DAILY JOURNAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
With just three players with varsity experience, Edinburgh boys basketball coach Drew Glentzer was concerned about chemistry on offense.
It was a well-placed concern as host Southwestern (Shelby) knocked off the Lancers 53-35 on Tuesday night in the opener for both Mid-Hoosier Conference teams.
“We knew scoring was going to be an issue for us,” Glentzer said. “I was happy with our effort. We could give that many points up every game, and I’d be happy. We’ve obviously got to score more than 50 to win a game.
“We caused them a lot of turnovers,” Glentzer said.
Southwestern grabbed an 11-2 lead in the first quarter as Edinburgh struggled to make shots, misfiring on 10 of 11 attempts.
The Lancers closed the deficit to 13-12 on a rebound bucket by Christian Cox. However, the Spartans were able to regain control and take a 24-15 into halftime.
Glentzer said he was most displeased with the transition offense and that his team couldn’t take advantage of 19 turnovers by the Spartans, seven more than the Lancers.
“I knew we were going to struggle in the half-court offense,” Glentzer said. “We still had a chance in the third (quarter) as bad as we played offensively. We were looking up there (at the scoreboard) saying we got a shot.”
Sophomore guard Jacob Atha, who led the Lancers with 14 points, sank a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 31-25, but the Spartans rebuilt the lead to 35-25 after three quarters. The Spartans held a 18-10 advantage in the final quarter.
The Lancers’ returning starters were senior guards Bobby Simpson and Kyle Pendleton. Senior guard Christian Burton was a sixth man on last season’s 14-10 squad.
“So six kids we played (Tuesday night) had never played a varsity minute,” Glentzer said.
Cox, a sophomore forward, added 10 points for Edinburgh.
Simpson, Cox and Pendleton all fouled out for the Lancers.
“We’ll get better as the year goes,” Glentzer said. “The team we played had seven seniors on it. I knew they were going to be more well-oiled in running their stuff than we were. I was just more disappointed we didn’t score in transition. We got a lot of steals, and usually we get more layups. We were just not very good on offense.”
The Lancers were 14 of 41 from the field.
The Spartans were helped by a 22-for-29 effort from the free-throw line. In contrast, the Lancers were 2 for 4 from the foul line.
Senior guard Bryce Rowe scored 14 points for the Spartans. Darian Tyler, a 6-4 senior forward, added 12 rebounds. Senior guard Hayden Veach added 10 points.
Edinburgh beat Southwestern 72-64 in overtime in the 2014-15 season-opener and then won 55-54 on Feb. 25.