DAILY JOURNAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
The Edinburgh boys basketball team concluded the regular season with a convincing 73-56 win Thursday night against visiting Brown County.
The victory marked the sixth consecutive year the Class A Lancers, who celebrated senior night, have beaten the Class 3A Eagles.
Edinburgh blistered the nets in the opening half by hitting 14 of 24 from the field, including 7 of 12 from 3-point range.
The Lancers jumped out to a 20-12 lead at the end of the first period. But Brown County rallied with a 9-0 run to get within one at 20-19 on the shooting of junior guard Collin Hoskins, who knocked down two 3-pointers.
Hoskins played his sophomore year at Edinburgh before transferring this year to Brown County.
The Lancers stepped up their pressure defense, and senior guard Matt Heagy drove the lane for a pair of fast-break layups and converted two free throws, sending Edinburgh ahead 26-19.
Heagy, along with junior guard Kyle Pendleton, continued their torrid shooting in the second quarter and finished the first half with 20 and 19 points, respectively. Heagy hit all six of his first-half 3-point shots as Edinburgh led 43-30 at halftime.
Unlike their one-point win against Southwestern (Shelby) on Wednesday night, the Lancers took control from the outset and never let the Eagles mount a serious challenge.
“It kind of leads back to understanding that one possession, one hustle play or one rebound in the first quarter could be the difference in the game,” fifth-year Edinburgh coach Drew Glentzer said. “We’ve had a really nice season, and I’m really proud of our kids.”
Edinburgh’s shooting in the third quarter cooled off a bit, but it still led 58-39 heading into the final period.
With about two minutes remaining, Glentzer went to his bench to relieve the starters, including seniors Heagy, Elliott Parmer and Elijah Parmer.
Heagy finished with a game-high 29 points. Pendleton added 24, and junior guard Bobby Simpson tallied 13.
Brown County had three players in double-figures. Hoskins had a team-high 12 points, and senior Matt Adams and junior Happy Lacy-Connell each had 11.
Brown County outrebounded Edinburgh 28-27.
And while the Lancers forced the Eagles into 14 turnovers, Edinburgh had a season-low four.
Tournament-host Edinburgh begins sectional play March 3 against Mid-Hoosier Conference rival Waldron. The Lancers are 6-0 against sectional opponents, but they take no one for granted in what Glentzer regards as a wide-open sectional.
“It’s more so than any of the five years I’ve been here,” Glentzer said. “There’s really no clear-cut favorite. There are a lot of teams right there in the middle that think they have a shot at it.
“That being the case, it is the best sectional in the state.”