Henry County 63 Shawe 50
The Wildcats started slow on Saturday night against visiting Shawe High School of Madison, but turned the game around in the second quarter and then pulled away in the fourth quarter to get a 13-point victory.
Brad West got hot from 3-point range, with 5 long-range bombs, and led the Cats with 18 points. Dakota Estes hit one 3-pointer as the Cats had a season high six 3-pointers in the game.
West and James Wundrak combined to give the Wildcats 26 points off the bench to Shawe’s seven points, which more than made the difference in the outcome of the game.
The Cats trailed 15-10 after the opening period, but led by West’s 9-second period points, the Wildcats outscored Shawe 19-9 to go into halftime leading by five points.
The third quarter was played evenly as both teams scored 16 points to make the score 45-40 heading into the final period of play.
The Cats again got a big contribution from West in the fourth period as he hit two more 3-pointers and the Cats outscored Shawe 18-10 to pull away for the victory. Austin Young had 13 points for the Cats and went 7-for-7 at the free throw line.
According to Coach Enoch Welch the HC game plan was sabotaged by early foul trouble. “We felt like we could exploit our size advantage but early foul trouble prevented us from doing that,” he said. “So, we went with a smaller lineup and those guys really did a great job of digging out the 50/50 balls and getting in passing lanes. Then Brad West got hot from 3-point range and really helped us pull away. This team really presented lots of matchup problems for us, being so quick and aggressive, so this was a nice victory for us.”
Welch praised the play of his bench and new starter Dakota Estes who jump-started the rest of the team. “Brad came in and really gave us a spark off the bench offensively and Dakota Estes got our defense going with some hustle plays. After that, Chase, Austin and Derek got in on the action and we were totally a different team from the first quarter. James Wundrak came off the bench tonight and really solidified our post play with eight big points when we needed it. Landon gave us another solid effort running the point and getting people in their spots.”
Gallatin 65 HCHS 47
Friday night the Henry County Wildcats hosted the Gallatin County Wildcats in a District 31 matchup. The Wildcats from Warsaw came away with a 65-48 victory on the strength of 15-0 run in the third quarter that included four 3-pointers and one old-fashioned three-point play.
The game opened with Gallatin making a 7-0 run. Henry County had three turnovers in the first 1:30 of the game to help Gallatin. Henry County coach Enoch Welch called timeout at 5:49 to try to stop the opening run and settle his team down.
Coming out of the timeout, the Cats scored the next four points. The first basket was a Derek Jeffries layup on a nice assist by Chase Howard. Landon New then drove the length of the floor for a layup.
Gallatin pushed the lead out to nine points with a couple of long-range bombs before Robbie Cruse pulled Henry back by hitting 3 out of 4 free throws down the stretch of the opening period to make the score 15-9.
The second period was played very evenly with Gallatin maintaining a 5 to 7 point lead throughout as neither team could put together a run until Gallatin stretched the lead to 9 late in the period.
But a 3-pointer by Dakota Estes and a free throw by New pulled the Cats to within 5 points at 26-21 to end the half.
The Wildcats continued to close the gap as the third period opened and finally pulled ahead at 27-26 on a Howard steal and dunk. It would be Henry County’s only lead of the game as Gallatin responded with the 15-0 run that included four 3-pointers and one old fashioned 3-pointer.
Derek Jeffries finally broke the run with a three of his own to make it 40-31 Gallatin, but the Warsaw Wildcats hit one free throw to make the margin 12 at the end of three periods of play.
The run continued for Gallatin to open the 4th period as they scored the first 5 points of the period to open the lead to 17 points. Henry County managed to cut the margin to 11 but could not quite overcome Gallatin’s devastating 3rd period shooting display.
Gallatin’s Kristian Morgan, put on an offensive display in the game hitting the Cats for 29 points on a variety of shots. Morgan was also 6-for-6 from the free throw line.
Austin Young had 11 points to lead Henry County.
Welch felt the killer blow was the third quarter run by Gallatin County. “We played solid defense and got ourselves back in the game after a sluggish start,” he said. “Taking the lead in the third quarter showed some resilience but then they went on the 15-0 run that was just too much to overcome.”
Welch praised Estes and New. “Dakota Estes came off the bench and gave us some much needed energy,” he said. “I really think that their game plan was to pressure us, but after the first few possessions, I thought Landon and the rest of the guards handled their pressure pretty well.”
Consistency is still the message that Welch is trying to send to his team. “We started out the game really giving up too many offensive rebounds which has been our problem as of late, but then we settled in and got a more consistent effort from every one on the floor and that will be our key going forward; we have to be consistent in our defensive communication and be there for each other, which will allow us to extend and put more pressure on our opponents.”