Medora still learning after home loss to Shawe Memorial

Medora head coach Mark Morin wanted to see his team cut down on the turnovers and handle the press better on Tuesday night as the Hornets hosted Shawe Memorial for their home-opener.

But right from the tip, those were the two things that doomed Medora in an eventual 73-30 loss.

The Hilltoppers’ zone defense and half-court press caused issues for Medora handling the basketball, and Morin used his two timeouts in the first two minutes of the game as the Hornets trailed 7-0.

“It’s always a big key,” Morin said. “Most teams come out and pressure Medora from the get-go, and we just gotta learn how to handle it.”

Another key point of emphasis for the Hornets was to get the ball to Shepard Earl more often because he only had six points in the season-opener.

Earl was very aggressive on the offensive boards as he got Medora on the board first with an offensive rebound that he put back up.

“We’re gonna try to get him the ball early,” Morin said.

The Hornets trailed the Hilltoppers 26-9 after the first quarter.

Medora came out strong in the second quarter, scoring the first four points to cut the lead to 13. But a 3-pointer from Shawe’s Philip Kahn ended the Hornets’ run, and the Hilltoppers quickly went up 33-14 to end any momentum Medora had.

Earl continued to eat up a bulk of the scoring for the Hornets. On one possession, he shot a jumper that missed, but went and got his own rebound and went back up with it and scored.

Earl had 12 points at the half as the Hornets trailed 45-20. Eli Sturgill had five points and Braxton McCory had three points off a 3-pointer he nailed in the left corner off an inbounds play.

Sturgill’s points came off a strong take to the basket that he laid in, another from a jump shot just inside the 3-point line and lastly he split a pair of free throws after getting fouled on a shot attempt.

Unfortunately for the Hornets, scoring the basketball didn’t get any easier in the second half.

The Hornets could only muster up 10 points in the final 16 minutes as the Hilltoppers went on to win the game by 43.

Earl led the team with 12 points, Sturgill had 9, McCory 6, Dawson Cornett 2 and Kacie Inscoe 1.

The Hilltoppers are now 2-2 on the season with a game at Cannelton coming up on Dec. 21 before playing at Crothersville on Dec. 27.

As for Medora, the Hornets are now 0-2 to start the year. They had their first couple of games postponed due to the team being in quarantine, and then once they got cleared, some of their opponents had to cancel due to the same reasons.

That leaves Medora with some catching up to do. The Hornets have a tough stretch coming up where they will play three days in a row, starting Thursday at Seven Oaks, then Friday at Orleans and finally Saturday at Shoals.

Morin said getting back to playing is nice, but this upcoming stretch will be difficult with the amount of games in a short amount of time.

All he hopes to see is his team continue to get better each and every game, and most importantly, cutting down on the turnovers.

The game at Seven Oaks Classical on Thursday night will tip-off at 6 p.m.

Medora’s Eli Sturgill defends Shawe Memorial’s Jack Grote on Tuesday night in the Hornets’ home opener.

Dylan Wallace | The Tribune

Medora’s Braxton McCory looks to pass against Shawe Memorial on Tuesday night.

Dylan Wallace | The Tribune

Medora’s Wesley Holstine goes up over two defenders against Shawe Memorial on Tuesday night.

Dylan Wallace | The Tribune

Medora’s Shepard Earl makes a layup for two of his 12 first-half points on Tuesday night against Shawe Memorial.

Dylan Wallace | The Tribune