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December 24, 2013 | 09:04 AM

Forcing 30 turnovers led to plenty of counter attacks by the Lanesville guards against visiting Henryville Friday night.

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Lanesville's Matthew Husband leaps for one of two dunks against Henryville Friday night. The junior had seven steals to go with his game-best 26 points. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)
With 14 of the Hornets' miscues coming in the first quarter, the Eagles turned in an incredible run of defense and scoring to take a commanding lead. After Henryville led 5-2 in the early going, Lanesville launched into 22 unanswered points to take a 24-5 edge. Extending the lead throughout the game, the Eagles came away with an 81-48 victory in its first Southern Athletic Conference game of the year.

Leading the way for the Eagles was junior Matthew Husband, who poured in 26 points while coming up with seven steals at the top of Lanesville's pressure defense.

"Matthew did a really good job tonight," Lanesville coach Mikel Miller said. "We've talked with him to be more active defensively, and he showed it with seven steals. That led to some easy baskets and a few dunks. It's a good game for him and allows him to see he can get to the rim."

Husband kicked off the 22-0 run with a steal and bucket for the Eagles. Also getting into the act was Jason Harmon, drawing "Fear the beard" chats from the student section, with seven straight points, including an and-one conversion. Micah Lane and Joe Ferree also scored points, but a pair of field goals by Husband rocked the Eagle Dome.

Playing in front of the home fans for the first time this season, Husband picked off a Henryville pass and was all alone for a one-handed dunk to put Lanesville up, 20-5.

Later in the opening quarter, Ferree came up with the steal and throw ahead to Husband for his second dunk of the night. In appreciation, the red, white and blue student section erupted in celebration.

Key to the flowing of Lanesville points was the defense.

"We tried to do a little more trapping late in the first quarter and got some easy baskets out of it," Miller said. "I thought that propelled us ahead."

During the course of the game, the Eagles attacked on the offensive end similar to the way they approached defensive intensity. Reaching the charity stripe 34 times, Lanesville converted 24 of the attempts.

Twelve free-throw opportunities came in the second quarter with Tate Stilger, Ryan Fulkerson, Lane, Ferree and Husband reaching the line.

Lanesville struggled with shooting from beyond the arc, going 3 of 19, but managed to shoot 61 percent from 2-point range.

"To shoot that poorly from the outside and to still win by 30-plus is pretty good," Miller said. "We were active inside and a lot of people worked hard."

To counter the off night from 3-point land, Miller said adjustments to attack the basket paid off.

"We were good at the foul line, going 24 of 34, which was outstanding," Miller said. "(At Paoli), we didn't get there enough. We did a better job of attacking tonight. We're capable of knocking down outside shots, but they just aren't falling right now. We certainly shoot them in practice but haven't done so well since our first game."

Henryville's best streak came early in the second half with a 10-4 run. Although freshman Braxton Robertson was held scoreless in the first half, he hit three 3-pointers in the later part of the contest.

"Henryville came at us pretty good, especially the Robertson kid, in the second half," Miller said. "We re-grouped and made some good runs in the second half. You have to play hard regardless of the score."

Four different Lanesville players reached double-figure scoring, led by the 26 from Husband. Fulkerson closed with 14 points, while Joe Ferree had 12 and Harmon had 11.

In the first half, Ferree had five rebounds. For the game, Harmon led the Eagles on the boards with seven.

Henryville had one player, Elijah Weeks, reach double-figure scoring with 14 points.

As a whole, Lanesville's defensive effort with guards to create turnovers was the difference against the Hornets, a team that hasn't won a game in more than a year.

"Micah, Matthew and Ryan helped us end up with 21 steals," Miller said. "The other night against Paoli we forced about 26. The last couple of games we've done well forcing turnovers, but we're still having some lapses in the half-court set, getting out of position."

Lanesville, returning last Tuesday from a near three-week layoff from games, lost at Paoli 72-55.

"We had one more day to prepare for the Paoli game than we did to prepare for our season-opening game against Christian Academy," Miller said. "I thought at times we were rusty against Paoli. Tonight, it was nice to get out here in front of the home crowd and get good things going. We hope to get some momentum for the tournament we'll play in."

The Eagles will participate in the six-team Springs Valley Holiday Tournament on Friday and Saturday. Kicking off the event, Lanesville will play Northeast Dubois at 5:30 p.m. on Friday before facing West Washington the following day at 12:15 p.m.

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