RED JACKET – Patrick Underwood fired in 27 points including seven 3- pointers as the Scott Skyhawks soared past the Mingo Central Miners 66-43 on Thursday night at the MCHS gym.
The game was a makeup contest from a postponement on Tuesday night because of the inclement weather.
The Cardinal Conference match-up featured two teams in rebuilding mode, especially for first year Miners Coach Garland “Rabbit” Thompson.
Scott, coached by Nick Cabell, jumped out to a 17-10 first quarter lead and led 35-19 at the half. Mingo Central shot themselves in the foot with eight early turnovers and the Skyhawks were able to capitalize on those miscues.
“You can’t dig yourself a hole like that and be down 16 points,” Thompson said. “It’s hard to come back when you get behind so early.”
Underwood scored 15 of his points in the first half, while teammate Tanner Bell flipped in 14 to lead Scott.
Daniel Buchanan, a 6-foot-6 center, scored six points to lead Mingo Central in the first half. Freshman Canaan Fletcher, a 6-foot-5 southpaw forward, added four points. Fletcher, the son of former Williamson High School basketball standout Bobby Fletcher, got his first start in his young varsity career for MCHS.
The Miners showed some heart and battled back in the third quarter and actually outscored Scott 12-9.
But in the final quarter it was the Skyhawks outscoring the Miners 22-12 to pull away with the win. Both teams emptied their benches in the final minute and a half.
“When you come out and shoot the ball well it makes the game easier,” Cabell said. “But if you struggle early, it makes it a little tougher.”
“I thought we did well early with our free throw shooting, but we struggled a bit in the third quarter,” Cabell added. The Skyhawk mentor praised the play of Underwood, Bell and Nick Dolan
Scott was able to get several offensive rebounds and get extra shots at the basket, even when they did miss from the outside.
The Skyhawks are now 5-4 and Cabell is not quite sure where his team is at this point in the season. “You never know which Scott team is going to show up,” Cabell stressed. “We’ve had games where they don’t move on offense or defense – tonight I would give it about a 7-out-of-10 as to where our effort was. I’m still not completely satisfied. Even tonight we were a little slow about getting to the ball”
Even though the Miners, now 1-8, lost again, Thompson saw some bright spots from his team. “We have to learn to play four quarters,” the longtime coach said. “Kenny (Allen) gave us a spark there. I thought Daniel played a good game. Dalton (Hatfield) struggled a little with his shot, but it was good to get Stevie (Hammond) back.”
Hammond had been out because of a shoulder injury he suffered during football season.
Thompson hopes his team will work to improve and get better when tournament time rolls around at the end of February.
Besides Underwood’s 27, Bell ended the game with 19 and Dolan added 10 to give the Boone County squad three players in double digits. Jordan Kish chipped in six points, while Cole Moore and John Price each added a basket for two points.
Buchanan led MCHS with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Garrett Moore was next in line with eight points. Hatfield and Fletcher both finished with six points, Allen scored five, Hammond two and Aaron Banks two. Hatfield and Moore both dished out four assists.
The Miners were 9-11 from the foul line for 82 percent, while Scott made 13-22 for 59 percent at the charity stripe.
Scott was scheduled to play Wayne on Friday night, while Mingo Central was slated to take on Belfry in the Hatfield & McCoy Shootout at the Williamson Fieldhouse at 9:30 p.m. Saturday night.
Score by quarters:
Scott: 17 18 9 22 – 66
Mingo: 10 9 12 12 – 43
Scott: John Price 2, Pat Underwood 27, Nick Dolan 10, Tanner Bell 19, Cole Moore 2, and Jordan Kish 6.
Mingo: Dalton Hatfield 6, Dan Buchanan 14, Garrett Moore 8, Aaron Banks 2, Kenny Allen 5, Canaan Fletcher 6, and Stevie Hammond 2.
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at email@example.com or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)