15 from beyond the 3 pt. line. He scored 20 the previous night against New Castle. As good as he can be scoring, he can also have his struggles. All shooters do. What’s different about Morey? He affects the game in other ways. Sometimes he is asked to be a defender. Other times he has to be the main scorer (scoring 20 out of the team’s 45 points against New Castle). It’s easy to say Yorktown loves Caleb Morey and what he does across the board for this team.

Riley Miller on the other hand? Well, you couldn’t think of a better complement (using that word lightly). It’s hard to think of which one is the sidekick. Morey is the spot up shooter while Riley Miller is the physical guard. Together they score 27 points per game. The duo are so tough to account for because you don’t know which one will beat you on a given evening. They both were on full display against Monroe Central.

Yorktown is rolling right now. However Coach Miller would say, “We’re not there yet.” Whatever “there” is, is scary for the rest of the competition. The Tigers are next in action at New Palestine on Saturday. Fox Sports Radio will broadcast the game.

(Listen to highlights below)

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Kokomo at Muncie Central

Behind a big night from Marcus Dukes and Andre Jones, the Bearcats cruised by Kokomo winning 68-48. The emotional point guard in the 4th quarter scored 10 points and put away any doubt of the conclusion, a win. The Bearcats as team are getting chemistry at the right time. Yes, Coach Holloway has had to reel in his team at points but there is no more talented team than Muncie Central. If they are clicking like they were in the second half, the Bearcats could be an extremely tough out in the IHSAA State Tournament.

Speaking of their addition Andre Jones, he recorded a double double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Coach Holloway and I spoke about Jones, who he had high regard for. The one thing he was sensitive about was taking away from the team morale. Coach said as far as a team addition it’s great to have Jones but made me aware of talent he already has as well. Jones will only help this roster and provides much needed athleticism in the post.

After their loss to North Central on Saturday, the Bearcats are 8-7 on the season. Looking forward to the sectional, Muncie Central has beaten Yorktown and Delta already this season. Yorktown and Delta both seem to be the toughest competitors for the sectional title. It will take place at the North Walnut Street Fieldhouse.

(Listen to highlights below)

 

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Delaware County Championship-Yorktown vs Delta

How could you have scripted a better game? A championship game back and forth all the way down to its last possession? Sounds like a basketball fan’s dream. It was! Yorktown won the 2015 Delaware County Tournament Championship on Saturday 58 to 55 over rival Delta. The experience of an all senior lineup proved to be the difference. The post threat of Riley Neal, shooting of Caleb Morey, and driving ability of Riley Miller were the key…or were they? I argue defense was the key. Both Morey and Miller had huge steals in the waning moments of the game. Neal stifled the two low post threats of Delta. Yes, offense is flashy while defense is not. However, on this night defense was flashy and the difference. This was a long time coming for a group of student athletes who are friends off the court and brother on the court. They played that way on Saturday night.

What does this mean going forward? Well, it means something for both schools. For Yorktown it was vindication. It was assurance that they are the best in the county. For Delta, it showed them how far they’ve come in such a short amount of time. Both of these teams have bright futures ahead the rest of the season. For Yorktown this can’t be the calling card of this season. They have to move on and understand there is basketball left to be played. There are bigger goals at hand. For Delta, they showed they can compete with the best. Now it’s time to prove it the rest of the season. They were a couple turnovers away from a championship themselves. If Saturday was any indication, this area’s basketball going forward it going to be phenomenal. (And we haven’t even mentioned Muncie Central)

 

(LISTEN HIGHLIGHTS AND INTERVIEWS BELOW)

 

 

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Delaware County Tournament-Quarfinals and Semifinals

(LISTEN TO HIGHLIGHTS AND INTERVIEWS FROM EACH GAME)

Delta 61 Wes Del 52

3A vs 1A you think mismatch? Not in this one. Delta only led by 2 going into the 4th quarter after an acrobatic Bryce Marsh bank shot. However, the strength of Matt Norris and Kameron Slaven were the key. Norris finished with a career high of 25 points while Slaven added 16 points. Delta moves on to face Cowan.

 

 

 

Yorktown 48 Wapahani 28

A defensively focused first half left much to be desired in the second half. Yorktown led 18-15. Things totally shifted in the second half. Yorktown held Wapahani to just 8 points in the second half to win 43 to 23. Yorktown held 19ppg scorer Darryl McKinney to just 2 points. Yorktown faces Daleville next.

 

 

 

 

Delta 59 Cowan 42

Delta beat Cowan earlier this season. This time around it was the same old. Delta jumped out to a 17 to 8 lead in the first quarter. They never allowed Cowan to get closer than 9 points and had leads as large as 15 points.

 

 

 

 

Yorktown 66 Daleville 24

 

Domination via Yorktown…they controlled the game the entire way. Daleville was much closer at the end of the first half than the game might have suggested (24 to 11 at the half). However, in the second half, it was a show from the Tigers. 38 of the 43 points came from Miller, Neal, and Preston.

 

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Wapahani vs Yorktown-High School Basketball

Yorktown avenged their loss to Wapahani last year in the Delaware County Championship by handling the Raiders on Tuesday in the second half 43 to 23.   The experience and discipline of the Tigers proved to be too much in the last 16 minutes. Riley Miller led the way for Yorktown with 16 points and Riley Neal added 12 in the win. Miller’s size, quickness, and physical driving nature frustrated Wapahani all game.

This game was back and forth in the first half with defense being the main story. No offense was able to find a rhythm. Yorktown led 18 to 15. In the second half, everything changed. Yorktown found ways to score and Wapahani fell apart with turnovers and the inability to operate in their half-court offense. Hayden Castor, who had 10 points, and Lyric Edwards led Wapahani with 4 points. Their top scorer Darryl Mckinney was held to just 2 points, while averaging 19 per game coming in. The Raiders were held to just 23 points on the night. They came into the game averaging 49 per contest. Yorktown’s defense was phenomenal the entire evening.

Yorktown advances to the semi-finals on Friday where they face Daleville at 8PM. The winner advances to the championship game on Saturday at 8PM.

 

HIGHLIGHTS TO COME…

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