Edinburgh’s graduation-depleted boys basketball lineup wanted to prove it could dominate on the court the way its predecessors did.
For one night, mission accomplished.
The host Lancers exploded from the opening tip Tuesday, using suffocating defense and dominating rebounding to piece together 15-0 and 14-0 first-half runs. The 14-0 spurt, which came in the second quarter, built Edinburgh’s lead against visiting Southwestern (Shelby) to 24 points en route to a 76-53 season-opening victory.
Last year’s Lancers finished 23-3 and won a Class 1A regional title. This year’s squad isn’t predicting to match that win total but hopes to prove it will be a good team, as well.
“We know we played against the best team in 1A in the state every day last year (in practice),” said Edinburgh senior point guard Caleb Giles, who finished with 16 points. “That helped us build confidence. Our defense was amazing. We knew Southwestern would want to slow things down, so we sped them up.”
The Lancers frequently crept into the passing lanes for easy steals and layups. They forced the Spartans, who were also playing their season opener, into 25 miscues, including 16 in the decisive first half.
“We were very timid,” Southwestern coach Brady Days said. “They attacked the paint, and our communication was really poor. We didn’t get to the free-throw line much, and we didn’t score much in the paint. Edinburgh played very well, but we’ve got to trust in one another.”
The Lancers also dominated the glass, outrebounding the Spartans, 33-15. No Southwestern player collected more than three rebounds, while Edinburgh ’s Trent Tatlock pulled down 11 boards. Ryan Burton added six rebounds to go with his 15 points and Dakota Sneed grabbed five rebounds and scored seven points off the bench.
Edinburgh guard Riley Price, making his first varsity start, led the Lancers with 21 points, including several steals that resulted in easy layups.
Andrew Messer led Southwestern with 22 points, including five 3-pointers.
“Giles did a nice job of getting everyone easy baskets,” Edinburgh coach Drew Glentzer said. “He’s our leader. We’re going to go where Giles takes us.”
Edinburgh is off until Dec. 1 when it plays host to Mid-Hoosier Conference rival Waldron.