Sweet 16

Hendrickson records a double-double on his birthday as Eagles move above .500

Times Observer photo by Andy Close Youngsville’s Gage Hendrickson goes up for two of his game-high 21 points against Commodore Perry on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019. Hendrickson, celebrating his 16th birthday, finished with a double-double in leading the Eagles to a 51-37 victory.

It certainly was a ‘Sweet 16’ for Gage Hendrickson and the Youngsville Eagles.

Hendrickson, celebrating his 16th birthday, scored 21 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in helping the Eagles pull away late for a 51-37 win over Commodore Perry on Monday.

“That’s the best present,” Hendrickson said about the win.

It wasn’t easy, as the the 1-win Panthers made life difficult on the Eagles (6-5), tying the game early in the fourth quarter, 31-31 on a Jared Mink layup.

What followed was a run by Youngsville that showed just how much they continue to grow.

Times Observer photo by Andy Close Youngsville’s Austin Peterson (22), gets hit in the face by Commodore Perry’s Hunter Artman (42) as he goes up for a rebound during the second half of the Eagles’ game against Commodore Perry, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019.

Their lone senior, Nyko Mercado came down after the Panthers tied the game and converted a 3-point play with 7:10 remaining. Form there, they knocked in 16-of-19 from the free throw line in outscoring CP 20-8 in the fourth.

“That’s what good teams do. That’s where we’re trying to get,” said Youngsville coach Jesse DeLoof. “Not everything was smooth and we identified that we were going to have to grind one out. We did that by taking care of the ball, making foul shots down the stretch and getting stops when we needed to.”

The Panthers came out strong early, jumping out to an 17-10 lead early in the second quarter on back-to-back 3’s by Caleb Christner.

That prompted a timeout by DeLoof, which turned out to be the right call, with Youngsville going on a 12-0 run after to close the half.

Hendrickson buried a 3 during the run and Joe Mack had a strong putback, as did Brady Olewine.

Times Observer photo by Andy Close Youngsville’s Ethan Kesterholt fires a pass to an open Gage Hendrickson in the first quarter of Monday’s game against Commodore Perry.

“We were able to flip the switch,” DeLoof said.

A jumper by Dominic Dell put Youngsville up 28-21 early in the third, but Commodore Perry didn’t go away, scoring on back-to-back buckets five seconds apart to end the third quarter, cutting the deficit to 2.

But the Eagles responded after getting pushed.

“We had a bunch of freshmen start last season and now we have a lot more experience and are able to close out games like this,” Hendrickson said.

Close it out they did, as their 1-2-2 pressure provided some issues for Commodore Perry down the stretch.

Times Observer photo by Andy Close Youngsville point guard Joe Mack drives the lane during the first half of Monday’s game against Commodore Perry.

“Tonight it (1-2-2) worked for us,” DeLoof added.

In the closing stretch from the line, Hendrickson was 7-of-8 and Mack, who finished with 12 points, was 4-of-4.

“Gage controls the boards, he does so much for us,” DeLoof said. ” He rebounds, he gets us out in transition. We ask him to do so much and he does. You want to see that for a kid like Gage. He’s put in all the work, he’s the nicest kid and he does the right things in school.”

Now winners of 4-straight and back above the .500 mark, people are starting to take notice.

“In school, we had a bunch of people telling us good luck,” Hendrickson said. “The turnout tonight was amazing.”

And while they are thrilled with where they’re at, they all know that they need to keep growing and getting better.

“We have to be honest with ourselves and realize that’s not good enough, especially against good region teams,” DeLoof added. “On Friday against Union City, that’s not going to be good enough. But, I think we’ve grown a lot in games like this. That group in the locker room expects to win. They’re not jumping up and down celebrating afterwards. We’re happy to win, but we need to keep getting better.”

The Eagles also won the JV game, 34-26. Dell had 10 points and Ethan Kesterholt 7.

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Cropp 2-0-0-5, Christner 5-0-0-13, Stringert 3-0-1-6, Mink 3-4-7-10, B. Byler 1-0-0-2, Artman 0-1-2-1, R. Byler 0-0-0-0, Totals 13-5-10-37


Mack 3-6-6-12, Hendrickson 5-8-10-21, Peterson 1-0-0-2, Mercado 1-1-1-3, Olewine 1-4-5-6, Bower 2-1-2-5, Kesterholt 0-0-0-0, Dell 1-0-0-2, Totals 14-20-24-51

By Quarters

Commodore Perry 11 6 12 8 – 37

Youngsville 9 13 9 20 – 51

Three-point FGs: Commodore Perry (6) – Christner 3, Strigert 2, Cropp

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Castona 2-1-1-5, R. Byler 1-0-0-2, K. Cropp 2-1-2-5, Christner 2-2-2-7, B. Byler 2-1-3-5, Chesmer 1-0-0-2, Turly 0-0-0-0, Totals 10-5-8-26


Dell 4-1-3-10, Kesterholt 2-3-5-7, Procter 2-1-4-5, Mowrey 2-0-0-4, Sorber 1-2-2-4, Upton 1-2-3-4, Bies 0-0-0-0, Hogg 0-0-0-0, Crane 0-0-2-0, Totals 12-9-17-34

By Quarters

Commodore Perry 4 19 3 0 – 26

Youngsville 11 3 14 6 – 34

Three-point FGs: CP (1) -Christner; Youngsville (1) – Dell

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Behind a monster 30-point game from Jared Veasey, Tidioute rolled to a 66-35 win over Forest Area on Monday.

It was a welcome outcome for a motivated Bulldog team, which didn’t play it’s best in a loss to Youngsville on Saturday.

“We were disappointed about Saturday,” said Tidioute coach Terry Cotterman. “We didn’t play our best. Tonight we stressed pounding the ball inside, which we did.”

The Bulldogs (6-3) jumped out to a big lead after the first quarter, 17-6, and never looked back.

In addition to his 30 points, Veasey pulled down 8 rebounds.

Maison Deloe also had a big game scoring, finishing with 19 points.

“That’s the most he’s scored, he’s really starting to come along,” Cotterman said.

Patrick Shields had 12 rebounds, while Deloe and Derek Klos pulled down eight each. Ryan Williams had four assists and three steals to go along with his eight points.

Tidioute returns to action on Thursday, hosting Commodore Perry in their Region 1 opener.

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Shields 3-4-9, Veasey 8-14-30, Williams 2-0-6, Deloe 8-2-19, Sabella 1-0-2, Totals 23-18-66


Franklin 2-3-8, Aden 5-3-13, Luke 1-0-2, Myles 2-0-4, Seth 1-0-3, Allen 1-1-3, Whelan 1-0-2, Totals 13-7-35

By Quarters

Tidioute 17 20 12 17 – 66

Forest 6 7 11 11 – 35