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Spartan boys fall in conference showdown with Pirates, 74-65

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Connersville senior Dylan Logan (22) takes a shot over Greensburg’s Cam Adams Friday at Greensburg. Adams and the Pirates defeated the Spartans in the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference tilt, moving to 3-0 in the league. With the loss, CHS fell to 2-1.
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Connersville center Jacob Brown lifts a shot over Cam Adams at Greensburg on Friday night. Brown and the Spartans suffered their first Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference loss of the season to the Pirates, falling by a final of 74-65.

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

GREESNBURG — First place in the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference was on the line in Connersville’s road contest with the Greensburg Pirates on Friday night.

While both teams played like it, the homestanding Pirates wound up sitting alone at the top of the conference at 3-0 following at 74-65 victory.

The game was closer than the nine-point margin would imply, as the Spartans tied the score twice in the final eight minutes, but could not overcome their EIAC nemesis.

The two teams met 10 days earlier in the Bob Wettig Memorial boys basketball tournament in Richmond, and the winner of that contest was the same as it was on Friday, as Greensburg posted a 50-31 victory.

While the over all result was the same, the game was much different this time around, according to CHS coach J.D. Miller.

“This was a much better showing for us,” he said. “We had a week to prepare for them this time, and that really played into this game. At the Wettig, we didn’t even really know if we were going to face them, so we didn’t have much time at all to get ready for them.”

Friday’s game was close throughout, the Pirates leading by two after one quarter (16-14), by three at halftime (35-32), and by four heading into the fourth quarter (54-50).

“Our kids played really well, we tied the score twice in the fourth,” Miller said. “Late in the game, we surrendered a couple of easy baskets in transition, and that forced us to extend our defense a little. When you do that, good teams will find a way to exploit that. Greensburg did, and that was the difference in the game.

“We just came up a little short.”

Greensburg finished with four players in double figures, as the team was shooting near 70 percent from the field, heading into the final quarter.

“They shot the ball really well,” Miller confirmed. “That really said a lot about our kids, that they shot the ball so well, and we still had a chance.”

The Pirates were led by Andrew Welage with 22 points. He was followed by Lane Sparks (18) and the duo of Drew Comer and Cam Adams with 12 points each.

“Defensively, Ethan Smith did a really nice job on Comer, who is probably their best player,” Miller said. “He held Comer to eight points, until late in the fourth quarter, when he was able to get some free throws to pad his final number of points.”

Offensively, Connersville was led by Noah Belt, the senior finishing with a game-high 24 points. Jacob Brown added 15 and Clay Garrison chipped in a dozen.

“I thought Jacob did a really nice job scoring around the basket,” Miller said of the CHS center.

In the junior varsity contest, the CHS reserves kept their game close as well, but wound up falling 46-40. A total of 13 free throws in the final frame, helping the home team edge the Spartans 15-11 made the difference for the Pirates.

For the game, Greensburg enjoyed a big advantage at the charity stripe, getting 24 attempts, compared to only nine for CHS.

Connersville was led in the scoring column by Tobey Billups, the freshman finishing with nine points.

The Spartans are next in action at Muncie Central on Saturday.

PIRATES 74, SPARTANS 65

(at Greensburg High School)

Connersville 14 32 50 65

Greensburg 16 35 54 74

Connersville (8-5) — Jonah Graham 2 0-0 6, Clay Garrison 4 2-2 12, Tobey Billups 0 0-0 0, Tanner Brock 0 0-0 0, Garrett Wickes 0 0-0 0, Dylan Logan 0 0-0 0, Colton Sullenbarger, Noah Belt 8 7-7 24, Ethan Smith 3 1-2 8, Trevor Young 0 0-0 0, Damon Huffman 0 0-0 0, Jacob Brown 5 5-7 15. TOTALS 21 15-18 65.

Greensburg (11-1) — Miles Wilkison 2 2-4 6, Lane Sparks 7 2-3 18, Andrew Welage 6 6-8 22, Cam Adams 5 0-1 12, Drew Comer 3 4-8 12, Cole Carder 2 0-0 4. TOTALS 21 14-24.

3-pointers — Connersville 6 (Graham 2, Garrison 2, Belt, Smith), Greensburg 8 (Sparks 2, Welage 2, Adams 2, Comer 2). Fouled out — Connersville 2 (Garrison, Wickes). Total fouls — Connersville 19 (Garrison 5, Wickes 5, Smith 3, Graham 2, Belt 2, Logan, Brown), Greensburg 12 (Wilkison 3, Carder 3, Adams 2, Comer 2, Sparks, Welage).

JUNIOR VARSITY

Pirates 46, Spartans 40

Connersville 10 20 29 40

Greensburg 10 23 31 46

Connersville — Carter Bodwell 2 1-2 3, Tobey Billups 4 0-0 9, Tanner Brock 2 0-0 4, Luke Garrison 0 0-0 0, Luke Sullenbarger 1 2-2 4, Riley Moore 0 0-0 0, Sebastian Burch 1 1-2 3, Kaleb Sparks 2 0-0 6, Trevor Young 1 0-0 2, Damon Huffman 1 0-0 2, Cole Martin 1 2-3 4. TOTALS 15 6-9 40.

Greensburg — Cole Nobbe 1 7-8 10, Colin Comer 5 7-8 18, Brett Stringer 2 1-1 5, Brendan Stanley 1 3-7 5, Dakota Walters 4 0-0 8, Ivan Tellez 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 13 14-18 46.

3-pointers — Connersville 4 (Sparks 2, Billups, Sullenbarger), Greensburg 2 (Nobbe, Comer). Total fouls — Connersville 23 (Brock 4, Sullenbarger 4, Young 4, Bodwell 3, Martin 3, Huffman 2, Garrison, Burch, Sparks), Greensburg 8 (Stanley 3, Walters 3, Nobbe 2).