Hang 10

Knights’ streak reaches double digits with win over?Iroquois

Times Observer photo by Brian Hagberg Eisenhower’s Zack Fincher puts up one of his three 3-pointers during the second quarter of a game against Iroquois at Eisenhower High School, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Fincher had 11 points to help lead the Knights to their 10th straight win.

After surviving a scare against Union City Tuesday night, the Eisenhower boys basketball team wasted little time getting on top of visiting Iroquois Friday.

The Knights started the game with a 9-2 run and never trailed as they pushed their winning streak to 10 games with a 56-47 win over the Braves.

Despite the strong start, and while the lead never dipped below seven points after the first quarter, the Braves presented a different challenge for the Knights. Eisenhower’s leading scorer, Jaydon Hayes, was held to just 11 points as he spent most of the night on the bench with foul trouble. Additionally, starting point guard Troy Myer missed the entire second half due to injury.

“Jaydon had foul trouble and Troy was out,” Eisenhower coach Ryan Williams said. “Our point guard and our best player were out and I thought we handled it well.”

The Knights looked like they were about to really pull away in the opening stanza after the run, but Hayes picked up his second personal foul (both offensive) and had to head to the bench with two minutes remaining. The Braves were able to get a couple more shots to fall and trailed 14-7 heading into the second.

ight win.

Eisenhower started creating more turnovers which led to a slew of transition points to start the second and build a 23-12 advantage with 2 1/2 left in the half. Just 30 seconds later, Hayes picked up his third personal. The Braves used the remaining time and Hayes’ absence to cut into the lead as the Knights took a 27-16 lead into the locker room.

“We were very sloppy,” Williams said.

Iroquois’ Koby McLean drew a third charging foul against Hayes just over a minute into the third quarter and the senior spent the remaining seven minutes on the Eisenhower bench. The Knights struggled for the next two minutes, but a three from Zack Fincher with five minutes to go in the frame, followed by another from Drew Williams just over a minute later pushed the lead to 33-21. At that point, Nick Smelko and Jared Martone checked into the game and provided the spark the Knights needed. Smelko had a pair of nice drives to put some points on the board, and Martone got the crowd back into it with his layup late in the quarter. The Knights started to pull away late and led 39-26 heading into the fourth.

“I was happy for Martone,” Williams said. “He’s a sophomore who’s going to have to start for us next year and he might be a guy we have to use in the playoffs.”

The Knights were able to slow things down and run their system offense in the fourth quarter, leading by as many as 19 at one point before Williams emptied his bench and the Braves trimmed the lead.

Times Observer photo by Brian Hagberg Eisenhower’s Nick Smelko (0) floats between a pair of Iroquois defenders for a layup during the fourth quarter of their game at Eisenhower High School, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018.

Eisenhower has clinched at least second place in Region 3, and still has an outside chance at sharing the title with Cambridge Springs if the Blue Devils were to lose to Iroquois Tuesday and the Knights defeat Youngsville. Perhaps more importantly, this win showed Eisenhower it’s still capable of putting a solid game together without its star players on the floor.

“It (Hayes’ and Myer’s absences) wasn’t planned,” Williams said. “But it was good to have.”

Eisenhower will have little time to enjoy the win as the Knights will look to make it 11 straight when they travel to Sheffield today. Junior varsity will tip at 3 p.m. with varsity to follow.

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Times Observer photo by Brian Hagberg Eisenhower’s Tajah Warren (3) falls back for a shot after being fouled by Iroquois’ Koby McLean (34) during the second half of their game at Eisenhower High School, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Warren had 19 points to lead the Knights to their 10th straight victory.

Gray 3-0-0-6, Cooper 2-0-0-5, Seaman 1-0-0-2, Bonniger 1-2-4-5, Churchill 1-1-2-4, McLean 10-5-10-25, King 0-0-0-0, Clark 0-0-0-0, Castillo 0-0-0-0, Northrup 0-0-0-0, Anderson 0-0-0-0


N. Smelko 4-0-1-8, Z. Fincher 4-0-0-11, Warren 7-5-5-19, Venman 1-0-0-2, Hayes 5-1-3-11, Williams 1-0-0-3, Martone 1-0-1-2, Myer 0-0-0-0, Alexander 0-0-0-0, L. Smelko 0-0-0-0, A. Fincher 0-0-0-0, Trumbull 0-0-0-0, Robinault 0-0-0-0, Beers 0-0-0-0

By Quarters

Iroquois 7 9 10 21 – 47

Eisenhower 14 13 12 17 – 56

Three-point FGs: Iroquios (3) – Cooper, Bonniger, Churchill; Eisenhower (4) – Z. Fincher (3), Williams

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Youngsville continues to progress through the stages of a growing team. The Eagles are staying competitive in games, but are still learning how to finish and continue looking for that elusive “signature win.”

They held a lead over visiting Maplewood Friday, but the Tigers came out strong in the second half and left with a 49-38 win over the Eagles.

Andy Wooley knocked down a trio of tres in the third to give Maplewood the lead for good.

Youngsville’s Gage Hendrickson had a game-high 21 points while Austin Peterson added eight in the loss.

The Eagles will look to upset cross-county rival Eisenhower Tuesday in the Eagle’s Nest.

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Young 2-2-2-6, Wooley 5-0-0-14, Krepps 0-1-2-1, Mehok 7-4-5-19, Hollabaugh 2-0-2-4, Parker 1-1-4-3, Rodriguez 1-0-0-2, Kelly 0-0-0-0, Wheeling 0-0-0-0, T. Cox 0-0-0-0, Brunot 0-0-0-0, Dahey 0-0-0-0, Mattocks 0-0-0-0, C. Cox 0-0-0-0, Nageotte 0-0-0-0


Mack 1-0-0-2, Hendrickson 9-2-2-21, Myers 1-3-4-5, Bower 1-0-0-2, Peterson 3-1-1-8, Proctor 0-0-0-0, Wilson 0-0-0-0, Olewine 0-0-0-0, Mercado 0-0-0-0, Dell 0-0-0-0, Kesterholt 0-0-0-0, Ecelberger 0-0-0-0

By Quarters

Maplewood 11 10 15 13 – 49

Youngsville 13 11 7 7 – 38

Three-point FGs: Maplewood (5) – Wooley (4), Mehok; Youngsville (2) – Hendrickson, Peterson