NEW WASHINGTON — After a competitive first quarter, the Medora boys basketball team couldn’t hang with Rising Sun in the first round of sectionals on Tuesday night inside James Matthews Gymnasium.
Just like the Shiners did a couple days ago in the regular season when they beat Medora 72-29, they rolled to a 69-42 victory to advance in the New Washington Sectional.
Medora got down 20-10 in the first quarter, but the Hornets didn’t let that deter them.
Braxton McCory hit a 3-pointer and then Shepard Earl hit a jumper to bring the Hornets back within five.
Medora only trailed 24-17 at the end of the first quarter.
“We did (come out with good energy), but we just couldn’t sustain it,” head coach Mark Morin said.
It was the second quarter that allowed the Shiners to pull away. Brody Morris hit three 3-pointers and Brady Works scored 16 points in the first half to give Rising Sun a 49-23 lead at halftime.
Medora wasn’t getting the good looks it got in the first quarter, and they also allowed too many run-outs after missed baskets and had costly turnovers.
The Hornets couldn’t recover from getting outscored 25-6 in the second quarter as Rising Sun kept the pressure on in the second half.
“It seemed they were hitting everything,” Morin said. “We always have a lull, and a good team always goes on a 10 to 15 point run and we just can’t make it up.”
McCory scored Medora’s only points of the third quarter at the buzzer with a floater as Rising Sun extended its lead to 65-27 heading into the fourth.
McCory, who converted a 4-point play to begin the fourth quarter, led Medora in scoring on the night with 15 points. Earl scored 11, Hudson Johnson added seven, Eli Sturgill three, Kacie Inscoe three, Jaxon Nugen two and Kade Wright one.
Despite the disappointing loss, Medora still had a solid season at 10-13. The Hornets more than doubled their win total from a season ago, and it was the most wins for Medora in a season in 30 years.
“This year we beat the teams that we should’ve beat, but we didn’t take that next step and knock off some better teams,” Morin said. “I think our best years are yet to come with this younger class.”
The team will say goodbye to three talented seniors in Earl, McCory and Sturgill.
“Me and those three seniors sat through a lot of butt whippings,” Morin said. “They hung in there. I was glad to see them have the year that they got to have. I told all of them if we happen to have a good year next year and the ones that follow, it all started with these seniors because they didn’t quit.”
Morin wanted to specifically shoutout McCory for his work in the offseason.
“Every year as soon as the season is over, he wanted to know when we were gonna start, when we were gonna get going, I’m thinking, ‘man, already?’” Morin said. “Like I’ve said, I haven’t a team work as hard in the offseason as these guys did. The 10 wins on paper look good. I was glad to see them have success.”
Rising Sun (11-13) will advance to Friday night’s semifinal against Crothersville. New Washington beat Shawe Memorial in the first game on Tuesday and will play Trinity Lutheran in the other semifinal on Friday.
At New Washington Sectional
Shiners 69, Hornets 42
Rising Sun (11-13): Brody Morris 6 6-6 22, Brady Works 7 4-5 18, Dylan Martin 6 0-0 12, Nate Elliot 2 2-2 7, Peyton Merica 2 0-0 6, Gavin Shorten 1 0-0 2, Nate Graver 1 0-0 2, Totals 25 12-13 69.
Medora (10-13): Braxton McCory 5 2-2 15, Shepard Earl 4 3-4 11, Hudson Johnson 3 1-3 7, Eli Sturgill 1 0-0 3, Kacie Inscoe 1 0-0 3, Jaxon Nugen 1 0-1 2, Kade Wright 0 1-2 1, Totals 15 7-12 42.
3-point goals: M 5 (McCory 3, Sturgill, Inscoe), RS 7 (Morris 4, Merica 2, Elliot).
Rebounds: M 19, RS 22
Fouls: M 10, RS 12.