Daily Journal sports correspondent
Center Grove High School first-year coach Zach Hahn said he believes he has some shooters on his basketball team.
It just hasn’t shown of late.
Tuesday night that changed as the Trojans sank 11 of 15 3-point shots en route to a 71-56 rout of visiting Mooresville. The victory snapped a five-game losing streak for the Trojans (10-9). Mooresville (16-3) had an eight-game winning streak snapped.
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“As of late, it’s been out of normal,” Hahn said of the 3-point barrage. “But I like to think we have some guys that can put the ball in the basket.
In the MIC, you are playing guys with a little more length and little more athletic ability. They’re probably applying a little more pressure.
“I think our guys did a good job getting the ball in the paint first and then kicking it. In other games recently, we’ve been moving the ball side to side around the 3-point line. (Tuesday night) our guards made the emphasis on getting the ball inside and then kicking it out. That made the difference in them being more open.”
Junior guard Trevor Harrell came off the bench to score a career-high 19 points, hitting 5 of 6 from behind the 3-point line.
“It takes one of us to get going, and we just feed off of that,” Harrell said.
Center Grove struggled shooting in last week’s loss at Lawrence Central but came out strong against the Pioneers.
“In practice we take a lot of good shots and game shots,” Harrell said. “I think that carried over to this game.”
Senior guard Carson Lee hit all four 3-point shots en route to 12 points. Senior guard Anderson McCoy added 14 points, hitting two 3-pointers and all six free throws in the fourth quarter.
Senior Michael Benkert, the Trojans’ leading scorer for the season, picked up two fouls midway through the first quarter and ended up fouling out with seven points in the fourth quarter.
“We’re building. I told them from Day 1 the offense that we’re running is complicated,” Hahn said. “It’s not one screen and you’re done. There are several options and reads you can do out of it. We’re still learning and growing as a team.
“This year I felt we fought hard in every game but one. As sectional time rolls around, I’m going to expect more and more execution.”
Center Grove took control from the start, leading 17-11 after the first quarter and 30-21 at halftime.
“We went with a smaller lineup to match up with their guys,” Hahn said. “I was really concerned with a couple of their guys who can put the ball in the basket. So I started a defensive lineup as opposed to an offensive lineup.”
Hahn said the team’s depth helped.
“We played nine guys, and they’re all more than capable of putting the ball in the basket,” Hahn said. “It’s a matter of playing with confidence, taking great shots and executing offensively. (Tuesday night) we did that. We took wide-open shots.”
KC Earls led the Pioneers with 16 points. Lane Weaver added 14 points but was also slowed by foul problems. Weaver picked up his third foul in the third quarter and slammed the ball down, drawing a technical.
The Trojans conclude their Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference schedule at North Central on Friday night.