MUNCIE--The Pendleton Heights Arabians took a less than memorable trip to the historic Muncie Fieldhouse Tuesday, losing to the Muncie Central Bearcats 75-59.
The Arabians came into the evening on a two game losing streak, with the last coming at Yorktown this past Thursday. They also entered the evening missing their leading scorer, junior Davrick Black, for the second straight game. According to coach Kevin Bates, Black will be out for the remainder of the season. The Bearcats also came into Tuesday night losing two straight, their last being a four-point defeat to Marion on that same day.
The game started not with a tip, but with a pair of made free throws from Arabian sophomore Jamison Dunham. This was due to a Bearcat technical violation prior to the game starting, for an illegal dunk during warmups. The free throws and possession gave the Arabians a bit of a boost to start the game, however, Central (8-11) quickly bounced back and led by seven after one quarter.
After both teams got a sense of the game, the Bearcats used their athleticism to its fullest potential. Their big men became a force on the offensive board, allowing MC to have many second chance opportunities. On the defensive end, the Arabians struggled getting the ball in the paint and were forced to live from behind the arc. Bearcats Senior Victor Young had a monster first half, 17 points and eight rebounds to help his team to a 36-20 lead going into the break.
In the second half, the Arabians picked up the intensity a bit, and their defense made it tougher for the Bearcats to find the hoop. However, on the offensive side, it was much of the same for PH (8-11). They had difficulty finding open shots, and were unable to convert when given the opportunity. They trailed by 20 entering the fourth.
The final quarter saw the ball start to fall for the Arabians. Their 27 points in the period were the most in the evening, however proved to be not enough to get over the hump.
Young led the game in scoring with 25 points, followed by Dunham with 21. Also in double digits for the Arabians were Kamden Earley with 13, Tristan Ross with 11, and Ethan Ross with 10. Tristan Ross also finished with double digit rebounds at 12.
“I felt like our kids fought and battled the whole game, thought we did a lot of really good things,” Bates said. “We can’t win games at this pace, we just don’t have the firepower. We have to continue to value every offensive possession, and continue to get better defensively.”
PH will next be in action on Friday, when they host the Fishers Tigers at 7:30.
“We have to get better on both ends, that’s the simple reality,” Bates said. “And we got a good group of kids who can get that done.”