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Hot-shooting Pirates win at Milan

Hot-shooting Pirates win at Milan
Hot-shooting Pirates win at Milan
North Harrison's Chandler Jenkins, shown in an early season game, scored 29 points in the championship game at the Milan Holiday Tournament. File photo by Brian Smith

Approaching thunderstorm and tornado warnings prompted North Harrison’s between-game trip to the Milan 54 Museum to be cut short.
After defeating Milan 67-50 in the semi-final game of the Milan Holiday Classic, the Cougars boarded the bus and headed to the museum for down time and to gather historical basketball knowledge. While there, coach Kevin Jones took a phone call from North Harrison athletic director Hal Pearson.
‘We were at the Milan Museum, and Hal calls to inform us of bad weather coming in and asked if we’d be OK to move the game up to 4, 4:30,’ Jones recalled.
The catch was there would be no consolation game as Calumet, which lost 57-44 to Greensburg headed home to beat the storms.
‘There wasn’t much time to prepare for Greensburg, but we went with it,’ Jones said.
The championship last Wednesday was a rematch of last season’s tournament (hosted by North Harrison). Greensburg won that meeting 73-63.
This time around, the Greensburg program that has won 40 sectional titles came away with another victory over the Cougars, 68-60.
Much of Greensburg’s success hinged on an outstanding shooting night. For the game, the Pirates were 25 of 35 for a scorching 71 percent from the field. They made good on 8-of-11 tries from beyond the arc.
‘Greensburg shot really well in the first half,’ Jones said. ‘We weren’t great on the defensive end, but we weren’t bad. It was one of those things where we go in the locker room (at halftime) saying there was no way they could keep shooting that way, and they did.’
Matching the Pirates on the offensive end was a near-perfect night from North Harrison’s Chandler Jenkins. The guard was 11 of 13 from the field, scoring a game-best 29 points.
‘Chandler played like a man,’ Jones said. ‘He had the best movement he’s had in a long time. He was getting to spots and took good shots. As I’ve said before, Chandler has one of the best mid-range games in the area.’
Jones said Greensburg focused on taking away Alex Flock on the offensive end. Flock was held to eight points but had a team-high three assists. Jake Book was steady, scoring 11 points, while Jake Troxell reached 10 points and had five boards.
‘I knew they couldn’t take away Flock and Chandler,’ Jones said. ‘Jake was under control and ran the point well. Jake Troxell had his best game of the year.’
North Harrison had a 4-0 lead to begin the game but eventually gave away the lead midway through the first quarter. Greensburg built an 11-point lead, yet North Harrison continued to hang around.
‘Greensburg is a good team but not as physical as some of the teams we’ve seen recently,’ Jones said. ‘We were able to get freedom of movement and get up and down the floor.’
Greensburg put four players ‘ Tommy Carey (18), Drew Foster (17), Peyton Buening (15) and Mason McLeod (15) ‘ in double-figure scoring. Buening made 5-of-7 3-pointer attempts.
In the semi-final game, North Harrison came out quickly, seeing a 23-12 edge after one quarter. The Cougars eventually pulled out to a 38-21 half-time lead. Milan had a better second half, but North Harrison defeated the host school 67-50.
‘We jumped all over them,’ Jones said. ‘We changed defense, and our guards were active getting deflections. We tipped a lot of balls and were able to score in transition.’
Alex Flock netted a pair of 3-pointers for North Harrison, leading to a 16-point game in the early morning session. Jenkins was at the top of his game against Milan, too; he scored 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
As a team, North Harrison had 13 steals, led by five from Jenkins.
Book closed with 11 points, while Alex Eveslage added seven.
Due to playing two games in one day, Jones said he shuffled several players in the rotation versus Milan.
‘We were able to get young guys experience, and you want guys fresh for the championship,’ Jones said. ‘It was a little like the Corydon game, where we had a big lead and (Milan) cut it to 10 and we had to regroup. It was a good win.’
Kyle Meyer paced Milan with 18 points.
Although the Cougars fell short in the title game, Jones said there were positives to take away.
‘Chandler played really well for two games, and we want to get that the rest of the year,’ he said. ‘We hope to get (Jacob) Harmon back and see our sophomores continue to improve the second half of the year.’
Harmon, a 6-foot-8 post player, has missed much of the early season with a knee injury. Jones is hopeful Harmon is about four weeks away from a return.
‘He will help us with depth,’ Jones said. ‘One area of his game that has really developed is shot blocking. We’d like to have that inside.’
Players for North Harrison had four days off at Christmas, allowing time to heal and rewind. The Cougars will hit the floor again Friday, Jan. 8, when they host Austin at 7:30 p.m.

Milan 12 9 14 15 ‘ 50
North Harrison 23 15 9 20 ‘ 67
Milan (3-3) ‘ Meyer 18, J. Minnich 8, Burton 7, King 5, Burton 5, Beck 4, Z. Minnich 2, Bixler 1.
North Harrison (5-2) ‘ Jenkins 18, A. Flock 16, Book 11, Eveslage 7, M. Flock 6, Haub 4, Kaiser 3, Troxell 2.
3-point goals ‘ Milan 2 (Burton, King); North Harrison 3 (A. Flock 2, Eveslage).

North Harrison 11 14 17 18 ‘ 60
Greensburg 14 19 18 17 ‘ 68
North Harrison (5-3) ‘ Jenkins 29, Book 11, Troxell 10, A. Flock 8, Haub 2.
Greensburg (7-2) ‘ Carey 18, Foster 17, Buening 15, McLeod 15, Burkert 3.
3-point goals ‘ North Harrison 2 (Jenkins, A. Flock); Greensburg 8 (Buening 5, Foster 2, Carey).

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