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The Hancock County boys took one on the chin when Perry Central’s Ethan Edwards scored on a putback at the buzzer to give the Commodores a 54-53 victory over the Hornets here Saturday.
“Our kids flat out played well enough to win this basketball game. There were just some things that didn’t go our way at critical points,” HCHS coach Mike Orr said.
The two teams played to a 10-10 tie in the first quarter. Darian Clay and Kaleb Keown scored four points each to led Hancock County and Patrick Mitchell tallied four for PC.
The Hornets took control in the second period when Devyn Powers scored eight points that included two 3’s. Clay added seven points and Hancock County led by 10 with under a minute to play in the half. The visitors closed the gap late when Edwards hit a corner “3” then made a steal and a layup before the horn sounded.
The Hornets led 27-22 at intermission, but the Commodores turned the tables in the third when Mitchell put in seven points and Edwards and Cameron Bland both buried 3’s. Keown scored two buckets for the Hornets as the home team trailed 37-35 heading to the fourth.
The final period was filled with eight exciting minutes of basketball as fans in attendance surely got their money’s worth. It was a back-and-forth battle with multiple lead changes and even a slam dunk!
The Hornets tied the game at 39-39 at the six minute mark when Evan Ferry made a nice pass to Ryan Ogle who scored at the rim. Perry Central regained the lead before another slick pass by Ferry resulted in to points by Stewart and the game was again knotted.
Hancock County grabbed a three point lead at the 4:40 mark when Keown splashed a baseline “3”. Ferry got the assist and the score was 44-41.
Moments later Mitchell was fouled and as he stepped to the line a referee blew his whistle and called a technical on Powers for saying “I didn’t touch him”. The HCHS bench was livid about the call that awarded Mitchell four free throws and possession of the ball. The Commodore big man made three of four and the game was now tied at 44-44.
Keown later made a great rebound and was fouled on a drive to the basket. The sophomore hit both to give the lead back to the Hornets with three minutes to play. Keown connected again from inside, but Bland put PC back in front with a baseline basket and a 3-pointer.
A huge block by Clay prevented a basket, but the visitors later grabbed a three point lead with under a minute on the clock on a score by Reece Davis.
A driving shot off the glass by Ferry pulled the Hornets to within one point at 51-50, then Mitchell hit 1 of 2 from the line to make it a two point game with 20 seconds remaining.
By Steve Wimmer