PENDLETON — Lawrence North dominated the boards and used a 17-3 second quarter to spoil Pendleton Heights’ senior night on Wednesday.
The Wildcats topped the Arabians 60-37, ending the home team’s regular season at 14-7. PH will play next Wednesday against Anderson in the opening round of the sectional at New Castle.
“We knew going in that there were two things Lawrence North was exceptional at — not just good but exceptional — offensive rebounding and transition offense,” said Arabians coach Brian Hahn.
Lawrence North got eight offensive boards to one for Pendleton, and the Wildcats had 36 total rebounds, three times more than the Arabians.
“The rebounding wasn’t as brutal as it appears,” said Hahn. “We missed a lot of shots, and that gave them a lot of rebounds. In the second quarter, we didn’t compete on the defensive boards at all. But I think they only had two offensive rebounds in the second half.”
Pendleton Heights hit just 33 percent of its shots and only 21 percent from 3-point range. Without much chance for an offensive rebound, and with the threat of a missed shot turning into a Wildcats layup, the team fell back into a defensive posture almost immediately on every miss.
“When we were able to make them play in the half court, we played pretty well against them,” said Hahn. “We had a stretch in the third quarter and into the fourth where we outscored them by 13 points.”
That pulled PH to within 47-32 early in the final period.
Daeshon Francis topped the Wildcats with 17 points, followed by D’Tavian Walker with 14 and Terell Davis with 13. The visitors hit 56 percent from the field, taking just six 3-pointers and hitting four.
Sean McDermott led all scorers for PH with 22 points. He took 22 shots and got nine to fall. As he scored more field goals, he got more defensive attention and was forced further out on the floor to get his shots off.