Tuesday, March 09, 2021
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North Central comes up short at Linton

Photo by B.J. HARGIS: North Central's Wyatt Ison dribbles between two Linton defenders in a conference boys basketball game Saturday at Linton.

LINTON — For the third time this season, North Central has had to face Class 2A No. 3 Linton.

For the third time, the favored Miners made enough plays to come away with a win.

Linton outscored North Central by a narrow margin in each quarter as the Miners came away with a 65-58 victory at home in a Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference boys basketball game on Saturday afternoon.

The Miners improved to 18-4 and finished 5-2 in the SWIAC. The Thunderbirds lost for the first time in five games, slipping to 12-9 and ending with a 3-4 mark in the conference.

“Somehow, we match up well against Linton,” said North Central coach Vance Edmondson. “We talked about playing well against a really good Linton team for the second time in a row (losing 53-49 in the Greene County Invitational at WRV on Jan. 8).

“Now, I am not into moral victories. But if we can find a way to translate this kind of effort into games against Bloomfield and Shakamak, you can kind of accept it. But with the sectional coming up in less than two weeks, we will find out.”

The game was close throughout, but North Central never led. There were ties at 2-all and 9-9 in the first half, but Linton had a slim lead — 13-12 — after the opening eight minutes and 28-26 at the half after Thunderbird guard Tyler Vaughn made two free throws in the final 25 seconds. DeShawn Clark scored seventh straight points before Vaughn’s freebies.

Linton started the third quarter with a 12-3 spurt, capped by a layup by Indiana State signee Lincoln Hale. The Miners went ahead 40-29 just two minutes in the second half.

North Central answered with an 11-2 run. Vaughn scored five, Peyton Seay four and Trevor Hadley two as the Thunderbirds cut the deficit to 42-40 with 65 seconds left in the third.

“The kids played hard,” said Edmondson. “We would get behind but continued to battle.”

Clark hit a 3-pointer to cut it to one, but Hale answered with a basket. Clark canned a two-pointer, but Hale’s offensive putback and free throw put the Miners ahead 49-45 with six minutes to play.

Linton had a 13-6 advantage on the offensive boards and 37-28 rebounding advantage overall. Hale had a game-best 11 rebounds.

“They really hurt us with second-chance points,” said Edmondson. “We just were not able to get stops when we really needed them.”

Clark’s triple made it 49-47 with 5:50 to play, but North Central would get no closer.

Hale scored 11 of his game-high 26 points in the fourth quarter on 5 of 8 shooting. Joey Hart added 20.

“Hale and Hart combined for 46 of their 65 points,” said Edmondson. “It is very hard to beat them when they both score over 20 points.”

Vaughn led North Central with 16 points, three assists and a pair of steals. Clark tallied 14 points, three rebounds and two assists. Seay added 11 points and two blocks. Wyatt Ison and Hadley each had six points and James Roberts added five. Hadley also had six rebounds and he blocked three shots.

Linton won the JV game 58-30.

North Central will conclude the regular season at home on Friday against Owen Valley.


NORTH CENTRAL (58) — Tyler Vaughn  5 4-4 16, Trevor Hadley 3 0-0 6, Peyton Seay 4 3-3 11, James Roberts 1 2-3 5, Wyatt Ison 2 2-3 6, DeShawn Clark 6 0-0 14, Gage Wheaton  0 0-0 0. Totals 21 11-13 58.

LINTON (65) — Braden Walters 0 0-0 0, Trey Goodman 0 0-0 0, Konner Cox 1 0-0 2, Lincoln Hale 10 6-8 26, Josh Pyne 3 2-4 8, Logan Webb 1 0-0 3, Drew Smith 3 0-0 6, Joey Hart 8 2-3 20. Totals 26 10-15 65.

North Central 12 14 14 18 — 58 

Linton 13 15 16 21 — 65

3-pointers — North Central 5 (Vaughn 2, Clark 2, Roberts), Linton 3 (Hart 2, Webb. Fouls  — North Central 15, Linton 12. Fouled out — None. Rebounds — North Central 28, Linton 37. Assists  — North Central 8, Linton 13. Steals — North Central 6, Linton 6. Turnovers  — North Central 13, Linton 14. Blocks — North Central 6, Linton 2.

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