Games between Edinburgh and Southwestern (Shelby) often are physical battles filled with emotion, thanks to the proximity of the schools and familiarity between the teams.
The host Lancers quickly drained any such drama from Tuesday night’s Mid-Hoosier conference match-up.
Edinburgh jumped out to a sizable lead thanks to an 11-0 first-quarter run and was threatened only once after that as it held off the rival Spartans 57-44.
The game was tied at 6-all when the Edinburgh defense broke the game open. The Lancers forced three turnovers in a three-minute stretch, and sophomore Collin Hoskins accounted for six points in the 11-0 spurt that ended with Edinburgh up 17-6 with 1:05 remaining in the quarter.
The Lancers (11-7, 5-4 MHC) maintained a double-digit lead until late in the first half.
Southwestern’s Steffen Shackelford hit a baseline jumper and then Logan Laughlin converted a three-point play to cut the lead to 27-21 with 55 seconds remaining in the half.
Bobby Simpson gave the Lancers some breathing room, hitting a late jumper to push the lead to 29-21 at the break.
From there, the Lancers methodically extended the margin. It grew to as many as 15 points early in the fourth quarter, and Southwestern was never closer than nine points in the second half.
Edinburgh coach Drew Glentzer said he was pleased with how the Lancers handled the emotion of the rivalry game.
“I thought we did a good job getting some turnovers and getting out in transition. I thought we did a good job of handling everything they threw at us,” Glentzer said.
“It’s a big rivalry. Everybody knows each other. Usually points are at a premium, so we were fortunate to get 57 today.”
Hoskins led the Lancers with 20 points and grabbed six rebounds.
But the win was fueled by two players often asked to play supporting roles.
Dakota Sneed, the only Lancers senior, ended his regular-season home career with 18 points and five rebounds. And junior guard Elliott Parmer, who is listed at 5-foot-8, nabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
Glentzer said Parmer has grown into his role over the course of the season.
“At the beginning of the year he was a defensive player only. Now he understands what his limitations are on offense and he’s getting good assists, he’s getting good rebounds. He’s just a competitor, he’s a great kid to be around, and he’s a great teammate.
“And I was happy for Sneed to have a nice game on his senior night.”
The Lancers struggled from outside the arc, hitting only 3 of 13 3-pointers, but were much better closer to the basket. They knocked down 21 of 39 2-point shots, with most coming in the lane. In all, Edinburgh shot 46.2 percent for the evening and turned the ball over just eight times.
Laughlin led the Spartans (4-14, 3-6) with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Ben Thomas and Bryce Rowe each added 10 points. Southwestern hit just 15 of 44 shots from the field (34.1 percent). It out-rebounded Edinburgh, 31-28.
The Lancers close the regular season Thursday night when they travel to face Brown County.
They will open sectional play at home March 4 against Morristown at 6 p.m.
Glentzer said he expects playing on their home court, where they have lost just once this season, to give the Lancers a boost.
“We host, and anytime we play here, we expect to win. It will be a great crowd and gives us an opportunity to play Morristown, a team that beat us earlier in the year (66-44 at Morristown on Jan. 31) when we maybe didn’t play our best game.”