DAILY JOURNAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
In a ragged season-opener,
with an inexperienced roster, facing serious foul trouble against a bitter rival, Edinburgh’s boys basketball team survived Tuesday night.
The Lancers used 36 points from senior Matt Heagy and fought back after blowing a 14-point third-quarter lead to edge Mid-Hoosier Conference foe Southwestern (Shelby) at the Lancers’ gym, 72-64 in overtime.
The win was Edinburgh’s eighth straight in the series against the Spartans, who they play at least twice every season.
Tuesday’s game did not count in the conference standings.
The Lancers held Southwestern to just one point in overtime and fended off the Spartans, despite playing without two starters (Kyle Pendleton and Elijah Parmer) who fouled out in regulation, while Heagy was saddled with four fouls.
“Before the game started, we said the team that handled adversity the best is going to come out on top,” Edinburgh coach Drew Glentzer said. “We turned it over a bit (23 times,
14 in the second half and overtime) and got rattled a bit, but we fought through that. The guys didn’t want it to get away from them.”
Pendleton carried the Lancers’ offense early, with 13 points in the first three quarters, but he played with foul trouble all game and fouled out with 5:47 still to play in regulation.
Heagy, meanwhile, connected on 11 of 19 field-goal tries and
11 of 13 from the free-throw
line to steady Edinburgh’s offense.
“Matt’s put in countless hours in the weight room and did everything I asked him to do this summer,” Glentzer said. “He knew he needed to carry the scoring when Kyle went out. He understood the situation.”
Southwestern, led by Bryce Rowe with 21 points, outscored the Lancers 19-4 during a four-minute stretch that spanned the third and fourth quarters, and began about the time Pendleton, who finished with 17 points, took a seat with his fourth foul. Jacob Scott’s putback basket gave the Spartans a 50-49 lead.
Edinburgh responded and appeared to seize control when Heagy stole a pass and converted a layup with 2:43 left in regulation, giving Edinburgh a 60-52 edge. But Southwestern fought back, and Rowe’s 16-foot jumper off a set play with 5 seconds remaining tied the game 63-63. Heagy’s long 3-pointer at the buzzer bounded off the rim, setting up Edinburgh’s overtime dominance.
The Lancers, despite playing with no one taller than 6-foot-1 on their roster, dominated the glass, outrebounding Southwestern 34-16. Bobby Simpson (13 points) led everyone with seven rebounds, and Elliott Parmer added six. Heagy and Christian Burton each pulled down five rebounds.
“We played all summer against bigger kids, and learned a lot about ourselves and how to compete for rebounds,” Glentzer said. “(Southwestern) made big shots at big times and we got in foul trouble, but we were able to fight through it.”
Each team was whistled for 25 fouls, and two players fouled out on each side.
Edinburgh is off until Dec. 6 when it hosts conference rival Waldron.