Bulldog boys go to 4-2
RICH FOWLER PHOTO
Batesville boys basketball pulled away from a county rival on Thursday night then did the same on Saturday against a conference rival as the Bulldogs picked up two big road wins this past week.
It is the first time Batesville has won four of its first six games since 2013 when the Bulldogs finished out December with a 5-1 record. 2017 marks the last time that Batesville’s program entered January with a .500 or better mark.
The Bulldogs had to make a second half comeback on Thursday before eventually beating host Milan 63-54 in a potential future matchup come January at the Ripley County Tournament. A hot shooting first half allowed the Indians two big scoring quarters, leading 18-16 at the end of the first quarter then stretching the margin out to 33-26 by halftime. But come the third quarter all momentum went to Batesville in a big way.
Milan went ice cold from the field and the Bulldogs only heated up, scorching the net to the tune of a 21-7 run in the third frame to take control of the game with a 47-40 lead.
The Indians were able to get back into some flow on offense with 14 points in the fourth period but Batesville answered back with 16 points of its own and the advantage inched out to the eventual 63-54 final score.
Three players for the Bulldogs shot 50 percent or better from the floor and the trio finished the night with double-digits in the score column. Senior Cole Pride was 9-of-15 from the field and finished with 22 points while Cade Kaiser shot 50 percent and went for 20 points. Junior Jack Grunkemeyer rounded out the three with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Batesville’s final two scorers were Gus Prickel with six points and Carson Laker with three points.
Grunkemeyer pulled down eight of Batesville’s 33 total rebounds. Pride and Prickel each had seven rebounds while Kaiser collected six rebounds. Prickel also had a team-high six assists and Kaiser alongside Pride paced the defensive effort with four steals and four blocked shots respectively.
Milan statistics were not provided by time of print.
Batesville trailed again at halftime on Saturday night but an 18-9 fourth quarter run finally gave the Bulldogs some breathing room in a 43-33 victory at East Central.
The game between the two Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference rivals is the first of two this season. Game two on February 11 at Batesville will be the contest that counts towards the conference standings.
With both teams sitting back in a 2-3 zone, defense prevailed for much of the game and Batesville struggled mightily from the field in the first half. The Bulldogs led just 7-5 at the first stop but East Central was able to put the 6-foot-8 Pride in foul trouble in the second quarter and used his absence to piece together enough offense to take a 16-14 lead into halftime.
Batesville used three 3-pointers in the third quarter to muster up points and regain the advantage by one but a 4-0 run in the first minute of the fourth quarter sparked the Bulldogs for the remaining time and the final run was more than enough to do East Central in and send the Trojans to an 0-4 start on the season for the first time since 1995.
The fourth quarter run was paced by Kaiser’s nine points and the sophomore finished leading all scorers with 16 points. Pride added 12 points including five points in the fourth period and Prickel followed closely behind with eight points for the game. Laker added three points while Grunkemeyer and Sam Johnson each scored two points.
Carson Pieczonka led East Central with 10 points and Joel Richter scored seven points. Rhys Hofer scored six points off the bench and Peyton Hofer alongside Dylan Maxwell put in five points apiece. The Trojans from a team standpoint were also hurt by Batesville’s 35-22 advantage on the boards and the Bulldogs’ ability to score 10 points off of 16 offensive rebounds.
Batesville (4-2) is home against Union County tonight and will get the rest of the week off before coming back for its own holiday tournament on December